5 Things Church Leaders Put Too Much Emphasis On

Leading a church is difficult. There’s pressure from many sources.

You may see agendas pushed by the church denomination, other leaders within the church, church members, and many other sources.

There’s always something someone wants you to be doing and this causes a conflict of direction within the church. Because of this, we see church leaders making mistakes in areas that are deadly to a church.

1. Church growth: While I believe a church that is spreading the good word should grow in size, there’s also the fact some churches can only grow to a certain size.

To place a demand that a church continues to grow and reach certain attendance goals will not help the church.

Rather than focusing on numbers, focus on the spiritual growth of your congregation. This is what truly matters, not the size of the church but the impact that has been made in the lives of the men and women you teach.

2. Outward appearances: There are plenty of churches that have dress codes and desire for their congregants to look a certain way. They believe you need to dress up to enter the house of God.

Yes, your outward appearance does affect the way people look and view others. It even conveys a certain amount of respect for where the person is going.

However, there’s a better thing to focus on. Focus on whether or not people are desiring to enter into the house of God. If they only have rags to wear, welcome them in anyways.

3. Image: In our search for a new church, we’ve seen churches who desire to be seen as hip and popular and cool. The extent the church leaders are going to make this apparent to an outsider are often off-putting.

We actually got up and left from one church because of the push from the pulpit on how cool the church was.

Give the desire to have a hip image the boot. Instead, deliver the message in a compelling way that makes people want to attend. If you preach the Word, you will change lives.

4. Money: I already know what you’re going to say on this. Money is important. We have to bring in money to keep the doors open.

This is true. Money is needed to maintain a facility and have the lights stay on.

The problem comes when there’s message after message on the importance of tithing and giving.

People know they should give. People even want to give.

But people get tired of hearing it over and over and over again.

Stop begging for money from the pulpit.

5. Fear: Fear is a powerful motivator. We use it when raising kids to prevent bad behavior and we use it on adults to keep people from breaking the law.

We also use it in the church. We use fear to get people to give. We use fear to get people to stay away from unsaved people. We use fear to control congregations.

Preach fear when needed but don’t neglect the life and power Christ has given through His death.

Question: What other areas have church leaders emphasized more than they should have? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Great thoughts! I think another one is people to serve! If there aren’t enough people sir thing else isn’t healthy. If that is fixed people will be keen to serve!

    • That’s a great addition Ralph. How do you think church leaders can correct this?

      • I don’t have the answer but what if the answer is encourage people to use their spiritual gifts to serve where God opens the doors.

        • Jane is totally right. It has to be about identifying and using your gifts. I think the other part is culture. People love healthy cultures. If you make the church feel, vibe, experience life giving and healthy then people will be excited to contribute to it. Then the leaders won’t be freaking out that not enough people are serving.

          • I’m curious, Ralph. Was your father or grandfather a minister?

            • No. Both were atheists.

              • The Mayhew name from my past was anything but athiest. Very devoted believer.

                • That’s really cool! I hope to do that same name proud too 🙂

  • Ok, Joe. Here’s my question for you: What areas do you think church leaders should emphasize more?

    • Great question (I think you may have spawned a new blog post). Here are a couple of things church leaders should emphasize more –

      Making disciples
      Serving the community
      Studying of the Bible

      • I figured this might help with a blog post idea. 🙂

        As a parent, I think it can be too easy to focus on what are kids shouldn’t be doing (or should be doing less) instead of focusing on what they should do more. The “do less” approach is sometimes necessary, but it can come across as defeating. The “do more” approach tends to be more encouraging.

        While I know church leaders don’t get it right all the time (they are human after all), there are many things church leaders do well. Let’s find ways to build them up.

      • All of these 3. Makes sense to me.

  • Politics. I know we should pray for our leaders, inform ourselves about what is going on, even vote, but too often I see “The Church of God and America” are often one and the same.

    We cannot be a spotless bride if we are mucking in a worldly system looking for answers and idolizing something man made.

    • That’s a good one Dayna. There’s been a lot of muddying of the waters between the two. How can we overcome that?

      • I believe we need our Identify back. We have been labeled, bastardized, and degraded for so long as the church. As we accepted these things over the years it made us ineffective and sloppy. If we renew our sense of who we are, then we naturally begin to be the Warrior Bride of Christ.

        We feed the hungry, clothes the naked, heal the sick and proclaim the Lord with power again. We become the gospel in action rather than relegating it to a 35 minute sermon once or twice a week. If we know who we are we’d have no need to hold onto the idol of politics.

        We would affect culture in a positive way and never again be a derogatory reference. The light would be bright once more and the salt would again have flavor. The world may not like us, but they would again know who we truly are.

        Preaching Christ is enough. It has always been enough. Discipling people and being a consistent presence for good in a dark and dying world has always been the pattern. Otherwise, Jesus would have set up a different Kingdom altogether.

        If we want to also talk about the political landscape, our part in government, etc, those things should be offered in addition to, but never in place of the gospel. Have a class, do a Bible Study on governmental roles versus church roles, but stop saying things like “the next president can change the course of this nation” like they have the final say. God has that. Stop saying “vote this way if you are a Christian” and please STOP rehashing the news from the pulpit with pastoral opinions and one or two scriptures to make it a church service and not a political rally.

        Of course these are not directed at you specifically, but any pastor or leader who may read this. I am passionate about this topic because I believe God is passionate about being first in our lives. Any idol that takes God’s place in our lives, in our pulpits, and in our nation must come down lest the lost see no difference between the gospel of a political party and the gospel of Christ.

  • Having grown up in the church I can say you are right I all points. Paul and others tell us God’s instructions for his church. If we practice those we don’t have to worry about the unimportant.

    • So true Jane. We focus on the outward while that’s not where we’re called to.

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  • Good list. But, these are generally the reactions of the parishioners- it’s the leadership that fails to see what messages these attitudes provide.

    • Thanks for the feedback Roy. I’ve seen it differently. I’ve seen quite a few church leaders who are focused on money, image, looking good, etc..

      Though I can see it being not a either/or but a both/and. There are parishioners who are focused on those things as well.

  • Yes, I’ve noticed those areas of emphasis too, Joe. What’s important to me is a pastor or priest who truly loves God, knows the Bible well, and encourages this love in others.

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