How To Gain & Get Church Growth
Marketplace Leaders Suffer Fewer Fatalities by Applying Pragmatic Scriptural Principles
Corporate Uses Biblical Management & Leadership Principles
Secular organizations in corporate America know how to apply biblical management and leadership principles very effectively. As a result, they are exceptionally successful compared to most churches and ministries. They do not know and do not attribute, in most cases, their success to the Bible—the greatest management and leadership book ever written—or to Jesus Christ, the greatest leader who ever lived. God is not a respecter of persons. His wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are there for the taking (see Prov. 24:3-4). For example, secular organizations understand the power of discipleship. They don’t call it that, they call it coaching, but they execute and emulate the principles required to disciple—and for good reason. They understand that to have consistent growth and to expand into new and emerging markets, they must place a premium on training and developing their core people. Last year, IBM spent $100 million to develop 30,000 new leaders (disciples). GE had had a world class training center for decades. You do not get a raise at GE if you do not train and develop your people and create successors. Two years without a raise, and GE fires you. This has allowed GE to expand from the appliance business into other sectors, such as aerospace, finance, healthcare, and biotech. That is the “sending” process. Secular CEOs call this leadership development, constructing the leadership pipeline, and developing a leadership engine. In the ministry we have not developed enough leaders to meet God’s mandates. We have simply developed professional spectators who know how to “do church” but not lead. Organizational transformation must start with Senior Pastors understanding the dysfunctional environment they have created.
What Are Some Symptoms of Dysfunction?
Dysfunctional Symptom 1 – A leader’s lack of intimacy with God. When business for Him is not drawing us closer to Him, then spirituality has become performance, work is spiritually underdeveloped, and Jesus is not growing bigger in the leader. (see Gal. 3:3.) When a leader keeps giving out and does not take anything in…trouble begins. There is a loss of enthusiasm (entheos, Greek), a loss of God within. This often leads to becoming backslidden in the pulpit. Stress is not caused by hard work but by failing to secure the right object of our trust. Many leaders are adrenaline junkies. They idolize the work of the Lord: thus, the ministry becomes a mistress. Their relationship with the Lord is consumed with menial ministry matters—usually trying to help crazy, critical, and complaining people in the church who don’t really want to change. I ask pastors, “Where is your intimacy with God? Do you go to Him just to get a message or a word for others, or do you have times when the Holy Spirit can bring correction or conviction, strength or power to you?” When they describe their level of intimacy with God, most of them tell me they are somewhere between five and six on a scale of one to ten. Dysfunctional Symptom 2 – Disciples are not made; major mistakes are made and major opportunities are missed. For one example, according to Matthew 28:19-20, our principal objective and reason for existence is to reach the lost and disciple them. However, the average church in the United States retains only 10-15% of those God sends to them (a major mistake), which means we are not effectively assimilating, restoring, and discipling 85-90% (a major opportunity missed). Instead of the Great Commission, we have the Great Omission. As a result, ministries lose God’s provision—between one-third to two-thirds of their annual tithes and offerings. What is worse is that in all likelihood, 95% of those reading this article do not even know what their discipleship rate is. Do you? If so, what is it? Think about this—on the most important bottom-line responsibility, leaders have no idea where they stand. What does that say about our profitability for God? He is the principal investor. What is His return on investment? Can you imagine the CEO of any corporation, at their annual shareholders’ meeting, not knowing whether the corporation was profitable and what the return on the shareholders’ investment is? Why don’t leaders know what is going on with priority matters? It’s as if they are focusing on rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. To varying degrees, most ministry leaders are out of position: they’re doing the work of others instead of leading others in their work. They are being busy with crisis, chaos, needs, complaints, and problems—all kinds of micro matters. Being busy is not the criteria for success. That’s why I help Senior Pastors create a “stop-doing” list instead of a “to do” list. Jesus did not meet every need. He said, “I must go be with the Father.” Why? So He could accomplish the primary purpose for which He was sent. Ministry leaders must accomplish the primary purpose for which they were preordained from the beginning of time and reach the destiny for which they were created—a far more important assignment than that of any corporate CEO. Dysfunctional Symptom 3 – Leaders are not being properly developed. A third symptom is lack of leadership development. Leadership is the stewardship of those entrusted to us. The Lord charges leaders to add value to those He has placed in their care. It is not what we can get out of people but what we can put into them that matters. God’s perspective is much different from ours. He places people in our care and entrusts them to us, because we have something in us that He needs in them, so that ten years from now they can take what is in you around the world. Otherwise, He would have given them to someone else. The Lord is the God of transformation and transactions. Foremost, He wants His people transformed in the process of transacting His mandates. Just as the servants in the Parable of the Talents were given the charge to add value to what the master entrusted to them, so it is with the talents of people. Adding no value is wicked and slothful, says the Master. Leadership development is more than sayings, slogans, theories, lectures, and steps. Developing leaders requires learning from every situation through committed, real-time coaching and capitalizing on every teachable moment. That’s the discipleship Jesus modeled. When I help pastors set up the proper structure for church growth, the number one problem we run into is finding enough quality people to get the job done. The cry of most pastors: “I need leaders to help me!” We must take a serious look at the entire process of what happens to people when they come into our churches as a wanderers and then what happens to them once they are immersed into the culture of our church. What kind of person do they become after a year on the other side? Church member? Follower? Leader? Ready For Our Next Video? Click Here to see it! I truly hope you have enjoyed and learned from this video. I welcome your comments!