Personality-driven (Celebrity culture) leadership styles, fragmented internal communications and relational church politics are “kryptonite” to the empowering and releasing of next generation leaders. How can we reach the world and release young leaders into ministry if we are concerned with the competition down the street or within our own church staff and volunteers? Ministry leadership should not mimic the leadership style of secular politics or Hollywood, and yet somehow it does in some church organizations.
These three items are what I call the “Three Pillars of a Anti-Leadership Culture.”
1. A personality driven culture revolves around a single person or personality. Rather than discipling and empowering leaders to surpass them, this leadership style creates a lid and a world that is centered their ability to lead. Young leaders within the organization requiring mentorship and release will not find it here; instead they will be met with mistrust, gossip, and at times being sidelined. Ultimately the ministry will implode if transformation to an outward and leadership focus doesn’t take place. I encourage you to read the “The Personality Factor” – an Outreach Magazine interview with Brad Abare and Phil Cooke.
2. The silo effect is a lack of communication, sharing of goals and community between departments within an organization. Sometimes, this is seen in larger churches with many ministries, departments, and personnel. Decisions are made that are not passed down to the rest of the organization, or information is only given to a select group. This why building authentic community and trust among staff and volunteers are vitally important. Real community has to be cultivated and nurtured; not executed or treated like an event or church service. When there is deep community among the staff; there is deep community among the congregation. But, when there is a silo effect among the staff; there is a silo effect among the congregation. When it comes to communications and building deep community, the congregation will always mirror what is happening among the staff.
3. Decision-making and implementation often runs into the hidden dragon of ministry: church politics. Sometimes it’s a controlling leader or second tier leader, sometimes it’s in the flow of communication, or hidden deep in years of tradition. Clear vision and a commitment from all the leaders are essential to eliminating politics within the organization. Politics are meant to mask the truth and cover insecurity. Politics protect leaders from blame or taking responsibility. Church politics are meant to protect tradition and is the enemy of change and progression.