The Real Issue is Our Belief


I have spent the last 30 years of my career as a business owner. That turned into a passion for developing amazing workplace culture and creating a place people love to come to work.  Employee Engagement is the goal of great culture and is what truly drives the best companies forward. The key to Engaged Employees is Engaged Leadership. I believe much the same is true in the church as well.

I hear people talk about the shrinking church on a frequent basis. For me, the connection is clear. We have an Engagement issue in our churches, but the answer is not what we have done for so long, which is create events and activities for members to be involved in. Involvement and Engagement are not the same. Engagement runs much deeper and focuses on completing a mission.

As a kid growing up, I heard frequently how churches had founded many of the hospitals and universities in this country and around the world. There was a time, when the Church universal was the solution to many of the world’s biggest problems. We had a mission that engaged us in the world. We were living out Deuteronomy 4:5-8. Our lives made the world around us say WOW! what an amazing God they serve.  

What is our level of drive for mission? Many congregations aren’t really making a difference in the world, or their neighbors. Instead, the people around us are often the ones making a difference in us. We are not driven towards being the solution to the problems we see. Human trafficking is at an all-time high, the mental health crisis is escalating around us, houselessness is a global issue, 80% of people work in a job they don’t enjoy, and I can go on and on. When was the last time people of the world said “WOW, what an amazing God they must serve!” 

As a leadership specialist, I believe we have a leadership crisis in our churches. The #1 role of leadership is to identify where we are going (a vision) and the WHY about that vision (mission). We need a mission that is so much bigger than us. We need our amazing God to show up and do what we have seen Him do since Genesis 1, which is to blow our minds. When our BIG goal is to try to get people attending Sunday morning worship we have lost perspective. We need something that drives us, consumes us, excites us, so that we forget about the things that take our attention, that keep us from changing the world. Currently, it so often seems we focus on issues that turn people away, not issues that engage them. “Can you have a baby dedication before the closing prayer?” “Is it right or wrong to have additional singers mic’d on the front row or on the stage?” “Is it OK to cancel evening service for a Super Bowl party?” Focusing on such minor issues will never get people engaged. It will never make the world around us say WOW in a positive way.

So, the question is: are we really willing to lead? Leadership must be going somewhere, or it isn’t leadership. What giant problem are we going to solve for the world, for our city, for our neighbors? It comes down to our belief. Do we really believe that God has the answers to the world’s problems? If He does, let’s share that with the world. If we create congregations that are making the world around us better for everyone, if we are solving the big issues of life, we will attract people to Him. Shrinking congregation size will no longer be the conversation. The conversation will be WOW! what an amazing God. 

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