Tag Archive - unclear expectations


The Dark Side of Vision

Many tout the most important aspect of a leader is the ability to paint a clear vision of the future. If you’ve been around church-world for any length of time you’ve probably even heard a sermon or two about it, after all “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18) right?  What many leaders often fail to realize is that there is another side to vision, a downside, that if not understood and artfully led through can derail the vision before it begins.

The Clearer the Vision the Louder the Critics

Many leaders often naively think that everyone is going to automatically love the vision as much as they do. They strongly and clearly cast the vision, and much to their surprise, they are often met with resistance and criticism. The truth is the clearer you articulate the vision the more criticism you will receive. There are always naysayers both inside and outside the organization. Jesus was criticized to the point it ended up costing His life. If you’re the leader and you’re not prepared for criticism, then be careful how clearly you articulate the vision.

The Clearer the Vision the More People Will Leave You

Vision is not only a rallying cry but also a jumping off point. The clearer the vision is articulated not only will people join you, but people will leave you as well. This happened to Jesus Himself when in John chapter 6 He literally goes from 1,000’s of people following him to by the end of the chapter it’s just the twelve. If you’re the leader and you’re not okay with people leaving you, be careful how clearly you articulate the vision.

I’ll be the first guy in line to say that clear vision is needed in any effective organization or church. But clear vision by itself simply isn’t enough.

Posted in Leadership


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