4 Limitations Pastors Unknowingly Set For Their Church

by | Nov 11, 2021 | Church Leadership, Church Revitalization, Small Church / Rural Church

I often say, “You limit what you control”. There are limitations pastors unknowingly set for their church. It’s often a matter of control, yet I believe most of the time we do it without realizing they are.

Many of these are natural occurrences from doing things a certain way over time. Yet, when these are in place the church will often fail to reach its full potential.


4 limitations pastors unknowingly set for their church:


1) Defining success in making disciples. 

Whatever you script will be limited to the script. The discipleship process looks different for different people.

Set the goal of making disciples and allow other people to weigh in on how this is accomplished.


2) Limiting the numbers of leaders.

When all your leaders fit in the current structure you are leaving out some leaders who simply need permission to step outside the norm.

Empower people to lead in their passions not only in your current and structured programs.


3) Determining where evangelism takes place.

If evangelism is a Tuesday night outreach event then it will be very limited in scope.

Train people and release them to live out their faith in the workplace, schools, grocery stores or wherever they happen to be.


4) Confining people to established programs.

After the last three, this one probably speaks for itself. Programs are fine. They have worked and will continue to work. But no church has every program for every person.

Effective church leaders think bigger than a program/process based approach.

I have been accused of approaching ministry from an organizational or business mindset. That could be the curse of most of my career being in the marketplace. However, I do believe strategy works in ministry settings as well.

Let me know if I can help you or your church think more strategically. Check out my new website design and my 5T Leadership offerings.

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Ron Edmondson

I am CEO of Leadership Network. I was previously pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church, a church leader and the planter of two churches. I am passionate about planting churches but also helping established churches thrive. I love assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy, and life. My specialty is organizational leadership, so in addition to my role as a pastor, as I have time, I consult with church and ministry leaders. I have more than 35 years of leadership experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and have been in full-time ministry for over 15 years. I have successfully led the restart of one church and the planting of two churches, and now we are seeing God’s hand tremendously in church revitalization. I have a seminary masters and a master’s in organizational leadership. I also once helped lead (as an elected official) a mid-sized city, where I served as Vice Mayor and Finance Chair. The greatest times for me are with my wife Cheryl and our amazing adult sons, Jeremy, his wife Mary, and our youngest son Nate. Over 20 years ago, I founded a non-profit ministry called Mustard Seed Ministry, which provides devotional resources, conducts family, marriage, and parenting, and church leadership seminars. My INTJ personality on the Myers-Briggs indicator means I have big ideas, I love creative and critical thinking and I love to see progress. I am usually around people but crave downtime. For years I was usually training for either a half or full marathon. Running was my most productive thinking time. Knee problems in recent years have caused me to stop running, but I’m committed to finding the time I need to fuel my mind, body, and spirit. I write several times weekly on leadership, church, and family. To sign up for my blog on a reader or by email, click HERE. I do interact with my readers, so feel free to contact me. You can email me at ron.edmondson@gmail.com.I am also on Google+ at http://www.gplus.to/ronedmondson, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ronedmondson and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ronaedmondson. My devotional site is www.mustardseedministry.com