The Cost of Fear

Church leaders, must we be in total control? Do we FEAR what might happen if we were to let go of our authoritarian, top-down, manipulative, and managerial control and instead influenced those on our ministerial teams with a much looser grasp? Well my friends, our FEAR comes with a great cost.

Our FEAR causes us to recruit more order-taking managers instead of building visionary-dreaming leaders. This works well for a time as our “employees” do what we desire, but the benefits are very short-lived.

Our FEAR causes us to rob any current visionary leaders of their opportunities to dream and then run free and fast. It stifles their creativity and competence and limits their ability to be Spirit-led and responsive.

Our FEAR causes us to lose a second and third generation of leaders. Because we have turned any current leaders into managers, these individuals no longer have confidence to build leaders of their own. Because they are constantly looking over their own shoulders, this results in their merely recruiting a team of followers who desire to help them keep upper management happy.

Our FEAR causes us to ultimately lose any current leaders we have not being maximized. It is only a matter of time before these volunteers resign and find a better place to voluntarily use their God-given strengths.

Our FEAR causes our church to institutionally suffer. Our ministerial success is muted and minimized because we are not properly equipping our saints and realizing their full potential. We never hit our full stride. Then, whatever measure of success we do realize, it will prove to be only short-lived. Without true leaders taking the helm, our various ministries are sure to limp and then die in the next decade.

Our FEAR causes our communities to suffer. Because our churches are not leadership factories, less disciples are made. The sad result is less converts being conformed to the image of Christ, and this is followed by a having a lesser impact on our cities.

Finally, our FEAR causes us to suffer as senior leaders. (RE’s or TE’s). Because we are controlling micro-managers carrying too much of the burden of Christ’s church upon our shoulders, we are finding ourselves burned out. We are learning we are not the total package. We are realizing we have not sufficient work-ethic to build Christ’s church. We are finding we have not sufficient intellect to make all the needed decisions. We have not been given a full measure of all the gifts, and if we remain in this arrogant posture of FEAR, our ministerial world will soon come crashing down.

Therefore friends, give up FEAR, give up control, trust the Spirit to use your leadership, and watch Christ use his saints to build his church his way. As leaders, we are to recruit, teach, model, support, and improve. We are not to FEAR, and we are not to control.


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