How to keep your Weaknesses from Destroying your Church

One of the realities of parenting is seeing my negative patterns and weaknesses replicated in my kids. It would be lovely if my kids reflected all of the strengths but none of my weaknesses.  But my kids in reality seem to pick up my weaknesses even more so than my strengths.

Are your weaknesses damaging your church?

Churches, like families, have leaders with strengths and weaknesses. In churches, however, we have the opportunity to pass our strengths on to our congregations but protect them from our weaknesses. A church that replicates the weaknesses of its pastor has an unhealthy leadership structure. Every leader has strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging this, my commitment as a pastor should be to bring my God-given gifts and strengths to my church but not have my weaknesses replicated in the church.

How can I keep my weaknesses from destroying my church?

 

1. Know and focus on your strengths.

Is it clear to you where you are strong and where God has gifted you? These are the areas that you should be leading in. For example, If you are strong with theology and teaching then focus on bringing these God-given strengths to your ministry. Spend as much time as possible in the areas where you are strong. Not sure where you are strongest?  Ask those around you what your top two or three strengths are and focus on bringing these to your congregation.

2. Know your weaknesses and empower others in these areas.

Here are two examples of pastoral leadership weakness that I often encounter:

Pastors who are weak in prayer. Many pastors are stronger at doing and weak at praying. I am not excusing your lack of prayer, but am encouraging you to admit a weakness that could be replicated in your congregation. Surround yourself with others who are given to prayer. Empower them with authority in this area. In doing this, you will be challenged to be more committed to prayer yourself, and will ensure that your struggle with self-dependency is not replicated in your congregation.

Pastors who love starting but rarely finish. Do you love the beginnings of things and have new ideas every day? Being a starter is a strength but also can be a weakness. Make sure that your leadership team has others who think differently than you in regards to staying the course. They will help protect you from yourself when you want to create a new church plan every 8 minutes.

3. Don’t set yourself up as Dictator.

If the buck stops with you on everything, your church will, in fact, reflect your weaknesses because you will have the authority to overrule anyone who sees things differently. Though I am not advocating an egalitarian leadership structure, I am encouraging you to allow others to lead where you are weak. Be willing to submit yourself to others who you know God has gifted the church with as well.

Remember God brings leaders to his church. Don’t be the only one in your church. And don’t let your church mimic your weaknesses.

What would you add to this?  Feel free to comment!

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Posted by Brian Howard

My focus is to help YOU move forward one step at a time. I write about church excellence, personal productivity, and family leadership. I coach leaders, start churches, and help organizations break growth barriers. My goal is to draw on this experience to help YOU move forward in life, leadership, and productivity.

  1. Good stuff. I’ve had to remember that some people love to do stuff that I hate to do or am not very good at. This allows me to delegate in an area of weakness without feeling bad.

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  2. […] Brian Howard: Churches, like families, have leaders with strengths and weaknesses. In churches, however, we have the opportunity to pass our strengths on our congregations but not pass on our weaknesses. A church that replicates the weaknesses of its pastor has an unhealthy leadership structure. Every leader has strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging this, my commitment as a pastor should be to bring my God-given gifts and strengths to my church but not have my weaknesses replicated in the church. […]

    Reply

  3. Great post Brian. Another way to prevent our personal weaknesses from damaging our churches is to build in intentional times of evaluation. Personal evaluation whereby our families and close friends can lean into us but also a time where staff can openly evaluate (criticize if necessary and done in a biblical manner) can help us maintain a reality of our weaknesses. I find that I often mask my weaknesses and pretend to think they don’t effect anyone else. Great stuff Brian – thanks!

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    1. Well said, Jason. Thanks!

      Reply

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