By Mike McCartney

mistakeIn my last blog post I talked about the importance of spiritual leadership in the church and the challenges I received reading the book Spiritual Leadership. In the book the authors, the Blackaby’s, noted the reason there’s not strong spiritual leadership in the church is because we have a wrong mindset which causes us to make big mistakes in leading. The mistakes all center around not being on God’s Agenda. In other words, what mistakes are we making that are sabotaging our spiritual leadership???

 What do you think are the most common spiritual leadership mistakes?


So I did some research and found the following 10 mistakes leaders make. I must admit it was eye opening, a little convicting, and a good wake-up call:

The top 10 mistakes spiritual leaders make in ministry:

 *Researched by Brian Dodd


1. Lack Of Character – The hardest person to lead is yourself.  Often, a leader’s talent, skill, and charisma will take them where their character cannot sustain them.

2. Ignoring Self-Development – A lack of a personal growth plan results in leadership that is limited and unsustainable in an advancing culture.

3. Positional Over Servant Leadership – Leaders often think their position or title means people are there to serve them.  This is a perverted view of leadership.  The position actually exists to serve the people.

4. Self-Reliance – Great leaders build great teams.

5. Greed Over Generosity – Leaders can sometimes become selfish and leverage their positions to gain influence, status, and wealth.  Leaders who last are the ones who create and enhance a culture of generosity.

6. Minimizing The Next Generation – Leaders who view younger people as too inexperienced, too irresponsible, and too incapable of leadership do so at their own demise.  Few, if any, new thoughts or ideas come from people over the age of 45.

7. Not Properly Leveraging High Capacity Individuals – I see this often in church environments.  Pastors, if you do not know who your top givers are and are developing them, enlisting them, and leveraging their resources and intellect accordingly, you are greatly reducing the impact of your ministry.

8. Resisting Change“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”  – General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.  There is nothing else needed to say.

9. Neutralizing Mavericks – When someone doesn’t fit into your mold, that is probably a very good thing. These individuals take your organization into new areas of influence.

10. Selecting New Over Fresh – Mobility is overrated.  The grass may look greener on the other side but that is often because it sits on top of a septic tank.  The best leaders have longevity and seek to make things fresh rather than quitting to seek different options.

11. Bonus – Lack Of Inspiration – The world is dying for inspiration.


Wow, I could keep writing here just on the Big Ten but I think I have to process all this stuff before I quit and go become a carpenter again. Maybe we all need to take an honest look at the Big 10 and pray for God’s wisdom in dealing with our mistakes? Maybe we should read them through and make sure we don’t fall into the same pit others have fallen into!

Do you agree or disagree with these points?  Do any of the things on this list describe your mistakes or those of the members of your team?

Mike McCartney is the Lead Pastor of Christian Hills Church in Orland Hills, IL and also serves as a Fellowship Elder and a Regional Representative to the USA National Board.

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