Choose Your Leaders Wisely

Declining churches do not choose their leaders wisely. In a leadership committee meeting it is often overheard "Let's nominate Barbara, having a leadership position might reactivate her attendance at worship," or "I nominate Bill, it will serve him right for missing tonight's meeting," (followed by a round of good natured laughter). Behaviors like this are deadly. When we say and do these things we have condemned our local church to ongoing decline. The worst offense, however, is when we nominate someone just to fill a slot. In one church there was an angry man who had no relational skills nominated and elected to be president of the local church men's group. Over the years, new leaders had not been groomed from within the group and no one else wanted to serve. The group began with 20 men in regular attendance each month and within 3 years was done to 4 loyal, lifelong churchmen. Those who remained were there out of duty and not because there was any hope to make new disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world.

In still another church there was a woman who during choir practice had been known to throw her music across the room. She had cursed out other local church leaders and called them liars. She refused to "play well with others" and consequently, no one wanted to work with her. Yet she  named herself as leader for the local church Fall Festival. No one would challenge her because they were afraid of her angry outbursts. In addition no one challenged her because none of the long term leaders of that church was willing to take on the job themselves. Predictably, the Fall Festival was no longer an outreach tool and the local church continued its precipitous decline.

It is better not to have a men's group then to have one led by someone clearly not gifted for the job. It is better not to have a Fall Festival when your leader is not only ineffective but openly contemptuous of the goals for the Fall Festival. The message is "Do not do any ministry if effective leadership is not available for the task." Find team players. Grow leaders from within your newest disciples. Wait until next year if your current pool of leaders is not adequate for the experience. Every local church participant is not a leader and some who believe they are called to leadership have yet to demonstrate basic leadership gifts. Avoid disaster, cancel the activity, and grow new leaders ASAP.