Church Consulting

Part 1: Leadership to Foster Innovative Church Cultures

Part 1: Leadership to Foster Innovative Church Cultures

As Christ-followers, we dream of being part of a Gospel movement that not only transforms people’s lives but the world around us. And yet, the world over, ministries are shrinking, and church attendance is declining. From the inside looking out, it appears that there are more time-consuming, inferior activities than ever creating overloaded schedules and leaving us increasingly frustrated with the demands of contemporary culture.

The reality is that around the globe, people are leaving churches and Christianity as they know it citing irrelevance, a disconnect between head and heart, and unrelatable church cultures as their primary reasons. In this four part series, we’ll be looking into how church leaders can help their Gospel communities better respond to this global trend.

Culture Changes Save Churches

Culture Changes Save Churches

Today’s Star Tribune article highlighting the trend of church doors closing and mainline denominations declining is sadly not surprising to a leadership consultant to churches. While there are a number of great things still happening in these aging congregations from soup kitchens to care for widows and the elderly, a glaring reality is that the congregations are in fact aging. The average member has been a supporter for over a decade. New people don’t stick out like a sore thumb for they haven’t walked in the doors in years. With an inability to reach new people with the Good News of Jesus, the doors will inevitably close as members lives come to an end this side of heaven. But it doesn’t have to end this way for mature churches if a few cultural changes are heeded.

when is building influence necessary for leaders?

when is building influence necessary for leaders?

I was standing in front of a group of parents whom I didn't know too well, leading an informational meeting for high schoolers who were interested in going on a week-long canoe trip in the BWCA.  After I shared an enthusiastic and detailed vision for everything the week would entail, I confidently asked if there were any questions.  I couldn’t fathom there would be any as I had laid out all the details, now it was just time for the kids to sign up!

Well, the questions came and it became more and more obvious that the parents didn’t trust me.  I was dumbfounded.  To my knowledge, I had never been mistrusted in my life. 

visionary leader meet experience

Without leadership development, visionaries can bulldoze the very people they have a heart for, as seen by the early lives of Joseph and Moses.  Joseph is an excellent example of the visionary leader Baldoni writes about in his book Great Communications Secrets of Great Leaders. In their research,  Taylor et al. found that with their ability to create and communicate their visions, visionary leaders can energize their organizations by "providing meaning and purpose to the work."

Interestingly throughout the Scriptures, we see examples of visionaries like Joseph and Moses who know their purpose and calling, have a strong vision in their hearts, and yet when they try and live out their visions before the right time it seems as if their whole world falls apart.

increase staff morale / decrease staff turnover

Churches in American Metropolitan areas see entirely too much turnover, not only of their staff but also of their congregation.  For staff, one of the main reasons people leave is because they do not feel invested in and equipped to fulfill their role on staff.  The top two reasons congregants leave churches are because they do not feel connected to others in the church or they do not feel like there is a place for them to serve at the church.

The value of investing in people simply cannot be overstated, especially in our local churches.