Tag Archive - fear

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5 Reasons it’s Good When People Leave Your Church

Over the past 17 years of full time local church ministry I’ve seen people come and go from churches for all kinds of reasons. For the most part I’ve observed that those reasons have more to do with personal preference, style, and relationships than God actually “calling” them to be at one church or another.

And when this begins to happen I’ve seen Church Staff agonize over people departing from their churches. Frustration and fear can begin to creep in. How are we going to replace their financial support? Who is going to fill their recently vacated volunteer role? If they’re leaving and they’ve been here so long, then is there something wrong? Do they know something that I don’t? Should I be leaving too?

Even worse I’ve seen Church Staff begin to make decisions rooted in the fear of people leaving as opposed to the advancement of the mission. And when that begins to happen it’s a clear indicator that the church is drifting towards becoming insider focused.

What if I told you that people leaving your church can actually be a good thing? Maybe even the best thing? Below are 5 reasons that it’s actually good when people leave your Church:

1. They fell in love with who you were, not with who you are becoming

They’re stuck in the past. They were there when the church was small enough that you could know everybody by name and the Pastor was more available. Or maybe their favorite Staff Member excelled in their role when the church was smaller but it passed by their capacity and they’ve been moved to a different role, or they’re off the bus all together. Now things have changed and they’ve become critical that things aren’t the same anymore. You know people are stuck in the past when they keep talking about the “good ‘ole days” instead of what God is doing now.

2. It creates new opportunities

When people leave your church it creates an opportunity for new people to jump in, serve, and fill the gap. The exciting thing about new people is they always have fresh eyes, a different experience base, a new perspective, and new ideas. When people leave your church it’s an incredible opportunity for an infusion of new talent and ideas that will help propel things forward.

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Posted in Leadership

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Overcomming the Fear of Moving to Multiple Worship Services

Churches are often stuck because of their systems and structures. Many churches cannot grow because they have maximized their building’s capacity and they lack the financial resources to expand. Eight common fears cause them to fixate on building a bigger building instead of adding multiple services.

1. The fear of losing the unity of the church

It is true that everyone will not be able to worship together at the same time with multiple services but this has more to do with the comfort of friendship and the familiar than church unity. Unity is driven by consistent teaching, clear vision, a strong culture and the Holy Spirit.

2. The fear of not having enough volunteers

It is proven that moving to multiple services actually makes it easier to find volunteers. With additional services, people now have additional choices. Volunteers now have the option of attending a service and serving in another. Having only one service forces people to choose between attending the worship service or volunteering in a ministry.

3. The fear of overworking the pastor

In many churches, the pastor is responsible for preparing messages for Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday Bible studies. This workload leaves pastors with little time to lead. Eliminating some of these teaching responsibilities gives pastors additional time to focus on leadership and the weekend services. It is much easier for a pastor to teach the same message multiple times on the weekend than to prepare three different talks each week.

4. The fear of deciding what to do with Sunday morning programs (i.e. Sunday School)

Understanding that your primary objective is to connect people in an environment that is centered on God’s Word will give you many different options. If you have the parking capacity, it is possible to run discipleship programs concurrently with the worship services. If this is not the case, you can have it before, after, or in between services. Another option would be to offer Sunday School for children and students and have Bible studies another time for adults during the week. Many churches have transitioned to weekly small groups.

5. The fear of determining whether or not the style of worship music should be blended, the same or different in each service

Some well-known and successful churches have chosen to have multiple worship venues using niche styles such as rock and roll, contemporary worship, country, and unplugged. What keeps these services unified is ensuring that the same message is preached in all of them. Others approach music as a unifying factor and choose to keep all of the services the same style. Generally speaking, blended worship styles are confusing and don’t make anyone happy. Whatever route you choose to take, allow the decision to be driven by vision and the culture you want to create.

6. The fear of past failures

If you’ve unsuccessfully tried multiple worship services before then answer two important questions. First, “Why didn’t it work the first time?” And second, “What can we do differently this time?”

7. The fear of losing people

You will probably lose people if you make this move but you will also lose people if you don’t. Churches always lose people, fortunately you can help decide who leaves and stays by the leadership decisions that are made. The real issue is, “Do you want to build a culture focused on insiders or outsiders?” Having one service limits who can be part of your church (capacity issue) and it also limits the impact that your church can have in the community.

