Let me start in 1989. While in Ghana, I helped a visiting evangelist from America--a woman who had been abandoned by the church--I'm not sure why. She was hurting personally. What I did for her was to take her to smaller towns and villages to allow her to preach her message since she couldn't do it in the city. She was a very good preacher. She was having a major impact. All of a sudden she began acting a bit abnormal: she wouldn't want to see people unless they came to a big crusade. I saw this as her putting herself above the people and since I was the one taking her around I felt like her accomplice. This bothered me. One day she suddenly left the church while the preacher was giving his sermon. It sent a message to the people. I had to follow her because I was the one who was taking her around. There were three incidents like this. I'm not sure if she began doing this because her impact on the community went to her head or if it was the result of the things that people had done to her--sort of like her revenge. I just don't know. She eventually had to return the U.S. because I couldn't help her anymore. I never saw her again.
This story pains me because I feel I was too hasty in my decisions. The experience made me stop my ministry for a while. I went back to teaching. I feel that the here lesson is in second level leadership. The focus in mission is not the leadership, but the second level leadership. People in that kind of role need to be open to self criticism. Also they should realize that they cannot always please both sides--in fact they should never expect it. The dialogue between the leaders is very important. If the second level leaders don't understand what the primary leaders are doing, then they are not communicating well. I have never wanted to be a primary leader because of that experience. I'd like to be a secondary leader but have not been able to. I think the a secondary leadership position if filled with lessons for real leadership. Without it you cannot be a real leader. You need hands on experience or you cannot be an effective leader. If you look at churches that have grown well, they have pastors who have done this.