It’s always confusing to members when church leaders stop leading, especially when the change seems to come suddenly.
Often times, members believe the leaders just don’t care anymore, but that’s usually far from the truth. In fact, those leaders may still want to lead, but something’s standing in their way.
Whether it’s a problem of their own making or something else, knowing why a leader has stopped leading is vital to helping them become the leader you know they can be.
They Feel Excluded
Leading a church is a team effort. Yes, there must ultimately be a team leader, but everyone on the team deserves the chance to lead and be heard. Church leaders stop leading when they always feel excluded. When a leader feels excluded, they give up. They’re never given the chance to shine, share their ideas and help others. It’s only natural to feel as if your leadership abilities aren’t important if none of the other leaders give you a chance.
They’re Playing It Safe
A church full of conflict doesn’t make anyone happy. Sometimes a church leader hears so much criticism that they decide to be more neutral. Instead of doing things to help grow the church, they play it safe. They do whatever they feel necessary to avoid any conflict between them and others. Part of it is to create a more positive environment and part of it is to avoid being fired from their leadership role.
No One’s Helped Guide Them
Many church leaders stop leading because they don’t have a mentor. Every leader needs guidance. Without this, it’s hard for them to reach their true potential as leaders. When they don’t see themselves growing as a leader, they just stop leading.
To them, they’re paving the way for someone else to take charge. However, all they need is a boost from another leader. A little advice or the chance to lead a major project is often all it takes for them to start leading again.
They’ve Burnt Out
Church leadership is a demanding role. You’re expected solve problems, grow the church, help pick the right staff, guide volunteers and help create new leaders. Over time, the pressure and stress might become too much. This is especially true for any leaders who don’t have a strong support system of friends and family.
Burn out happens to the best church leaders. In fact, one of the first signs is noticing a decline in leadership skills. It’s not that they don’t care or don’t want to lead. They just need a break or someone to help show them why their role is so incredibly important to the church.
They Want To Please Everyone
One of the biggest mistakes a church leader can make is trying to please everyone. For instance, a leader that wants to make changes to bring in younger members is going to displease some of the more traditional members. It’s absolutely impossible to make every member happy 100% of the time.
Church leaders stop leading when they realize they can’t please everyone. Even those who try their best discover that they aren’t effective leaders. All this strategy does is hurt the leader and the church. The best leaders, even in the church, are going to displease some people sometimes.
They Can’t Fix Certain Problems
Think about your last major failure. It was difficult to move past, wasn’t it? In fact, you may still be struggling with it. Some church leaders stop leading when they get focused on a problem they just can’t fix. For instance, maybe your church is struggling with keeping regular volunteers. A church leader might take this problem personally. When they can’t find a good solution, they doubt themselves and as a result, stop leading.
It’s important to remind these church leaders that some problems don’t have easy solutions. Even if they’ve made a mistake, they can still recover from it. This is also why church leaders must work together to help each other fix problems in the church without anyone feeling overwhelmed.
Help recognize your church leaders and all they do for your church via your church website. Give them each their own page with accomplishments and comments from members. It’s a great way to remind them 24/7 that they truly are incredible leaders.