The world of church leadership is interesting. We’re trying to operate with excellence and get a lot of things accomplished, but we’re mainly working with volunteers, not paid employees.
Because of this fact (and several other things), successful churches are led by some of the most incredible leaders on the planet.
Leading a team of volunteers challenges us as leaders, because it requires us to genuinely LEAD rather than simply MANAGE.
We know that helping leaders grow is a vital part of succeeding as a church. There’s no doubt about that. When the leaders get better, everything gets better.
But often, there are things we tend to do as Pastors and Church Leaders, that actually keep leaders from growing into their full potential and making our churches a “less-than-desirable” place to commit.
Here are 9 Ways to STOP Leaders in your Church
You can probably do a lot of things “better” than them, but when people are micro-managed, they never learn to handle things on their own. Nobody likes to be micro-managed, and it drains the creativity and confidence right out of them.
2: SHIFTY VISION
As Pastors and Executive-Level Leaders, we need to get Crystal Clear on the Vision. If it’s constantly moving, it deflates the ones who are pouring themselves into supporting our Vision.
3: LACK OF PRAISE
Most of the leaders in our churches are volunteers – they aren’t being paid with money. With that said, the currency we use to pay them is PRAISE. They want to KNOW that they are doing a good job, and that their efforts are being noticed. It’s easy to do but requires intentionality.
4: GIVING THEM TASKS, INSTEAD OF RESONSIBILITY
One of the most common “Leader-Killers” is not trusting them with the weight of responsibility. They may not do all the right things every time, but leaders thrive in an environment where they are given responsibility, not just tasks to complete.
5: CONSTANT SECOND-GUESSING
This is not to say that we must accept or affirm every idea they come up with, but leaders who are constantly second-guessed about every idea they have, will eventually stop having and sharing ideas. We must give them some room to run, and really listen to their ideas without “one-upping” them every time.
6: ACTING SUPERIOR
The greatest leaders aren’t on thrones but are in the trenches with their team. They position themselves as servants, not lords.
Jesus was such a great example of this and taught his disciples this concept. Read His words…
Matthew 20:25-28 – Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
7: CONNECTING ONLY ON THE TASK-LEVEL
If all your interactions are about their tasks, they’ll feel more like a working employee than a partner in ministry. Connecting on a “personal relationship” helps both of you. It creates a bond and strengthens the passion in both of you to continue pursuing the call of God on your lives.
8: NEVER ASKING FOR THEIR INPUT
People who are verbally recognized as “leaders”, but never invited to the decision table, feel like they’re on the outside. Simply asking for their input validates their role, and actually strengthens your decision-making process. They don’t have to be involved in every decision, but if it’s connected to their area of ministry, they probably have some perspective you haven’t thought of yet.
9: FAILING TO LEAD THEM SPIRITUALLY
Leaders have a target on their backs. The enemy HATES the leaders in your church. We have to watch over their Spiritual Health using every means possible – meetings at your house, coffee meetups where you ask direct questions, talking about it when you notice something is off. Yes, they’re gifted and strong, but they’re also vulnerable.
Strong leaders understand the need to lead other leaders. Without this key element, our churches will be stuck with a small group of decision-makers, and everybody else is simply doing work. But when we intentionally invest in the leaders God has sent to us, we instantly raise the roof of potential for the entire church, and what God wants to accomplish in our city.
Constantly go back through this list and check on these items. We don’t want to allow any of these leader-killers to exist in our church. We set the tone as senior-level leaders. Let’s set an environment where leaders can jump in and use the gifts God has given them to lead the most important work on Earth.