My Top 10 Fatal Errors in Church Leadership

My Top 10 Fatal Errors in Church Leadership

10- Promoting people who feel like we are getting in the way of their vibe and future success. 

We may be often accused of micro managing yet often the real reason behind the annoyance is that they don’t actually want to be managed at all. 

We mistakenly believe the  ‘micro management’ excuse to be true (because it’s always a little bit true), so we are drawn to compensating by giving them both exposure and elevation. 

The answer isn’t more margin and freedom, it’s more intervention. Conversations need to be had, hearts need to soften and friendship needs reforming. If this doesn’t work, a parting of the ways is probably the best choice. 

9- Promoting good and faithful people into a place that requires real adaptation and gifting

I’ve almost always used novices in positions that require knowledge and skill, but with a strong ability to learn and adapt, we’ve had seen a lot of success. 

Yet when the new position that’s become available actually requires a bigger capacity and ability than the person has previously displayed, we end up promoting them to a place of incompetence. And that always bites back when the blame game kicks in to cover up their embarrassment and find solidarity and sympathy. It’s our mistake though not there’s. Never self defend! 

8- Replacing vision with instruction.  

Vision is the mother of twins- commitment and instruction. 

She needs to grace every room at every moment and in every season. Don’t delegate roles or directions without her, no matter how urgent the deadline. It’s a tough lesson to learn. 

Instruction left to itself becomes bossy and Commitment becomes exhausting. Both lead to a kickback in attitude! 

7- Thinking that people love you more than they do, and that you love them more than you do. 

We mistake Agapé love for Phileo love because our culture is so desperate for closeness. We take sacrificial love (that’s lassoed to the call and direction of God) and try and morph it into friendly love. In Kingdom living, Agapé is clothed with Phileo, not replaced by it.

☝️Church leaders- we kind of need to stop saying welcome home and start saying welcome to the next stage of the journey! Stop over promising! 

☝️Church members- stop trying to find your tribe or find your people. Agapé is always a cross cultural thing. 

☝️Everyone- Start loving other people more than they love you. Get back to the true essence of real love! 

Don’t allow Phileo to overtake Agapé as the foundation of kingdom living. It’s a beautiful thing yet not strong enough in itself to withstand the riggers of life and destiny. 

6- Thinking everything’s forever when it’s not. 

Faith, Hope and Love are, but your brand isn’t, your name isn’t, your friends aren’t and your plans aren’t. Get on board with the real side of legacy- scattering eternal seeds into good hearts to create an everlasting harvests.

You don’t own your ministry, your reputation, your call or your position. They’re on lend, like a library book. When you grab the book without possessing it, you release the eternal seeds of legacy.  

5- Not recognising flattery. 

Flattery is the art of blinding someone to something in order to get somewhere with someone. Through flattery, some people become the protected species of organisational life. 

They know how to stroke egos and bleed empathy. They get the ear of leadership without ever earning it. It always ends in dismay, however, when true motives are revealed! 

4- Ignoring the quiet achievers for the noisy achievers. 

Low maintenance people are neglected in every setting by the high maintenance people who make more noise than everyone else! Low maintainers are the forgotten backbone of all we do. Spending time with them will both cause them to grow and flourish AND reduce distraction time available for the perpetual squeaky wheels of the high maintainers who know how to get attention fast. 

This isn’t a call to no longer care for highly complex needs, but a call to care for those whose needs are more private than public. If there ever was a need to reach out to those who feel like they’re drowning it’s now, yet not at the continued expense of the quiet struggles of the quiet majority. 

3- Not knowing when to begin and when to quit. 

You won’t truly know unless you empower a few mentors to look over your situation. 

You can’t rely on 5 fold gifting within your church if you’re paying them. You can’t rely on anyone who feels a need to please. Oversight is paramount for both starts and finishes. 

If you’ve got no one you can see, remember this proverb- when the son appears the father also appears. When the daughter appears, the mother also appears. 

Those who seek shall find. 

2- Driving things faster than you should. 

Going wider, bigger and quicker than the speed of God always leads to scrapes and smashes. 

Speed and growth, so idolised by the success culture that’s infiltrated the church over the past four decades, has created a culture that both overstretches the truth about numbers and over promotes tales about breakthrough. We make premature stars of immature people. I’ve done it often. 

1- Not having anyone praying for your personal protection and heart led pursuits. 

Everyone loves you when the upside of your personality is kicking goals and your quirks are seen as genius in motion. Yet the underside of your gift (the side that you’re working on or needs to be worked on) is often exposed to those close to you. If there’s deep friction in the camp, this exposure can be cast beyond the proper boundaries of grace and accountability, causing serious strife and pain. 

The pressures of Church life and leadership both from the expectations of others and dark spiritual forces, as well as internal human complexities and dilemmas, can render ‘long play’ leadership unbearable. 

Prayer can make the big difference though. Having people dedicated to praying and believing for you outside of the hubba bubba of church life can reduce the pressures of life and ministry (including spiritual pressures) and allow you time to deal with yourself and heal the strife. 

Prayer partners can become amazing life savers, soul doctors and destiny huggers at all of the right times. 

*These are my Top 10 Fatal Errors in the culture of church life. My list of personal errors is much much longer! 

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