8. The fear of not knowing when to start a multiple service

It is better to add two completely new times instead of simply adding another option to what you already offer. This strategy forces everyone to choose a new service time and creates an “all-in” mentality. Also keep in mind that optimum times for worship services in America seem to be between 4:30pm – 6:00pm on Saturday evenings and 9:00am – noon on Sundays. You will also want to pick a strategic time of the year when your church experiences natural momentum to launch the service. Many churches experience momentum at the start of the school year in the fall or in January when everyone is back after Christmas-break.

This article originally appeared as a guest post I wrote last year for TonyMorganLive


Posted in Leadership

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Top Posts of 2012 #1: 5 Reasons why the Church is an Anti-Leadership Organization

You made this the most popular post in 2012! Apparently you resonated with the idea that the church is a leadership starved organization and that the church that decides to “operate as normal” actually repels leaders. This means you and I have to lead our churches to operate and act differently in 2013 if we want to build a healthy leadership culture in our churches this year!

 


 

There are all kinds of threats and challenges facing the church these days. But underlying them all is one common denominator. The greatest crisis facing the modern day church is a crisis of leadership. Churches don’t naturally attract, develop, or keep leaders. But why?

1. Pace of Change:

Leaders live in the future. They dream about what should be. Most churches are consumed with preserving the past.

2. Pride and Fear:

Growing and developing young leaders requires giving leadership away. But when the organization is driven by a personality rarely are young leaders given real leadership opportunities to experiment with and grow from.

3. Misalignment:

A majority of churches are stuck, not because they don’t have a vision, but they have not aligned the systems and ministries of the church to move people and the church towards that preferred future. Leaders grow frustrated in silo oriented misaligned organizations.

4. Criticism:

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.

5. Compensation:

High capacity leaders can use their skills in a variety of industries and participate in meaningful work. Many churches simply aren’t willing to, or can’t pay leaders what they’re worth.

How are you addressing these underlying issues of an anti-leadership culture in your church? What’s missing from the list?


Posted in Leadership

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When Evaluation goes Wrong

Socrates is credited with saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” If that’s true then there are a lot of churches that are in existence that shouldn’t be. Along those lines this past week I had a great conversation with my Leadership Coaching Network about why evaluation seems to be avoided in church-world. Here are some of the reasons we came up with.

1. Personal Attachment

Often staff members see their sermon or ministry program as an extension of themselves as a result many can’t separate the discussion about a ministry program from their own personality or character.

2. Leading with “No”

Sometimes the evaluation derails when a group picks things a part and can’t get on the solution side of things.

3. Unclear Expectations

Evaluation bogs down when a team member is unclear about what they’re trying to accomplish and when a win is confusing.

4. Addiction to Tradition

The only people who like change are leaders because they’re pushing towards a preferred future. This usually means abandoning past successes or even traditions. Many churches do evaluation poorly because of sacred cows that can’t be touched.

5. Stonewalling

Some churches and staff are simply living in denial and refuse to be sober minded. As a result they stonewall and refuse to deal with their current reality.

6. Fear

Some churches and staff members refuse to approach evaluation seriously not out of a fear of what they may find but rather they may have to work harder or differently to obtain different results.

What would you add to the list? What’s your experience with evaluation in the church-world? Leave a comment!


Posted in Leadership

5

5 reasons why the church is an anti-leadership organization

There are all kinds of threats and challenges facing the church these days. But underlying them all is one common denominator. The greatest crisis facing the modern day church is a crisis of leadership. Churches don’t naturally attract, develop, or keep leaders. But why?

1. Pace of Change:

Leaders live in the future. They dream about what should be. Most churches are consumed with preserving the past.

2. Pride and Fear:

Growing and developing young leaders requires giving leadership away. But when the organization is driven by a personality rarely are young leaders given real leadership opportunities to experiment with and grow from.

3. Misalignment:

A majority of churches are stuck, not because they don’t have a vision, but they have not aligned the systems and ministries of the church to move people and the church towards that preferred future. Leaders grow frustrated in silo oriented misaligned organizations.

4. Criticism:

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.

5. Compensation:

High capacity leaders can use their skills in a variety of industries and participate in meaningful work. Many churches simply aren’t willing to, or can’t pay leaders what they’re worth.

How are you addressing these underlying issues of an anti-leadership culture in your church? What’s missing from the list?

 


Posted in Leadership