Avoiding Timid Leadership: Lessons from the Pontius Pilate Situation

6 min readJun 23, 2021


There is a widespread misconception that only millennials are timid leaders because most of us are diplomatic and non-confrontational.

Some are labeled consensus seekers because they are not as daring as Generation Z. The world has probably forgotten that timid leadership has nothing to do with how old the leader is or the generation. Ask me about Pontius Pilate.

Pilate was a good man who had honorable intentions, but he was a timid leader. You could call him a professional at consensus-seeking because he decided Jesus’ fate based on the perspective of the majority. All he tried to do was to grant the people their wish, and everyone was happy.

Fast forward to the modern-day; it would be very relatable to view Pilate as a typical politician who knows the right thing to do but has to choose between forces higher than himself and the rights of the people. Even as a governor, He gave in to the threats by the members of his cabinet.

That was his problem. He did not want to lose the icings of the position. If he had lived in recent times, those privileges would include luxurious cars, access to premium services, stewards, cooks, exotic food, and wine as he wishes. The thought of letting go of these luxuries ate up his conscience. He became suddenly shy to take his stand on the matter.

Humanly speaking, Jesus did not deserve the death sentence as Pilate ordered, and he knew it; but he told himself the same lie we all like to serve our conscience- that he did not have another choice.

Look at how he ducked responsibility. When the high priests brought Jesus to him for trial, he tried to pass the buck by sending him to Herod, and by this action, he thought he was off the hook. Clearly, in Herod’s view, there was no case to hear because Jesus had done nothing wrong.

This kind of political dilemma does not just exist in the systems of sovereignty alone- the Church is one place where it has thrived from one generation to another. Church leaders over the decades ran their churches with choices between what appears right and what is expedient. The wealthy congregants of a church most times impair the decision-making abilities of the leadership. I have heard of several cases where some members form a sort of alliance against the pastor and eventually affect his transfer or removal from office because of one disagreement or the other. You certainly do not want to build a church where your influence cannot matter, do you?

The situation is getting more aggravated as headcounts can no longer determine the membership of churches. Before now, physical meetings could hold without restrictions, and opinions can be debated or agreed upon before being passed on to superior authorities. What we have now is a better communication channel that ensures full access to the superiors from anywhere. One email and the pastor of a branch church might be summoned or queried.

That is why every church leader must know how to manage the congregation appropriately to avoid a Pontius Pilate (Double-P) Situation. Here are three real things you must always do to avoid being a timid leader.

1. Marry Your Souse And Their Conscience.

For every married pastor, I dare say, the most reliable source of conscience is your spouse. Many might not agree, but if you search deeply, you would know that a partner who loves you with all his/her heart, loves your purpose, and still stands as your support, is the best gift God can ever give you on this journey of leading His people. That person intuitively sees the danger that surrounds you as a spouse, and when He/she speaks to you about it, take those words with all caution and to the Lord in prayers. Your spouse is your biggest kingdom partner, do not make decisions without his/her counsel.

Pilate’s wife spoke to him about the nightmares she had been having and became his saving grace. He was naturally a timid leader who caved into his cabinet member’s threat, but after he heard his wife’s encounter, he suddenly received the strength to withstand some of the pressures. He employed some political options to make the accusers of Christ see reason, but God had already given them an obstinate mind for the fulfillment of His purpose.

When the man saw that they were obstinate, he washed his hands in their presence as a symbol of handing over the guilt of Jesus’ death to the accusers. That act alone transformed him from a timid leader to a confident and classic one, thanks to his supportive wife.

2. Be Accountable to Your Members

The most effective way to curb rebellion among your members is to bring them up to speed on church finances, projects, and its challenges as an organization. We are all accountable to God and one another.

As leaders, you must model the Lord’s character. When Jesus wanted to feed the multitude of 5,000 people, he made the provision by praying for multiplication, but he let the disciples do the sharing. We are the ones to show Christ to a deprived society. The world is confused and searching for spiritual truth; that truth is in you!

To achieve this aim, you must be open to a multitude of counsel and be able to sift through them all. Accountability keeps us focused and lined up to Christ. Leaders who are not accountable are the ones who fall and give our Lord a negative reputation in the Church and the world! You are not that kind of leader.

3. Spread the Responsibilities

The best way to manage people is to get them involved. I would say to put troublesome people in charge of heavy projects and give them the opportunity and autonomy to make decisions and then bring their results for you to oversee. Let us see if they downcast their efforts then. This strategy always teaches people that no one is an island.

If Pilate had given the people in his cabinet some roles, they might have understood his plight as the governor. Everyone looked up to him; the only job they had was to execute his decision. Can you blame Pilate for not giving them more responsibilities? The man did not know his people well enough. They had probably never turned against his opinion as much as they did with Jesus’ case, and I am sure he would have believed that he had a structure in place.

Create an organizational structure in your local Church so much that everyone knows who to go to for what. It is a necessary process that keeps everyone focused and makes the Church a structured place.

You may want to tell me that you have a structure, and I will not dispute that, but the truth is that there is always a better and innovative way to do things. The Church has gone digital, and you should run with it at the pace that it is moving. How bad do you want to know your congregation?

It is the season of love, and I am offering you a free trial on ChurchPad, the best ChMs platform I know. It will help you adequately know your congregation by keeping track of important information about them, manage their profile, and maintain relationships with them. This way, you would know who you should give responsibilities to and when.

Sign your Church up today.

By Temitayp Badewole




ChurchPad is a Complete Church Management Software. ChurchPad empowers your church culture to create an ultimate experience while leveraging technology.