Editor’s Note: This year’s Catalyst West – Uncommon Fellowship happens soon (March 30 & 31) and so we decided to warm up with some words from Craig Groeschel (“The Unreasonable Leader” below), who is the founding and senior pastor of Life.Church. Launched in 1996, Life.Church has become one of the largest churches in the country, reaching over 70,000 people each weekend through 25 locations. A New York Times bestselling author, Groeschel enjoys investing in church leaders through speaking engagements like the Global Leadership Summit, Hillsong Conference, Catalyst, World Leaders Conference, and more.
Not long ago I was having a conversation with Jerry Hurley, one our key staff members. I was asking Jerry if he could pull off something that, although extremely challenging, could potentially make a huge difference in our church. Knowing I was asking a lot, I apologized. “I’m sorry if I’m being unreasonable.”
“Don’t apologize!” he said, practically interrupting me. Grinning ear to ear, he said, “I love it when you’re unreasonable. That’s what makes our church great!”
Obviously no one wants to work for a leader who is always unreasonable. But the best leaders know when to push limits, dream bigger dreams, demand more, and pursue results most people believe aren’t possible.
There’s a time to be an unreasonable leader.
Think about these words of Jesus:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26–27).
That’s a pretty unreasonable demand.
Jesus told the rich young ruler, “One thing you lack… Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mark 10:21).
Why Be Unreasonable?
Why should you consider occasionally being unreasonable as a leader? Because reasonable leaders produce reasonable results. And unreasonable leaders produce unreasonable results. If you ask people for what you think they can do, you’ll get what you asked for—and usually no more. But if you ask people to do more than they think they can, you’re likely to get more than most leaders….