I’ve noticed an interesting sociological truth in my 5 ½ years pastoring the same church. The longer one pastors a church, relationships become less transactional and more transformational. What is the difference?
A transactional relationship focuses on short-term thoughts of immediate smoothness and health. It is the idea of “I will do something for you, and you will, in turn, do something for me.”
It is a transaction of depositing and withdrawing. Over and over and over.
A transformational relationship is one that focuses more on the big picture. As you lead people over time, you do more than merely discuss day-to-day give-and-take perspectives of life. You discuss collaborative, motivating, team-building perspectives of your relationships.
HOW DO THEY DIFFER?
A transactional relationship says, “You give and I’ll take. Then, I’ll give back and you’ll take back.” Meanwhile, a transformational relationship says, “Let’s go through life together to accomplish a bigger purpose together than we could alone.”
Transactional relationships are pragmatically-driven, but transformational relationships are philosophically-driven.
Transactional relationships exchange tangible rewards in a short period of time, but transformational relationships focus on higher intrinsic needs.
Transactional relationships are responsive, but transformational relationships are proactive.
Transactional relationships appeal to one’s self-interest, but transformational relationships put your joint purpose ahead of one’s self.
WHY DO RELATIONSHIPS BECOME MORE TRANSFORMATIONAL THE LONGER A PASTOR’S TENURE LASTS?
I am not positive this is the case for every pastor who has had a fairly lengthy tenure, but it is the case for me. The reason is that pastors who have been at one church for a longer period of time have had time to . . .
DEVELOP A CLEAR VISION
After a vision is developed, it transitions people to focusing more on the long-term . . . an important part of transformational leadership.
GROW IN THEIR LEADERSHIP ABILITY
As you grow older and have served at the same church for a while, you typically grow over time. This leads to a more likely transition from transactional to transformational relationships.
POUR INTO PEOPLE OVER YEARS INSTEAD OF MONTHS
When you pour into people over a longer period of time, it is harder and harder to sustain a “give and take” approach to a relationship, and instead focuses more on why you have a relationship at all—to fulfill a bigger purpose.
Do you have any additional thoughts on transactional vs. transformational relationships? Let me know in the comment section below.