10 Reasons Pastors Don’t Lead

10 Reasons Pastors Don't Lead

Too often, I hear from churches whose leader seems to have stopped leading. They want their leader to cast vision, raise up other leaders and press forward—but it’s just not happening. My years of church consulting have shown at least these reasons for this lack of leadership:

  1. They’re burned out. Whatever they’ve faced has brought them to physical and emotional exhaustion. They don’t have the energy right now to lead.
  2. They’ve been hurt. Church pain can be some of the deepest pain. It’s unexpected, and it can be emotional. It’s tough to lead when your heart is hurting.
  3. They’re struggling with private sin. Usually, no one knows about this sin until it becomes public—and that’s too late. Unforsaken sin robs us of our vision and direction.
  4. They’ve hit their leadership limit. All of us have a lid on our leadership unless we keep growing and challenging ourselves. Stunted growth leads to stunted leadership.
  5. They never really learned how to lead. Too many of us have learned about leadership, if we have at all, only through experience—so we learn only on the go. It’s hard to lead proactively when that’s the case.
  6. They’re looking elsewhere for a new job. Even the greatest pastors who commit to working hard might find it a struggle to lead when they’re beginning to look for a new position.
  7. They’re physically not well. They may not even recognize yet what’s happening physically, but they just know their energy is depleted. Many pastors are also so private that they don’t share their concerns with anyone.
  8. Their marriage is struggling. A home life marked by chaos and conflict can quickly affect a leader’s focus and vision.
  9. They’re tired of fighting the church structure. They want to lead, but the church polity and tradition stifle them—and battling the system is no longer worth it.
  10. They’re questioning their calling. They’re wondering if they should be a pastor at all, or they’re not sure they should be a senior leader. Internal confusion hinders their leadership passion.

What other causes have you seen—or even experienced?

This article originally appeared here.

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Chuck Lawless
Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.