Christ, the Defining Difference

The Gherkin in LondonIn the world of organizational performance, the Church stands apart in a significant way from all other organizations. At the same time, the Church continues to incorporate organizational skills used by secular organizations, many of which have been helpful in assisting the Church to do great things in spreading the good news of the Gospel.

Many larger Churches have taken on the management structure of corporations with the lead pastor and numerous supporting staff mirroring corporate CEOs and managers or vice presidents. Organizational structures which help Churches operate effectively reflect good stewardship of resources.

The Church has tapped into the culture of emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence, the healthy organization, Gallup Strengths, crucial conversations, coaching, the use of technology, social media, and more. Again, where these tools are applied with sound biblical and theological reflection and used effectively, the Church has made and continues to make a powerful impact for the Kingdom of God.

If the Church is able to use the methods of secular organizations to achieve its goal, does that mean the Church is a secular organization? If so, the purpose of the Church must be re-examined. If not, how is the Church different from secular organizations?

While the Church has been able to adopt some methods of secular organizations, the source and focus of the Church’s mandate are radically different. And it will serve all Church leaders well to never forget this distinction.

The Church received its mandate from Jesus, and Jesus calls His leaders to lead the Church in making disciples (Matt. 28:19-20). It is not about numbers or money. Neither of these were included in the mandate given to the Church. Although both numbers and money may increase when the important thing—making disciples—remains the top priority.

Since the mandate is from Christ, as a leader you must lead followers to constantly seek Christ’s direction for how best to do the ministry of making disciples in whatever context He has called you to lead.

Avoid the mistake too many leaders make when they take the next new and exciting idea they read or hear about from someone else’s success in ministry and try to apply to their context. It’s certainly acceptable to examine the idea; but before you decide to apply it to your context, be sure you and your leadership team, along with trusted others who are not on the leadership team, have sought the Lord’s guidance to know if this is where He is directing you and your followers.

You could spend a lot time training your team and figuring out how to implement new ideas and very little time knowing if this is God’s leading or just some new and exciting idea you want to implement.

As the leader, you must lead the way in seeking God and also teach your followers its importance.

The Church is not a secular organization, and it should not and cannot be run like one. The Church must always be led by the power and presence of God. And for that to happen, you as the leader must lead your followers in seeking God’s direction for making disciples in your given context.

Have you intentionally leading your leadership team to seek God’s direction or are you trying to get them to support you with another new and exciting idea you recently heard or read about? Maybe the best place to start looking for an answer would be the people with whom you work most closely.

If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.

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