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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.

21 Jan '15

Transformational ministries with toxic staff cultures

Posted by T.J. Addington
There is a disconnect in many ministries that claim to be about transformation. That disconnect is that their own internal staff cultures are often toxic, dysfunctional and highly untransformed. It is a sickness that pervades even high profile ministries that purport to be on the forefront of leadership and transformational ministries.

If our staff cultures are not healthy we do not have the moral ground to claim that our ministry is about transformation. There are too many places where fear and intimidation and lack of care for staff is the norm. It usually reflects the senior leader's lack of EQ or concern for those on their staff. It is often fueled by a leader's drive to succeed or their own insecurities. Whatever the cause it is inexcusable and sad. And not consistent with the kind of cultures that reflect the culture of Jesus.

Healthy staff cultures are marked by these kind of characteristics.

  • All are treated with dignity
  • Grace is extended in all situations - even when tough issues are being dealt with
  • Truth is spoken in grace
  • People are developed, empowered and valued
  • Candid discussion is valued
  • People are in their "lane" or sweet spot
  • Men and women are treated equally
  • There is a high value in helping people become all they can be
  • Leaders serve their staff to help them be successful
  • There is clarity of roles and people are given the tools to do their jobs
  • Teamwork is highly valued
  • Relationships are collegial 
  • Opinions are valued
  • Staff find their roles fulfilling because they understand the mission they are contributing to
  • There is high trust
  • Fairness is practiced in all situations
  • Appreciation is regularly expressed
How does your staff culture measure up and where could you do better? Transformation starts at home, in our own ministries. As ministry leaders our commitment to transformation starts with our own staff.

See also:
Signs you work in a toxic workplace

Signs you work in a healthy workplace


All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence,  are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.