Steven Furtick has a great post on how to talk to your boss. You can read the post here or I have copied it below. This guy has it going on and I have "borrowed" a lot from him. His church Elevation in Charlotte, N.C. has grown to over 2000 in less than 2 years. He is only 28 and full of energy.
I have a strong personality and our church is committed to a culture of
honor, I think a lot of people assume that no one on staff at Elevation
is ever allowed to disagree with me.
Those people are wrong.
I don’t just value the opinions of the staff at this church, I crave them and I mine them.
I love to ask questions of those I lead, and I demand to hear honest answers.
With that in mind, I think that I can help all of you who want to offer your input or differing opinion to your leader do so a more effective way.
(I’m sure every leader is different in how they want to hear opposing viewpoints, but this works well for me.)
It’s not exhaustive, but enough to get some discussion started.
1. Make sure it’s the correct setting and time. Like, don’t tell
your pastor that one part in his Sunday sermon was confusing until at
least Monday. Actually, make it Tuesday. Or Wednesday. You get the
And pay attention to how your leader likes to hear your ideas. It
varies from leader to leader, but it’s your job to learn your leader.
What formats does he prefer for pushback ? Written? Spoken? One on
one? By appointment? Over meals? Figure it out, and your ideas will
be met with a much warmer reception. Respect your leader enough to
prepare your presentation custom tailored to the way he or she needs to
2. Start positive. Recognize and affirm the pros of the idea you
disagree with before you launch into a list of 50 reasons this won’t
3. Bring solutions, not problems. “Pastor, the idea about the singing Christmas tree isn’t lighting me up (get it?), but what if we took that same amount of energy and did a high level production like this?” (This is the part where you hand him a written and researched proposal for an alternative Christmas outreach event. Or 3.)
4. If you can’t beat it, shut it. If you don’t have a better idea
to present to your leader, go back to work until you do, or just keep
your mouth shut. Nothing is worse to a leader than a team member who
always looks disengaged with the current idea, but isn’t offering up
anything better. We don’t perceive that as discernment. We discern it
5. Affirm your willingness to give your 100% effort to the
initiative if your leader still wants to go ahead with it after hearing
your input. Of course, this wouldn’t apply if you’re confronting a
leader’s blatant sin. I’m talking about subjective ministry ideas.
When your leader knows he has your full support in whatever he decides
(not feigned, but heartfelt), it makes him able to listen to you
without second guessing your motives, or thinking you’re just lazy.
Oh, and this should go without saying, but ALWAYS own the leader’s idea publicly even (and especially) if you’ve disagreed privately.
Doing otherwise doesn’t make you strong, it makes you divisive.
6. Pray for your leader and build him up. When your leader knows
you’re in the foxhole with him and you’ve got the entry wounds to prove
it, you won’t have to ask him to give your ideas a hearing. He’ll come
looking for them.
7. Make sure that deep down you support the vision and core values
of your leader. If you don’t, move on. He’s better off without you.