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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.

19 Dec '11

Leadership waste in the church

OK, let's talk about an elephant in the church! I often hear pastors say that they need to train leaders and I often scratch my head because most pastors are not great leaders. That does not mean that they don't lead because by definition their job is one of leadership. But often the best leaders in the congregation are not pastors but men and women in the church whose gifting and jobs are leadership in the secular arena. But because they are not trained pastors, somehow, they don't qualify to lead in the church.

The greatest waste of leadership capital ever is found in the local church where leaders are not released to use their leadership gifts by pastors who are threatened by those who have stronger leadership gifts than themselves. 

I often talk to leaders who feel disenfranchised in their own church and who leave those churches for a place where their gifts are desired and used. And I think, what a waste! It is a loss for them, for the congregation and most of all for the kingdom. And I have to believe that Jesus cares a lot since He is the Lord of the Church and gave the leadership gifts!


Because of our mission, there should be no place where collaboration is more common than in the local church. Not competition but collaboration for the sake of the expansion of the gospel. This kind of collaboration, however requires pastoral staff who are not threatened by strong leaders in the congregation. In fact, rather than being threatened, they see that leadership capital as a bank of opportunity that can be tapped for greater ministry results. Rather than fearing strong leaders they embrace them and mobilize them for ministry impact.

I believe that God will hold Christian leaders accountable for the extent to which they empower all of God's people to use their ministry gifts in the church. That includes leadership gifts. I know many wonderful leaders who are not invited to use their leadership gifts in ministry because of the fear of ministry leaders who see other leaders as a threat to them.

Lets be real. We all have fears and we are all vulnerable to insecurities. But we must always remember that ministry is not about us but about the people of God being released for maximum ministry impact. Pastors may be insecure about their leadership acumen. Lay leaders may be insecure about their theological acumen. Together, however, they make a powerful combination.