While we would all like to report and ultimately experience something different, we all know the alarming statistics.  Fewer people are choosing to become part of clergy leadership (especially younger people).  The same is true for laity in the church.  The most common dilemma the church is facing is the lack of competent leadership – at all levels.  Other organizations are struggling to some degree, but not to the crisis level the church finds themselves in when it comes to the colossal crisis in the lack of quality leadership.  How do we find ourselves at such a place?  Following are ten ways the church has created their own leadership crisis:

  1. Warren Bennis reminds us, “Growing other leaders from the ranks isn’t just the duty of the leader, it’s an obligation.” Unfortunately, with too many pastor-centric teachings and models, leaders have not been raised up.
  2. There is a lack of accountability when it comes to leadership in the life of the church.  There is no accountability or consequences for the mission, vitality, or effective leadership.
  3. The Committee on Nominations has not been trained or equipped to understand that they are the leadership development body of the congregation.
  4. “Leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders.” says Tom Peters.  If a pastor does not trust laity to share Jesus with the unchurched, but instead feels the laity need to gather people and bring them to the pastor on Sunday to be taught by the “chosen/called one,” we are creating followers instead of empowered and equipped leaders.
  5. What leadership equipping that is done is done primarily for the preservation of the institution rather than for Kingdom impact.
  6. The job of the pastor and paid/unpaid staff/leaders of the church is to identify, recruit, equip and deploy people for ministry.  We have too many pastors and staff that find their worth and self-identity in doing the ministry rather than being people and team builders as intended.
  7. “My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.” Jack Welch reminded us.  Too often in ministry, we are unwilling to pull out the weeds and the weeds overtake the garden.
  8. Paying attention to diversity is critical, but we sometimes make decisions based only on diversity without also considering one’s giftedness and talent.
  9. Leadership in the church is often chosen based on representation rather than spiritual gifts or even more importantly on spiritual maturity, commitment, and accountability.
  10. Too often we have people leading without vision.  Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18

How is your church developing new leaders?  If you are looking for a resource on development a leadership development process, check out Launching Leaders by Kotan and Schroder and the On Demand Webinar of the same title.