Why Churches Die

Leaders are continual learners. As a result of my readings and experiences I’ve seen why churches die, and six other hard leadership lessons:

why churches die

Leaders are continual learners. As a result of my readings and experiences I’ve seen why churches die, and six other hard leadership lessons:

Why Churches Die

A friend recently asked me why a particular church was dying. The church had finally admitted they were in trouble and were seeking his help in finding solutions. I pointed out the church had a rich history but was located in an urban area heavily populated with young multi-ethnic creatives along with high-capacity business professionals. When you pull up the church’s staff page, everyone was over 60 years old and wearing coats and ties. When your entire staff will likely be out of the ministry in 10 years, it is an indication your church will likely be out of the ministry in 10 years as well. Get younger (too old), more relevant (outdated ministry approach), more engaged with your community (too inward thinking) and more multi-ethnic (too homogenous) before it is too late.

6 Other Hard Leadership Lessons

Dealing With Sin

Craig Groeschel rocked my world at a Global Leadership Summit a few years ago. He said, “Why would I want to resist a temptation tomorrow that I can eliminate today?” For more from Craig’s amazing session read 2015 Leadership Summit—39 Leadership Quotes From Craig Groeschel.

The Relationship Between Trust and Confidence

The death spiral for any employee or team member is when they lose confidence and their manager/superior also loses confidence AND trust in them. When someone has lost confidence, as a leader, even if you do not currently trust them, you must maintain confidence in them. As the leader, you set the tone. Your confidence will rebuild their confidence. And most likely, when their confidence is restored, their performance will improve as well regaining your trust.

Six Ways to Deal With Alpha Males:

1. Provide direct answers, be brief and to the point; confrontation may be necessary to gain their attention.
2. Ask “what” questions, not how.
3. Stick to business.
4. Stress logic of ideas or approaches.
5. When in agreement, agree with facts and ideas, not the person.
6.  If timelines or sanctions exists, get them into the open but relate them to end RESULTS or GOALS.

Leaders Are Held to a Higher Standard

They are asked to pay a higher price. After a June 2009 practice, then Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said of star defensive tackle John Henderson, “John has a shoulder that, back when I played, nobody would’ve missed a snap. (Vince) Lombardi might be rolling over. It’s disappointing to see him pull himself out. I’m not going to worry about somebody who’s pulled himself out of a drill. You can’t lead and act that way. Everybody has to determine their own tolerance for pain. Frankly, it’s embarrassing for me to even be talking about it.”

Indecisiveness Puts Others in Jeopardy

The National Transportation Safety Board ruled a 2013 Southwest Airlines crash at LaGuardia Airport resulted because “the captain’s decision to take control of the airplane at 27 feet above the ground did not allow her adequate time to . . .  prevent the nose landing gear from striking the runway.”

Forgiveness Increases With Increased Performance

Performance covers a multitude of sins. It is just a fact. Steve Rosner, co-founder of 16W Marketing, said, “After having a terrible run, people are saying decent things about him (New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez) because he’s having a pretty good performance on the field. Now if he was hitting .210 with no home runs, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

This article on why churches die originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

Brian Dodd
Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See www.briandoddonleadership.com for additional insights.