July 24, 2017

7 Reasons Ministry Leaders Love the Chains That Hold Them Back

I’ve worked with and helped lead a few successful ministries, groups and organizations over the years, and have learned a great deal from these successes. 

At the same time, in the process of sharing what I’ve learned to help others enjoy the same success, I’ve learned that there are some who have a character of failure, and love the chains that hold them back.

In my efforts to coach (teach) and share with others in ministry, I have learned that just like there are common traits and characteristics that make for successful leaders and ministries, there are also common traits and characteristics that make for the opposite. 

Every wonder why there are ministries with leaders and teams who are willing to continue the status quo of being frustrated, stumbling, and failing when with a few simple changes their life and ministry would be so different?

I’ve actually known people who would rather watch their ministry burn before they would admit they were wrong or made a change. 

Here are seven reasons why: 
  1. Fear of Change. People want it their way, and they want it to stay the same way all the time. Change makes people uncomfortable, so they tend to cling to the traditional and the status quo for a sense of security.

  2. Fear of success. This kind of fear creates a culture of failure. However, I can relate to this kind of fear, as it relates to ministry.

    In many Christian circles, there is a culture that questions success. As soon as a leader or ministry becomes successful, people begin to question methods and motives.

    What needs to be understood in all Christian circles is that, fearing success hinders ministry vision, mission, goals, and purpose.

  3. Tradition. People tend to do what they know, and when they’ve done something in such a way for so long, they can’t conceive how changing would help.

    This kind of fear causes you to adjust to what is perceived as "the norm". You'll start to hesitate and over analyze details until you end up doing nothing at all. In the end, you'll feel even worse because now, you’re not doing anything.

    I’ve been talking on this issue for a long time in many of my blog posts and videos. Here are just a few:

    Time to Break The Rules of Ministry

    Don't Let Tradition Dictate How You Do Ministry

    6 Reasons Your Ministry Has Become Irrelevant

    From time to time, it becomes necessary to
    change the model or kill the mission

  4. Comfort has become more important than the work required. It is in our DNA to desire a comfort zone. Over time, those little foxes have crept in, and so now, being happy and comfortable has taken priority. 

  5. Embarrassment. You can never discount the impact of embarrassment, especially if the person is highly regarded and well known. For them, admitting the need for change would be a public repudiation of everything they’ve done over the years. They view it as humiliation and loss of respect. 

  6. Environment. Everybody else is doing it, or nobody else is doing it, so it must be OK. When everyone else they know, or when those in their inner circle look, talk and perform exactly alike, for many, there is no motivation to do anything different.

  7. Facing the truth. "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” I have discovered over time that people don't want the truth, because when faced with it, you are forced to accept responsibility. Too many people don't want that either. 
These are also hidden, unhealthy elements and patterns that can be dangerous to any ministry and its leaders. These blind spots are similar to blind spots in a car, areas that are hard to see, hidden and even ignored.

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