Home Pastors Articles for Pastors Why the Church Has a Leadership Shortage

Why the Church Has a Leadership Shortage

It’s because we are weak in the doctrine of vocation.

Consequently, the way many churches are run does not develop or attract leaders.

This is not to say there are no good leaders in the church. Quite the contrary.

But it is to say that it is often extra hard to become a good leader within the context of a vocation that is structurally connected to the church.

These words, from a book I read a few years ago on marketplace ministry, are worth pondering:

As a whole, the modern church has not created nor attracted strong leaders. Meanwhile, the marketplace attracts and produces leaders by the truckload.

Gifted leaders gravitate to opportunity, challenge, and learning environments offered by businesses. They are repelled by the small vision, autocratic leadership [take note — I think this is more common in the church than we realize!], lack of objectivity, chaos, and foolishness that characterize many church environments.

The best leaders avoid the political environment as well because of its small-mindedness, blind ambition, dishonesty, and inability to address real issues [again, note that he is speaking in generalities].

In church and politics, there is often little recognition or reward for effective leadership. But in business, leaders find their natural environment. They are almost always welcomed, rewarded, groomed, and given opportunity.

This doesn’t need to be the case. Business should and will always be a natural environment for developing leadership. But the church can and should be as well.

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Matt Perman formerly served as the Director of Strategy at Desiring God. Previously, he was Director of Internet for Desiring God and led the design and launch of their website release in 2006. Matt graduated with an M.Div from Southern Theological Seminary in 2003. He has a strong background in theology, project management, general management, strategic planning, and online strategy. He holds a Project Management Professional Certification and has been doing independent consulting on website strategy and workflow management for several years. Matt blogs on productivity, leadership, theology, and culture at What’s Best Next. He is currently writing a book entitled: What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Changes the Way You Get Things Done, which is set to be published in the Fall 2012. Matt speaks in a variety of venues, including seminars at churches, conferences, and workshops. Some of his previous engagements include Together for the Gospel, the Desiring God National Conference, The Gospel Coalition, and the 2011 Christian Web Conference. He lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with his wife and three children