3 Leadership Cop-Outs That Sound Spiritual, but Aren’t

3 Leadership Cop Outs That Sound Spiritual, But Aren’t

I often hear from people who say “We don’t any need more ideas/strategies/conferences/skills…all we need to do is ________,” and then they fill in the blank with something that sounds spiritual.

Maybe you have people like that at your church, or someone like that on your team.

It’s amazing how common this perspective is.

You know the drill. Every time you suggest, “Why don’t we try reformatting our services/changing our kids ministry/reaching out into the community” they shoot back with “what we really need to do is just pray” (or “what we really need to do is get back to the Bible…”) as though that settled the discussion.

Sometimes, of course, it’s not other people who have the problem. Maybe you’ve fallen for a leadership cop-out too—dodging the real issue by putting a spiritual mask over it.

Can it be that something that sounds so spiritual can actually stop some very spiritual work?

Well, yes. The answer is yes. In the name of God, some people end up opposing the work of God. And it’s all done in the most holy-sounding way.

Here are three leadership cop-outs that sound spiritual, but aren’t.

1. All We Need to Do Is Pray About It

This sounds so good. After all, how can prayer be a BAD thing?

I mean how are you supposed to counter that? It puts you or anyone around you in a horribly awkward position.

If you disagree, you sound like you’re coming out against prayer.

If you agree, you’ve just mothballed any productive strategy conversations.

I mean who really wants to come out against prayer? Not me. Not you.

And so, not sure what to do, we shut down the leadership conversation and all the potential that comes with it.

Prayer alone can become a smokescreen. Why? Because while prayer is foundational, God almost always moves people to do something.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.

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