The Biggest Mistake Church Leaders Make
I once heard an interview with a participant of Dancing With The Stars. He made an interesting observation when he said, “These dancers don’t get enough credit for having the skill to dance down to their partner.”
Recently I had an opportunity to spend some time with the greatest volunteer leader I have seen in my 26 years of church leadership. In addition to being an incredible volunteer and a friend for over 15 years, he is a high-ranking executive at an organization that each of us is very familiar with.
This gentleman is extremely polished, very classy, has off-the-charts creativity, and is probably the most intelligent person I know. Most importantly, he is a very Godly man and friend to dozens of very visible Christian leaders. He has also served on countless leadership teams at his local church.
I told him the quote from Dancing With The Stars and asked him, “Please understand my heart on this. I’m sure you have been in dozens of meetings that must have been frustrating and drove you crazy. How were you able to not get frustrated and not just walk out or blow the meeting up?” He smiled and gave a fascinating answer.
“Brian, I understand what you’re asking and it’s a few things.”
- He said, “It sounds trite but it really is all about Jesus.”
- He went on to add, “Also, the people in the room are just like those you’re trying to reach. If they have questions, I always figured many people in our congregation did as well.”
- And then he gave me an answer that stunned me. “And finally, Brian, it has been my experience that the biggest mistake church leaders make is they don’t think big enough. I always try to help leaders think big and not get stuck in the weeds. I figure if you think big enough, the weeds will take care of themselves.”
He then concluded by saying he never remembered being in a meeting that was not a productive meeting.
I’ve given a lot of thought to Big Thinking Church Leaders since that conversation. The following are 14 Habits Of Pastors and Church Leaders Who Think Big:
- They view financial decisions as investments rather than as an expense.
- They value partnerships. They understand that one can put 1000 to flight to two can put 10,000.
- They see what people could be rather than what they are.
- They value the next generation and proactively enlist them in key positions.
- They build bridges with people of different races and socio-economic statuses.
- They create change rather than react to it.
- They trust their church staffs.
- Core values matter.
- Mission, vision, and direction are prioritized over daily details.
- They are constantly looking 5 to 10 years ahead.
- They expand their worldview and ministry experience by looking outside their individual church walls or denominational confines to see how God is working elsewhere.
- They are incessant team builders. The more people involved in achieving the church’s mission and vision, the better.
- They are optimists. They focus on why things can work rather than why they can’t.
- They believe God can do anything.
Pastors and church leaders, I only have one tough question for you. As a leader, do you think big enough?
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