Five Ways Pastors Hurt Their Church Growth
Learn the mandates of pastor leadership
Three Mandates of Turnaround Pastoral Leadership
What makes a leader rejoice and become thankful? When a leader sees personal and organizational progress. Progress is when a pastor observes people’s lives being changed, church service attendance increases, spiritual commitment deepens, and finances increase—then the pastor has the freedom to expand serving and evangelizing others and hire the right staff and compensate them properly. I am humbled by the truth that 95% of Senior and Lead pastors whom I coach with the Holy Spirit’s help see an immediate increase in people saved, healed, and delivered as well as solid, responsible stewardship and financial growth. This has created thankful pastors who spread the word around about my ministry and leadership coaching programs. What makes a leader frustrated? The opposite is true: personal and organizational stagnation. Lack of spiritual hunger, decreasing conversions, attendance plateau or decline, frayed relationships, waning discipleship, and financial struggles. I cannot tell you how many leaders prior to receiving coaching told me that there were days, weeks, or just a few months away from quitting. In fact, many confessed they considered quitting every Monday. Are you in a season of progress or stagnation? Progress is the constant movement toward your God-given dreams and goals and a better life. Let’s look at the Three Leadership Mandates that will help you increase your leadership intelligence (LQ) so you can move forward and fulfill your ministry assignment.
Mandate 1 – See it as it is.
The first mandate of leadership is not to just “be positive.” One of my megachurch pastor clients thought if he would just keep thinking positive, problematic ministry leaders would change in his church. I told him, “If I were you, I would quickly fire some of your disgruntled employees,” and I named a few. He did not listen to me and the negative staff, along with the congregants they influence, actually ran him out of his church after he had started the church and pastored there for thirty-seven years. You can think positive thoughts about your church all day long—but negative things will continue to fester. Tell yourself nothing but the truth. If you want to be successfully effective, you have to start telling yourself the truth. Refuse living in denial. If you are not progressing, then realize that what you have been doing is not working. There is nothing wrong with having a problem…unless it’s the same problem you had last year. • It’s hard to admit your church is not growing because your sermons are only “good” simply because you are not spending the time necessary to preach “GREAT” messages. • It’s hard to admit that your church is not growing because you have not equipped 100 or more highly qualified leaders in your church, and you have been pastoring 5, 10, or even 20+ years. • It’s hard to admit that your church is not growing because you don’t have the leadership skills necessary to lead a church the size of God’s dreams for your church. On the other hand, it’s easy to blame the economy, your geographical area, and your church members for the lack of spiritual, numerical, and financial growth. As I am sure you have preached to others, “The truth will set you free.” Increase your Leadership Intelligence (LQ) by memorizing this: LQ SOLUTION: NOTHING CAN GET BETTER UNTIL YOU ADMIT SOMETHING IS WRONG.
Mandate 2 – See it better than it is.
Great leaders have trained themselves to look beyond “what is” and have learned to use their God-given imagination to see what “could be.” Great leaders only tolerate the present and live in the future. Everything created was actually created twice—first in the mind then in the realm of the physical. Refuse to see things worse than they really are. Some leaders see a thing worse than what it is so they have an excuse for not doing anything about it. It’s time to cut your excuses in half and double the actions you take as a leader. I don’t know how often I have seen leaders get stuck because they are afraid to either fire a person who is underperforming or too afraid to make the one change they know they have needed to make for a long time. I graciously encouraged one pastor to fire a poor-performing children’s church pastor. He said, “If I fire this person, he will start another church, and I will lose 50-100 people.” After an entire year of working with the disgruntled, lazy associate pastor, he finally fired him. Nobody left the church, and the children’s church doubled in size in four months. I lovingly told one pastor he preached too long. He said, “If I preach for only a half hour, almost everybody in my church would leave next week.” When he finally decided to take my advice and told his leaders he was going to preach for half an hour, the entire team stood up and applauded. By the way, his church started growing after that, and he broke the 1,000-member barrier. The number one responsibility of a leader is to see. Jesus said you are the blind leading the blind and the blind lead everybody into the ditch. Point people in the direction of a bigger, brighter, and better future. See things ten times better than what they are! LQ SOLUTION: WHAT IS SEEABLE BECOMES BELIEVALBE AND WHAT IS BELIEVEALBE BECOMES POSSIBLE.
Mandate 3 – Make it the new way you see it.
The third mandate of leadership is do whatever it takes to make what you see on the inside manifested on the outside. You need some TRACTION—a TRAC to take ACTION on. In order to turn your ministry dreams into reality, you need a detailed strategic plan to give you the TRAC you need to run on. I have coached some leaders who have notebooks full of plans, but they fail to execute the proper action steps needed to move their churches and ministries forward. It’s of the utmost importance that you get a successfully proven M.A.P.—Massive Action Plan! A fool with a plan can outsmart a genius with no plan. –T. Boone Pickens, Texas billionaire and successful businessman LQ SOLUTON: A DREAM WITHOUT A STRATEGIC PLAN IS A FANTASY, AND A DREAM WITHOUT TAKING MASSIVE ACTION WILL BECOME A NIGHTMARE. Smart leaders leverage the advantages of a personal consultant or coach. Don’t try to make the changes alone. Don’t rely on your own wisdom. What got you “here” will not get you “there.” Proverbs 15:22 paraphrased says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers [coaches, consultants, mentors] they succeed.” I truly hope you have enjoyed this blog post and welcome you to learn about the Devils 5 lies and the Lords 5 truths in the next video here!