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5 Things Every Church Leader Should Unlearn in 2018 (If You Want to Stay Relevant)

4. I’m the Leader Here, So Listen Up

A generation ago, being in leadership for many leaders meant you (finally) got to call the shots. Leaders loved the authority their position gave them…too much.

The top-down model of leadership ruled, and essentially leaders thought everyone else should fall into line.

That model of leadership is still far too alive in too many churches. The best leaders know that any large, growing church is hardly ever a one-person show.

In the same way work is being de-centralized, so is leadership.

The best way to keep smart, engaged people on your team is to value, respect and empower them.

Leaders who continue to rely on their authority will find themselves with less authority.

True authority comes from respect, and respect has nothing to do with a title. It has a lot to do with humility, with a willingness to serve your team, and honestly, with results.

Leaders who serve their teams well, who exemplify deep character and who produce results will rarely have a shortage of other great leaders around them.

As studies have shown, people don’t quit companies. They quit bosses.

5. The Business World Has Nothing to Teach the Church

I probably take more heat on this idea than almost anything I write about, but I would love to see church leaders unlearn this idea in 2018.

Is the church a business? No, of course not. We’re a body. The body of Christ.

But just because the church is not a business doesn’t mean we have nothing to learn from business. Many churches are exceptionally poorly run and led.

What you effectively say if you have this attitude is that nothing good happens in the corporate world. They’re not smarter than you on teams, management, technology, people, change management, marketing or anything else.

You know what that is, right? That’s arrogance. Hardly a fruit of the Spirit.

Does everything that the business world teaches you work in the church? Of course not.

But that doesn’t mean nothing does.

So let me ask you: Who are advancing their mission faster, businesses in your community or your church?

There’s a very good chance that if your church is growing as fast or faster than most businesses, you don’t have to unlearn the idea that the business world has nothing to teach your church. Most growing churches have figured out that they can take learning from almost anywhere, run it through a theological filter, and put it to work.

A final note: If you struggle with seeing what you can learn from business, just know that one of the reasons you have almost no high capacity leaders volunteering at your church might be directly related to this attitude. If you continually convey to business leaders that you’re opposed to learning anything from business, don’t lie awake at night wondering why no business leaders serve at your church.

Or why none attend.

What Do You Need to Unlearn?

Anything you’d add to this list?

What do you think church leaders need to unlearn in 2018?

This article originally appeared here.