Originally posted on Fr Stephen Smuts:
- You lack a leadership empowerment plan. We have failed as leaders in the church if we do not embrace the unique gift-mix that God designed. And we won’t fully know the power and impact of the local church until people are empowered to be the people God wired them up to be.
- You are unclear about your vision and mission. There are lots of churches with vision statements, but I don’t think there are very many churches that really have a vision statement that clarifies who they are as an organization. A clear vision that is properly communicated will both rally and repel people.
- You blame outsiders and external factors. Victim-thinking will only lead to bitterness and competition. Leaders who blame outsiders and external factors actually are confessing their own failure to think creatively and inspire their team.
- Your structure inhibits growth. One of the attributes of a church in decline is a complex structure. The natural tendency of organizations is to add complexity to their structure and systems. The longer an organization exists, the more complex it typically gets.
- You worship your past success. Our past successes can be one of the greatest contributing factors to our future demise. When organizations stick to “the way we do it,” the safe approach of avoiding innovation and change becomes the riskiest approach.
- You focus on activities instead of outcomes. While many church leaders are full of vision and passion, they lack an effective strategy to accomplish their mission. That leads to a feeling of disorganization, and ultimately they become stuck.
- You fail to equip God’s people. For whatever reason, smaller churches I work with have a tendency to rely on the pastors and paid staff to carry the ministry load rather than equipping lay people.
- Your ministries ignore people outside the church. When churches become inward-focused and start making decisions about ministry to keep people rather than reach people, they also start to die.