1. You are afraid of killing programs.

You are afraid to eliminate things in fear that people will get upset and will stop giving or leave. Let them. I guarantee that if we looked under the hood of your church, we could identify numerous things that could go on the chopping block, enabling your community of faith to become more streamlined and focused on your mission. Trust me, the dollars and members can and will be replaced. Don’t allow a few long-standing members to hold the future health of your church hostage.

  1. You haven’t clearly defined your staff values.

Average staff members perform above their skill set in vibrant staff cultures, but even highly talented staff members deliver substandard performances in unhealthy staff cultures. Staff culture is king. I’m shocked by how many senior pastors haven’t clearly defined their staff values, and then hold annual 360-degree performance appraisals that measure how well staff members are adhering to those values. Reviews aren’t foreign to churches. What is foreign is placing just as high a value on the staff culture as an individual staff member’s performance.

When we do annual 360-degree performance reviews at our church (meaning everyone reviews everyone), we ask each staff member to answer three questions about the other staff member, and then share those answers in a one-on-one meeting. Here are those questions:

  1. What is this staff member doing well?
  2. What could this staff member do to improve?
  3. What can we do to improve our working relationship?

(Read 9 more growth blockers in this Outreach article)


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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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