clip_image002Dear Christian Ministries,

There’s a famous apocryphal story regarding Abraham Lincoln. Before delivering the Emancipation Proclamation he met with his seven cabinet members. He presented the speech and then took a vote to secure their approval. One by one the seven cabinet members said, “Nay.” After surveying all seven, Lincoln voted. He said, “Aye!” Followed by, “The ayes have it.”

Leaders advance the cause even in the face of opposition…even if it means going it alone.

Christian Ministry Leadership Crisis

We have a crisis in Christian ministry leadership.

Before you click off this blog allow me to offer some evidence for the crisis.

Christian ministry is disappearing.

Instead of meeting with the team and casting a vision, many ministries have simply thrown in the towel.

The lack of new leaders coming into ministry, and dissatisfaction among those who work in Christian ministry displays a lack of leadership.

· Why are we having a tough time attracting new leaders?

· Why are so many who work in Christian ministries so disgruntled?

As leaders, we’ve focused on embracing new technology or focusing on operations to expand our ministry instead of building a winning culture within the walls of our organization.

If we have a strong culture, where people are passionate and feel they are not “working” but “investing their lives”—we will attract new team members and draw out unknown talent and passion from those already on our team.

There’s a sense of “we’re running out the clock.”

Instead of “Imagineering” the future and equipping our teams to make it a reality, many are just hoping their Christian ministry remains viable so they can retire.

Changing Leadership Direction

How do we right the ship?

We must lead.

This simple answer comes with very hard work.

Perhaps you’re sitting in your office reading this blog.

You know you have issues in the building.

There’s grumbling.

Team members just “clock in”. They’re not passionate.

You’ve been considering the future of the ministry and you don’t have a 3 or 5-year vision. That can change beginning today. You can change it.

You need to expand your team but can’t find the right person. Is it the culture within the building? Do people want to work for your organization?

But the culture building thing seems tough. You have no idea where to start.

Maybe you’ll just sell the culture. Perhaps begin some quiet back room talks…then talk to a few of your influential board members and then make it all a reality.

Please don’t sell.

Please don’t just sit there and consider what could be.


Three Steps to Lead

Here are three steps you can take this week. It will take some courage but God has put you in your position to lead.

1. Gather your team for an Amnesty Meeting this week. An Amnesty Meeting? Announce to the team that you want to know what is broken. Cover these questions:

· What’s wrong with the culture?

· Where are communication breakdowns?

To get the conversation started and encourage candor simply announce, “I’m granting amnesty. You cannot be fired for anything you say in the next 90 minutes. Be honest. Be truthful. You have amnesty.”

Get the conversation started. Ask hard questions. Prepare your heart that things aren’t as great as you may think they are.

2. Fix the easy things. Within 10 days, fix at least three things that rise to the surface during the amnesty meeting. You’ll gain your team’s trust.

3. Finally, in your weekly staff meeting go through each issue listed in that meeting. Give an update on each. Incorporate the team’s help in fixing them.

Dear Christian Ministry leader, it’s time we say “aye”.

Look for Part 2 in this series “Leadership in Christian Ministry” will be posted soon…and read more about how Positive Alternative Radio Changed Direction.

Brian Sanders is the Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio in Blacksburg. PAR has five brands which include Spirit FM in Lynchburg, VA; WCQR in Kingsport, TN; Positive Hits, WPER in Richmond/Fredericksburg, VA; Joy FM in Winston Salem, NC; Walk FM in Ashland, KY, Huntington, WV.