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Why Churches Don’t Grow: #5 A Leadership Void

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This is the final post in a series of blog posts that I’ve been sharing about the 5 key contributors that lead to 80% of churches in America being stuck or in decline. These key contributors have been observed repeatedly in our work with churches at the Unstuck Group. While churches get stuck and decline for all kinds of reasons, these 5 key contributors are the consistent culprits.

Out of these 5 key contributors, this next one carries the most weight. The greatest crisis facing the modern day church is a crisis of leadership. The modern day Church simply doesn’t attract, develop, or keep leaders. Leaders by their very nature are change agents. Because the unstated goal of most churches is to preserve the past, church leaders find themselves fighting the family instead of fighting the enemy. I thought that building a list of indicators to help you understand that your church has a leadership problem would be the lazy way to go with this post. Anyone can take shots at the church and build a list of everything the church does poorly when it comes to leadership. Instead I’ve built a list of what leadership traits I’ve noticed are most needed in the American Church today:

1. Courage

The majority of churches that I work with aren’t stuck because their pastors don’t know what Jesus wants them to do next. Often times they just need a competent and experienced outsider to confirm and say out loud what the Holy Spirit has already been saying to them. They simply need an infusion of courage and clear steps to get where Jesus wants them to go. If you’re leading a church let me encourage you. Please, obey what Jesus is asking you to do. Please, lead your church where Jesus wants you to go. There’s too much on the line not to.

2. Tenacity

The church desperately needs an infusion of leaders who hang onto the vision in an unwavering manner; leaders who have the steadfast tenacity to stay with it until it gets done. Don’t give up, don’t give in, don’t back down, don’t let go. There’s too much on the line not to.

3. Development

The Gospel doesn’t need to be defended it needs to be unleashed. And for the church in America to turn the corner and be the movement Jesus has intended for it to be it’s going to take current leadership to unleash the next generation. Not just hand off the church to the next generation of leaders through good succession planning but legitimately unleash them by preparing them and turning them loose. There’s too much on the line not to.

4. Humility

Let’s be honest, neither you nor I have all of the answers for the challenges facing the church today. It’s going to take humility on our part to invite new voices into our lives, to be a lifelong learner, to give away our leadership credits to others, and to play our part in the Body of Christ that we play best so others can be their best. Humility is courage before it’s needed and at the same time it’s the chief virtue and the soil that all the other fruit of the Spirit grow up in. It is absolutely a necessity in leadership in the church today. There’s too much on the line not to.

Photo Credit: alexcoitus via Compfight cc


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