4 Things That Fight Against an Empowering Leadership Culture


In church world there is one universal problem that EVERYONE faces. It goes beyond having enough money, having the perfect building, or a great outreach plan. In my time working/volunteering in the local church I have seen a common thread that unites us all: we all need….more leaders.

Ask any worship team, kids ministry team, or staff what the greatest need is, and 9/10 (not an actual statistic) will say “It’d be great to have more people.” If this is a need we all have, why is it that so many of our teams are unable to grow from desperately needing people to having an abundance of people who are empowered to operate in their gifts?

Here are four thoughts on things that fight against an empowering culture:

1. The leader makes all of the decisions.

  • As a leader, one of the quickest traps to fall into is being the source of decision-making in a team.
  • While this makes us as leaders feel important it actually limits our team to our perspective and our own gift set.
  • It is important that team members understand where they can contribute and what level of authority they have to make decisions. This will empower people to run with the vision.

2. A leader’s team does not ask questions in meeting.

  • When questions are being asked, this should mean the team is working to implement the strategy or vision within their sphere of influence. When there are no questions means one of two things: either the team is afraid to ask questions because the leader has not created a safe place where ideas are expressed freely (can be addressed in another post), OR it was articulated in a way the team does not understand.

3. Team members are not clear on the wins.

  • The most empowering cultures have a deep sense of purpose and clarity on the wins of the team.
  • If you find the team is taking on projects or following leads on things unrelated to the mission at hand, this can be an indicator that the wins are not clear.
  • Everyone wants to be on a winning team and most people will find a way to win in something that’s important to them. We should try to unify the team around the same goal.

4. The same people are in the same roles.

  • An empowering leadership culture should be seeing up and coming-in leaders should be filling spots on the team consistently.
  • This does not mean that the team lacks stability and that people change on a whim. However this does mean that is is often celebrated when people are empowered to have a seat at the table, embrace a new role, or lead an aspect of ministry that they were not previously involved in.
  • Lastly it is important to have a value as a team that is always looking for “who's next” that way up and coming leaders are celebrated not just tolerated and competed against.

We’re Here to Empower the Next Generation

Here at Bethany College, we’re always looking for “who’s next” in church leadership. Our mission is to educate, equip, and empower the next generation of church leaders through hands-on ministry training and accredited degree programs. Click here to learn more about how you can be empowered to lead your generation through ministry preparation at Bethany College.

Watch the video below for more content about leadership & development from Pastor Jon Torres!


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