It’s been said that leadership would be easy if it weren’t for the people we’re leading.

Such a true and revealing statement.

I’d like to think that my first inclination is to love people. And maybe it is, until the pristine shimmer of unmoved waters is hit with the slightest pebble that causes ripples to form.

Loving people doesn’t happen naturally.

There’s never going to be a time when leadership is perfect and easy, because we’re all broken, and we’re all unique. Though justified by grace we’re still filled with issues as we walk the road of sanctification. We also each have a unique history of how we were raised and a lifetime of different experiences that have shaped our worldviews and expectations.

Leading your team well demands that you do the second commandment–loving people–which leaves you no other option than to do the first commandment–loving God.

It’s almost as if God has set this whole thing up. Almost like He knew that giving us people to lead would force us into greater dependence upon Him thus deepening our friendship with Him. I’m not saying God causes or delights in these challenges, but He does allow them, and will use them if we’re willing.

God’s main goal for your life isn’t your comfort, but the fashioning and forming of your heart to love Him and others.

So many times, when everything in my life is going great, it’s easy for me to neglect spending the kind of quality time with God that I should. But He helps remind me of my need for Him as I see my inadequacy and inability to lead well in my own strength. This causes a desperation that is designed to move me towards Him.

Every challenge you face as a leader is an invitation to deeper intimacy with God. Click To Tweet

Whatever leadership challenges you find yourself facing today, perhaps God wants to use them to draw you closer to His heart.

I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.

Huge thanks to my friend Jordan Vanderplate for letting me use this photo of Loch Cluanie, Scotland. Check out more of his work here.

I’m Justin Rizzo. I enable worship leaders who feel isolated, overworked, and unfocused to experience peace, confidence and create thriving worship communities.

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Light of the World (Acoustic)


  1. You’re so right. Loving doesn’t come naturally and being a good leader certainly doesn’t either. It takes intentionality. But what a blessing to learn to love better and become more like Him as we Love Him more. Thanks for the post.

  2. Hi Justin,
    Your spot on with this post! I have people on my team that I consider to be extravagant lovers & worshipers of Jesus. What a blessing! That being said, we still butt heads once in awhile due to different personalities. It’s always driving us to the feet of Jesus!! Thanks for your ministry!!!

  3. Norman E Peterson

    Hello Justin: As a team member and former leader I have seen what a wonderful thing it is to brief and start settling into
    what is the “Spirit set” of the team. Nothing negative before or post brief…just sharing how the Lord is working in our
    lives this week.
    Then we can cohese and begin looking to the leader for direction, expectations and signals, modulations, room for improvisation, chorus development and listening for the fireworks.
    On my last set on Monday the leader never said hello, never said goodby, only said one word as I handed her the lead sheets after the set…” Thanks” I tried hard not to overplay and give lots of vocal room. I enjoyed the set ( setting all the compression and EQ settings beforehand) I went “someplace else” and closed my eyes and listened to where I was to go.
    There was a warmup as I was coming in with a water and as soon as I put a bow to my viola, she stopped and I had no idea what song, sequence or placing of solo parts was encouraged.
    That was hard to maintain my focus but it was possible. Didn’t want to get into the ramp of poor old me, no one likes me, etc… Any ideas on how I can reach out without a hint of negativity? Thanks!

    1. Justin Rizzo

      Thanks for sharing, Norm. I think reaching out for a meeting with them and just sharing kindly but openly about what you feel might be helpful.

  4. Well, Justin.
    That’s all correct. I’d agree.
    And deeper intimacy with God is a wonderful preview.
    But this doesn’t solve the problems with leading.
    What do you do with distracting people?
    What do you do with too much leading energy in the team?
    What do you do if people miss engagement?
    Maybe the answer is always: pray.
    Maybe that’s beyond your purpose of the article…

    Thanks for rising up the topic.

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