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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

17 Aug '12

Why leaders who lack personal discipline and intentionality run the risk of losing the ministry they have built

There are a significant number of leaders who are able to grow a church or ministry to a fairly large size - and then are asked to leave  the ministry they have built by their board. While there are many reasons one can be asked to leave, one that I have observed over the years revolves around the discipline of the leader to lead with intentionality and focus.

I would describe these leaders as people full of energy, a plethora of ideas, significant vision and often running in many different directions. The energy and ideas often get a church off the ground or a ministry started, and even to a significant size.

However, the larger the organization, the more stability it needs and the very thing that may have helped get them to where they are becomes a liability if the leader cannot modify his or her behaviors to provide stability for the ministry. Small ministries can deal with a fair amount of organizational chaos. The larger it grows the less able it is to do so  and the best staff will not put up with an undisciplined or rapidly changing directional environment.

The discipline and intentionality of leaders is a significant issue not only for their own leadership stewardship but because their intentionality or lack of it impacts others in either positive or negative ways. Disciplined leaders provide structure and stability to their organization and staff. 

Undisciplined leaders bring uncertainty, instability and even chaos as staff try to figure out where they are going and seek to respond to the changing directions of undisciplined leadership. Eventually leaders and staff get tired of the lack of directional stability which creates tension between the senior leader and the key leadership personnel of the ministry. Often, by this time, it is too late for the senior leader to regain the confidence of the staff and board.

As organizations need to grow and mature, so do the leaders who lead them. When they don't they run a high risk of losing what they have built.