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Your Church/Organization is a Reflection of the Person/People That They are Following

Updated: May 28, 2023

Your church/organization is a reflection of the person/people that they are following.

"You said that twice, Ioannis."

I can't say it enough. In fact - STOP! Reread that sentence at least two more times… because in it is the human answer to almost every problem that you have in your church.

“Ioannis, my church is NOTHING like me.”

Then, you are either totally out of touch with who you really are, or you are totally correct.

“Wait, how can I be totally correct?”

Just because you have the title of a leader doesn’t mean that anyone is actually following you. (If that is you, finish reading this post and then click here for a little more on what to do when no one is following you). I have seen many pastors whose people tolerate their presence; not follow them. In fact, I have seen this happen even to the point where the church is following Jesus, but the pastor really seems to not be. Yes, I have seen Godly people who have had to endure pastors that repeatedly function in ungodly ways. In fact, I will bet you have seen that too.

“Are you trying to beat us up Ioannis?”

No. I am trying to give you a stark truth encounter… because truth sets you free. You have so much power and authority at your disposal to bring about such incredible change in the lives of all those around you. But you have to step into truth to access that power and authority, starting with the changes that need to happen in you.

In fact, that is the point of this post. You have the authority and power to drive change. If you didn’t, the Lord would have moved you on by now. Again, you have to step into that authority and power before the changes that you desire will begin to happen.

“How do I step into authority and power?”

Truly submit your heart to the Lord and open yourself fully to Him, allowing Him to take you to the places in your soul that you don’t want to go but He does want to go… owning the things that the Lord wants to change in you, including reaching out for help when and where you need it.

“WHAT? Why does it have to start with me?”

Because you are the pastor. It always starts with the leader. In fact, that is a central message of the gospel. It all started with Him and His earthly example to us. He lead the way in all things, even into death. You lead your people by following Him, including starting change with you.

Ready to start?

Let me give you this short evaluation framework:

1. Where is your church at?

a. You need to be BRUTALLY honest answering this question. And you need to answer it in great detail.

2. Where is the Lord calling your church to go?

a. If you have a built vision statement(s), this is a great time to prayerfully re-evaluate it.

3. What are ALL of the roadblocks to your church arriving at the destination above?

a. Don’t leave any roadblock out, no matter how big or small.

4. What have you done or are doing, or what have you not done or are not doing, that reinforces those roadblocks?

a. Prayerfully and slowly work through answering this question with the Lord.

5. What has happened or is happening in your church/people, that is NOT your fault/doing, but that is reinforcing those roadblocks?

a. Prayerfully and slowly work through answering this question with the Lord.

6. Describe your time with Him.

a. Prayer - Bible - Worship - Etc. - Frequency - Length - Potency.

Once you are done with this exercise, set it aside for two days.

Then, in a prayerful place, return to it and work through it again with the Lord. Let Him guide you and speak to you through this entire process.

(You can also fill out and submit this evaluation to us on our website here.)

Why should you do this?

Because almost every great treatment will cause your body harm if the disease is misdiagnosed.

It works the same in the church as well. In fact, it is often why pastors work so hard and still arrive at such a place of difficulty. They have the right treatments for the wrong diseases. Click here to listen to Ioannis dive deeper into the subject of properly diagnosing church health. (This article of ours should also help.)

Once you have the problem(s) diagnosed, begin to prayerfully work through with Jesus what the best treatment(s) is. (Building a treatment plan may need to include ministry coaching. Click here to reach out to us if it does.)

And then once a treatment plan has been built, be accountable to fearlessly implement that plan in full. (Implementing the treatment plan may need to include ministry coaching. Click here to reach out to us if it does.)

(Sidenote: Choose wisely the people who will help you build/administer your treatment plan.

  • You wouldn't want a brand-new surgeon doing open heart surgery on you.

  • You wouldn't try doing open heart surgery on yourself.

  • You wouldn't choose a surgeon who has only lost 40% of their patients.)

Final Thoughts:

I want to leave you with this observation (testimonial of failure?) out of my years of experience – there are two types of pastors who falter working through this process:

1. The pastors who skip, minimize, fight against, rebel against, etc. – number 4 in the process above and don’t repent of that fact; and don’t allow Jesus to transform them regarding all that should be listed out in number 4.

2. The pastors who need assistance through this process (whether all or part of it) don’t reach out to get that assistance.

So, what do you do now?

I hope and pray it is to work through this process. I bless you in Jesus' name.


PS – For some of you reading this, you know that some translations of the Bible in Matthew 23, talk about not calling anyone but Jesus your leader. Other translations say master, instructor, and teacher. I hesitantly use the word leader in this post because that is what most people understand. But let me take a moment to biblically define that. The point is, you as the person that God has called to tend His sheep, should be pointing those sheep towards Him. Sometimes you do that verbally. Sometimes you do that by example. Sometimes you do that by being Him extended. In all things, point them towards Him. Lift Him up, and all men will be drawn to Him. This is a powerful church growth axiom. But you have to truly lift Him up, again starting with your own heart of obedience.

PPS – No, I did not write this with any one person in mind. I wrote this about what I have seen over my years of ministry coaching.

PPPS - Still not sure about Transformational Ministry Coaching - read this article about its purpose and then read this testimonial from a former pastoral client.

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