5 Things Limiting Your Church Leadership Effectiveness

Knowing the difference between being busy and being effective is essential for church leadership. Running from task to task and having a jam-packed schedule doesn’t mean anything if you rush your work or complete it to a sub-par standard. Church leadership is often overwhelming, and being a pastor is no easy feat. But did you know that simply rearranging your tasks could free up a significant amount of time in your day? We all have the same 24 hours in a day – all that differs is how we use them.

Chris Holland
July 20, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

How to Become a Better Leader

Female leader teaching others

How we view and manage our schedules impacts the ways in which we approach our lives. Switching it up can enhance effectiveness in all corners of our lives. Harnessing this and extending it to your work life will give you more control while boosting your leadership skills.

Are you struggling to keep up with the workload expected of you? Keep reading for the top five mistakes church leaders make that hinder church leadership effectiveness.

1. Your Own Spiritual Growth is Stagnant

Trying to grow spritually through worship

Once you have made it to the role of a church leader, you are pretty much at the top of your church. That means you can stop seeking self-improvement and spiritual growth, right? Wrong. 

It can be easy to forget about your relationship with God as a person rather than as a pastor, but if this weakens your bond with God, your success as a leader will dwindle. There is no shortcut around this, and constant connection will keep you grounded in your leadership role.

While you may believe that your bond with God is strong, can you assess whether or not it is stagnating? Everyone should prioritize nurturing their unique personal relationship with the Lord, as forgetting to do so can cause your church to plateau.

2. You Don’t Show Your Vulnerable Side

Young leader feeling vulnerable

Some people mistakenly believe leaders should be infallible, dependable figures with no weaknesses, only strengths — but this is a fallacy. As God created us all with vulnerabilities, pretending you have none tends to be one of the tell-tale signs of bad church leadership. It suggests a superiority complex in a person.

Members of your community will appreciate a genuine leader who shares things about their personal life, as it allows people an insight into who you really are. Cold and stoic figures may be impenetrable, but they are rarely loved as a leader by the people.

Great leaders know how to be real with their vulnerabilities, as it shows them as more authentic and approachable. Learning how to ask for help, be honest about problems, and take direction in challenging situations will make a good leader truly unstoppable.

3. You Lack Balance in Your Life

Person walking on a fallen tree trying to balance

Knowing when to say no is just as important as knowing when to go above and beyond. Pastoral roles require a deep connection with the congregation, but when this goes too far (and no personal boundaries are formed), it’s easy to become overworked.

Church leaders do God’s work every day, but this doesn’t mean they need to work flat out while doing it. Remember: You are of no use to your people if you are burnt out, exhausted, or miserable, so prioritize making time for yourself. If you feel powerless or overwhelmed by work, check out our blog to learn how to spot burnout.

If your church responsibilities cause family engagements to get pushed aside or you fail to be there for friends, reassess your boundaries in the workplace. There are always people there to help you – you just need to let them know you need it.

4. You Struggle to Delegate Tasks

Working on tasks alone and not delegating

Church leadership relies heavily on task delegation, as no one person could do it alone. From the helping hands of church volunteers to children’s ministry leaders, other people are vital to the daily running of the church. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to help you decide which tasks to prioritize and which to delegate.

Knowing when to delegate a role and when to take it on yourself will keep things running smoothly and efficiently. Yes, mistakes might happen when you assign tasks to others, but this is the only way people will learn. Taking on too many roles yourself will make leading your church impossible.

When church leaders struggle to delegate tasks, they unknowingly limit the growth of individuals in their congregation. We all need to mess up sometimes, as it sows the seeds for personal development, enabling them to grow professionally and gain self-confidence.

5. You Don’t Use Organizational Strategies

Some of the most essential skills every leader must learn are organization, planning, and vision. After all, starting your day without a plan means your day ends up planning you. Don’t let yourself be vulnerable to the tides of the day, but make your mark with dedication and direction.

To-do lists may sound like an obvious tool for planning how to get things done with your day, but do you make to-do lists for different time scales too? Each serves a unique purpose but keeps you on track throughout the day, the week, the month, and the year.

Your yearly to-do list will be larger overarching goals, a monthly to-do list based on reaching relevant milestones, and the daily to-do list will be your step-by-step guide on how to get there. When you write lists this way, you equip yourself with a framework on how to achieve your wildest dreams.

Church Leadership Training Programs

If you feel stagnant in your leadership growth, attending church leadership training courses could be what you need. Motivate yourself with a friendly reminder of why you do what you do, and keep your leadership skills up to date. A good leader knows when they need a helping hand with improvement, so make sure to take a look at free leadership resources when you can.

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