The Fastest Way to Destroy a Team

Leading a church is difficult. It’s made even more difficult when everyone on the team is not on the same page. If you’re smart, you do your best to make sure all discussions and debates happen behind closed doors with the appropriate leaders and that everyone understands why you’re making certain decisions and the strategy behind it. Once a decision is made, it’s your job to own it, whether you agree with it or not. Not owning it is the fastest way to destroy a team.

I haven’t always got this right, but I learned really quickly that in order to be united as a church I had to stand behind the pastor’s decisions.

That means sometimes I have to support decisions that I don’t like.

It means sometimes I may not like how those decisions impact my volunteers and church.

And it means sometimes I have to come off as the bad guy even though it’s not my fault.

It would be a lot easier for me to just pass the blame onto the pastor, or the board, or whoever is responsible for making the decisions. It would make me look better, and I could avoid any backlash or confrontation. But it also would destroy the unity in the church.

Part of my job is to protect my pastor and my church. If I’m not willing to deal with difficult issues and own the decision that was made, I’m not doing my job.

The same goes for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a church staff or if you’re a volunteer. You need to own the decisions the leadership makes in your church. If you can’t do that, you need to find a new church to attend.

If you’re a lead pastor reading this and you have someone on your team who refuses to own decisions and is always throwing you under the bus, you need to confront them. If you don’t, they’re going to keep you stressed out. Ask them to straighten up, and if they don’t, ask them to leave. It’s that important.

Have you ever had to deal with this issue? How did you handle it? Let us know by leaving a comment below. If you found this post helpful, would you do me a favor and share it with another pastor or church leader? Let’s work together to strengthen small town pastors around the world.

One of the Biggest Mistakes Pastors Make

Who are you spending your time with? It’s a very important question, and one you need to answer honestly. Because your time is limited, who you spend it with matters more than you think. The mistake many small town pastors make is allowing the wrong people to take up the majority of their time.

I read a story a few years ago about a retail company that did the math and discovered that 5% of their customers were accounting for 80% of their customer service calls. To make matters worse, these same customers were accounting for less than 1% of their profit.

That sounds like a lot of small town churches. Eighty percent of the complaints come from five percent of the congregation, and typically that 5% are not giving or serving. Yet, we make the huge mistake of spending time with them.

Why?

As pastors, we want to make everyone happy, and most of us absolutely hate conflict. We think if we spend enough time with our critics, we can somehow make them understand.

Can I just tell you, that’s rarely the case. There are some people you are never going to make happy no matter how hard you try. I don’t even think they want to understand. I think in most circumstances, they just enjoy conflict.

So, let me encourage you to do the same thing this retail company did. They wrote a nice note letting these customers know they wouldn’t be able to help them anymore, and they helped them find somewhere else to take their business.

You should do something similar. The next time you get cornered by that same person who always has a complaint, let them know you love them, but they would probably be happier at another church.

Once you do this enough, you’ll find that you have way more time to spend with those people who are excited about the vision and want to help you accomplish it.

Your time is valuable. Don’t waste it by giving it to the loudest voices. Be intentional about who you spend your time with. Invest in those who can help you make the church better, and encourage those who only want to complain to take their complaints somewhere else.

Who is the thorn in your side? What do they love complaining about? Leave a comment and get it off your chest. I promise you’ll feel better. And if you want to know more about turning around a struggling church, subscribe to the blog and get my new Ebook for free.