Hopefully, by now you’ve seen the newest comic book blockbuster movie, ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’. If not, I recommend it. As a comic book fan, it was a lot of fun, and there are fun moments.
More than enjoying popcorn and watching fun action, there were a few things I walked away being reminded of for church leadership that I wanted to share with you. (You don’t have to worry, I’m not going to spoil anything).
So here are three things I (re)learned about leadership from ‘Batman v Superman‘:
Insider friendly – The movie was loaded with cool easter eggs and moments that only made sense to comic book fans. There were lines, cameos, and so on, that all meant something to me as a comic fan who knew what they meant. They meant significantly less to my fiancée, who is not a comic book nerd like me, or to the two kids we saw the movie with. It had a lot of ‘fan service’; so much so, I think the movie suffered for it.
Churches can become so focused on pleasing their ‘fans’ that they forget their mission is to tell the Gospel story to the initiated. Churches can’t be a club with secret handshakes.
Focused ambition is better than lots of ambition – While I generally enjoyed the film, it did seem to struggle from trying to do too much. I’m not sure if it was the directors ambitions, or the studios. In either case, the movie was loaded with sub plots and call aheads that made it difficult to know what story to focus on, or how each plot point was set up.
As pastors, sometimes less ambitious goals are more effective. You can get the church fired up and excited, but not necessarily on the same page.
You can’t please everyone – There have been a few changes to the titular characters, Batman and Superman, in the movies (Man of Steel and Batman v Superman). Some of them are small changes (Superman doesn’t wear his underwear on the outside), and some of them are major. As a result, crowds are divided with some loving the changes and others are livid over the tiniest detail. The characters, to many, are sacred idols who are not supposed to be touched or altered.
Everything in a church has meaning. Some of it is significant, while others of it is less important. Regardless what you do, or don’t do, someone is going to be upset with a change/non change. The best thing a church leader can do is to know ‘why’ something has changed. If you do something on a whim, it makes it difficult to support or respect a change to a sacred item.
There you have it; three things I walked away remembering about church leadership from the newest blockbuster movie from a comic book.
I love y’all and there’s nothing you can do about it.