Having served on the ground with over 500 churches, our team has identified some common core issues that seem to get churches stuck. Last week, we addressed the core issue of churches with an inward focus. It’s clear that when this issue takes root, the church is headed towards decline.
Today we’re talking about a different kind of core issue; one that causes churches to stunt their own growth and potential. It’s the challenge of empowering leaders, especially high-level volunteer leaders, in the ministry of the church.
COMMON CORE ISSUE: EMPOWERING LEADERS
Ephesians 4:11-12 says that “Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Yet a lot of our time is spent trying to do all the work of the ministry by ourselves.
This week, Amy and I were joined by Andrea Lathrop, Executive Pastor of Leadership Development at Oaks Church and a consultant with us at The Unstuck Group. Andrea recently received her Doctorate of Ministry in Leadership and Global Perspectives after completing her doctoral thesis on empowering leaders, so we knew she was the best person to talk to when it came to exploring this core issue.
As leaders, we know that there are only so many hours in a day and that, if we want the impact of our ministry to grow and multiply, we have to begin giving leadership away and empowering others to do the work of the church. Andrea described it as learning how to “change the world without exhausting ourselves.” But a lot of the time it’s easier said than done. Andrea and Amy discussed:
- 3 key ministry mindset shifts
- The cultural conditions needed for leadership development
- Balancing excellence and empowerment
- Creating a staffing pipeline for future leaders