The biggest favor you can do for your pastor and church is to carefully guard the gate of who gets into church leadership. After 25 years of consulting with churches and church leaders I can fairly say that one of the top reasons that churches experience trouble comes down to one issue. They did not guard the gate and allowed the wrong people into leadership. It is also one of the most frustrating issues that pastors face. If you wonder why churches don't see more ministry results? Often it comes down to leadership in the church - the wrong leaders.

In addition, the larger the church the more critical this is as the leadership ability of leaders needed grows with church growth. Think of how carefully businesses vet those who they put in leadership and then consider how little attention is paid to who we put into church leadership where the stakes are eternal not quarterly. What amazes me is that even in churches where there have been significant issues, leaders still resist rethinking how they choose leaders. Personally I would not serve a church that did not take this seriously because it directly impacts the senior leader, staff and congregation.

Often I hear people say that anyone who is Godly is qualified to serve in church leadership. That is a fantasy! Yes, we all agree Godliness is necessary for church leadership but it is not the only qualification. What about wisdom; discernment; the ability to make hard decisions; the ability to think critically; the ability to think about the future; the ability to evaluate ministry and navigate tough issues? It is often said that the local church is the most complex organization in the world to lead (no other than Peter Drucker) and yet we are so lax in who we let in to lead. Is it any wonder we get ourselves into trouble? I know many wonderful Godly people who do not have the gift of leadership and do not belong in a leadership role. Bad leadership decisions in the church are the result of the wrong people in leadership!

Think about how carefully we choose a senior pastor for our congregations. We look at fit, character, Godliness, gifting, EQ, ability to lead, and many other things. And we mobilize the church to pray through the process. Then think of how little attention we pay to those who the senior pastor must work with and in many ways will either make him successful or not. This is a major disconnect in many churches. A great pastor and a problematic board never works well. Yet we pay attention to the first and little attention to the second. This does not compute! 

Let me ask:
  • Does your church have a clear job description and list of qualifications for those who serve in church leadership?
  • Do you train those who choose candidates as to what they are looking for?
  • Do you train those who are going to serve on your board or do they just show up and have to figure it out themselves?
  • How much prayer goes into the selection of church leaders?
  • Do you vet for fit, character, godliness, ability to lead, EQ and what the board needs at this time?
  • How would you rate the quality of your current board? Could you do better? What do you need to do to guard the gate better.
Bottom line, churches should pay as much attention to whom they put on the board as they do to whom they choose as a pastor. 

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.
  • Oct 07, 2014
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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