17. nycupic oct

By Mark Howell

There are a number of reasons that ministry leaders quit. While some quit for good reasons, most quit for reasons that are completely avoidable.

  1. They aren’t being developed and discipled by the pastor. This is probably the most common reason ministry leaders quit. If someone (pastor, coach or mentor) isn’t investing in them, it is unreasonable to think that the average leader will continue for long. While there will always be exceptional leaders who are essentially self-motivated, they are by definition the exceptions to the rule.
  1. No one in their ministry group is sharing the load. Some ministry leaders don’t know any better and have never been coached to share the load with the members of their group. Others come naturally by misplaced pride that “since they do everything better than everyone else”…they can’t really let go of anything. Both patterns ultimately lead to burnout; both patterns lead to pent up frustrations that they have to do everything for the group to thrive or survive. In order for the leader and the group to survive, the leader must learn to share the load.
  2. They are discouraged by member’s lack of participation. There are two main reasons for lack of member participation. First, not every leader comes equipped with a natural ability to facilitate. Poorly facilitated groups usually die on their own, long before the leader quits. Attendance dwindles when everyone isn’t engaged in the group meeting. Second, smaller groups allow and encourage more participation. As a group grows, it becomes increasingly difficult for less dominating personalities to participate. Learning to sub-group is an essential leader skill.
  3. Their group dwindles in size and they can’t (or won’t) fish for new members. Some ministry leaders are only interested in “leading” a gathered group. When members move away or otherwise opt out of the group, this kind of leader’s only recourse is to inform the ministry pastor that they need some more members. And since feeding additional members to existing groups is almost never a successful strategy for growth, training your leaders to fish for their own new members is not optional. It is an essential skill for ministry leaders.
  4. The leader is unable to manage an issue within the group. Many groups come with a difficult personality or two. When the leader is unprepared for the challenge of skillfully leading through issues with problem personalities, sometimes it is just easier to quit than lovingly confront. This is primarily a coaching issue. When new leaders are given a coach from the beginning, challenging personalities can usually be spotted quickly and an appropriate strategy developed.
  5. The leader is unable to manage an issue within the group. Many groups come with a difficult personality or two. When the leader is unprepared for the challenge of skillfully leading through issues with problem personalities, sometimes it is just easier to quit than lovingly confront. This is primarily a coaching issue. When new leaders are given a coach from the beginning, challenging personalities can usually be spotted quickly and an appropriate strategy developed.

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