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6 Things Leaders Should Never Apologize For – Words to Live by

Lonnie McCowan

By Pastor Lonnie G. McCowan

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.- Isaiah 43:1

Every leader must learn to look fear in the eye and rebuke it. The Apostle Paul, the great church planter, reminded Timothy, the young lead pastor: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7). Here are six things that every leader should always remember. Being the “keeper of the vision” for a church, business, organization, or a family is sometimes a difficult task. It is amazing how many people will try to attack you, for no good reason. The old saying goes “if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen”. This is very true when it comes to being a leader.

1. Never Apologize for Dreaming Big.
We have a HUGE GOD who can do things that are absolutely MIND BLOWING … and if we focus on HIS POWER rather than our limitations, we will always be willing to hear what He says and then do it … even though we don’t have all of our questions answered.

2. Never Apologize for Your Passion.
I once had a guy tell me, “Pastor, I think you would be more effective as a leader/communicator if you would just calm down a little.” Here’s the problem … I can’t!
Jeremiah 20:9 is my verse … Jesus began a fire inside of me on When I was 17 years old… and it’s only gotten hotter. You can be consumed with passion … or be content with being passive. One, Jesus will use to change the world … the other; the enemy will use to dull your soul.

3. Never Apologize for Wanting to Lead. 
If you are called by God and gifted by God to lead … THEN LEAD! Here’s the deal … someone is going to make the decisions. Someone is going to call the shots … and if that is the call that God has put on your life, then DO IT!
By the way … when you do this, it IS going to make people mad. AND … if you can’t handle the fact that people ARE going to hate you simply because you try your best…then you may not be called to lead!

4. Never Apologize for Expecting the Best from Others
Leaders cannot be afraid to set high standards … EVER! I believe it is WRONG to expect perfection from others … we’re all humans, we screw up!

BUT … it isn’t wrong to expect others to give their best. (By the way … MOST of the time, if people see the leader giving their best, it will inspire them to do the same!)

5. Never Apologize for Wanting to Reach More People.
From time to time, people will take a shot at me for wanting to see more people come to church … and …I AM GUILTY AS CHARGED!

I can’t help it … the change in life that the word of God  has brought about in me … I want as many people as possible to hear about it! I want as many people as possible to have their lives changed. I want as many people as possible to have victory. Don’t EVER apologize for embracing the fact that God has called us to RECONCILE (not REVILE) the world! (II Corinthians 5:16-21!)

6. Never Apologize for Saying “No” to What You KNOW You Need to Say “No” To.
One of the biggest frustrations I’ve ever had as a leader is when I commit “sins of obligation,” you know, when I do something because I feel like I have to rather than doing it because I truly feel led to do it because of the Holy Spirit’s leadership in my life.

Just because we have opportunities doesn’t mean we need to embrace them … because saying “yes” to everything often means we have to say “no” to the things that you are called to do.

Lonnie G. McCowan is pastor at The Miracle Center of Ventura, in Ventura, CA. He can be contacted through email at or by visiting

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