A Ministry leadership mistake: Your biggest leadership mistake has nothing to do with your inability to speak to a large audience, or your lack of a goal-driven, mover-and-shaker mentality. Neither is it found in your struggle with multitasking or effectively managing those placed under your authority. You may spend years reading leadership books, talking to leaders, or trying to perfect your own ability to lead, but your biggest church and ministry leadership mistake comes from neglecting a simple, core, foundational principle.
Your Biggest Leadership Mistake In Ministry
You do not spend enough time in the Word. Instead of being led, you are leading.
- You Cannot Serve a God You Don’t Know
The depth of your relationship with God manifests itself in your ability to impact, lead, and serve. If you do not take time to know Him, how can you talk about Him, teach about Him or serve Him purposefully? If your knowledge of God is built on the latest pastoral-bestseller book or rockstar preacher’s sermon, then you don’t know Him at all. If you get your weekly scoop during the one-hour Sunday service and stay in his presence by confusing Christian fellowship with Biblical-knowledge-growth, then you don’t know Him at all. Spending time in His Word should consist of far more than using a five-minute devotional, or skimming a randomly-chosen Bible chapter based on your mood for the day, or getting the latest refocused and revised Bible version. You cannot love someone you don’t know. You cannot know someone unless you understand them by spending adequate time with them. You cannot spend time with someone without delving in their past, present, and future. You cannot obtain all this knowledge and not be changed.
- Move on from the Milk and Start Eating Solid Food
Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (ESV). If you are serious about knowing God, then you will rearrange your schedule and make time to spend in His presence. You will refrain from merely skimming the Word, and will dig deeper. You will learn why a passage was written. The context behind the passage. The relationship of the writer. The Hebrew mindset behind the writer’s viewpoint. You will make use of any and all resources available to dissect, interpret, and understand why the Word says what it says. You will study cross references and discuss your findings with fellow believers, all the while growing in knowledge every step of the way. You will never know the Father’s heart if you stay far from it.
- You Cannot Lead If You Cannot Listen
Do you have a problem listening? Has it become a struggle to filter out the world and its diversions and focus on hearing the Master’s Voice? Are you so busy telling God what you need from Him, instead of hearing what He wants from you? Perhaps its time to shorten the request list and come before the Lord with a blank sheet of paper. You will be more likely to walk away with newfound insight, rather than take up your entire devotion time trying to fit God into your plans.
- You Cannot Show The Way If You Cannot Read Your Compass
Proverbs 3:6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (NIV).
Acknowledging God in all your ways does not mean letting God in on all your plans. It is a call-to-action for submission. Your plans are futile unless they are founded on and based on the knowledge of the Lord. Your compass is the Word. If you do not know how to read, interpret, analyze, and study the Word, you will lead from human intellect, rather than godly wisdom.
- You Cannot Serve Two Masters
Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (ESV).
There is a reason why the Bible calls money, “The Root of All Evil” and not “The Root of Some Evil.” Think about it. Money, most likely, is the driving factor behind 99% of decisions we make, whether you are serving as a volunteer, church staff, executive pastor, company CEO, or home income provider. Our basic drive, most likely, is money. Why? Because money brings stability, growth, employment, and a bigger chance to serve and impact more people. But does it, really? When we replace God’s principle center-seat with anything else, it will keep us from truly knowing Him. When God is not our Master, someone or something else will be, and you can bet your money’s worth that your decision making, influence, and impact will have no eternal value.
The biggest church and ministry leadership mistake is so simple to fix. Before you take on anything that might improve your ability to lead with excellence, take up God’s Word that will improve your ability to lead with wisdom, grace, and an eternal perspective.