Leadership Letters
Leadership Letters

Writings on Christian leadership and leader development by Malcolm Webber

November 2015
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10 Ways to Destroy the Culture of Your Ministry

Malcolm WebberMalcolm Webber

In a time of so much uncertainty, it’s comforting to know there are some rock-solid, absolutely guaranteed methods to destroy the culture of whatever it is you’re leading.

Here they are. Try them out!

  1. Be so busy with your great vision and your amazing ministry work for God that you have no time for God Himself. You’re changing the world, right? That’s a lot of work. You simply don’t have time to waste.

This is first in our list for a good reason; it’s amazing how well it works!

  1. Demand so much ministry production from your team and co-workers that they have no time for God.

This second method follows naturally from number one; it’s compelling in its simplicity!

  1. Focus everyone’s attention on the rules, systems and policies.

Don’t allow them to focus on the real needs of the people they serve. If you do that, you’re sunk. Remember, people are made for the organization – not the other way around!

  1. Be sure to continually point out the flaws of whomever it is that has the joy of being your leader. Don’t only focus on the major things; you’ll be amazed at the power of criticizing very small things. In fact, the smaller the better.

Refreshingly easy to do well, this method works perfectly in any culture or context. Don’t limit it to your ministry work; try it at home! Try it with your spouse, with your children or parents, with your friends, anyone and everyone. Point out anything. Everything. Repeatedly. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easily and deeply it changes the lives of everyone around you.

  1. On the subject of pointing out people’s flaws, diligently remember to also do it behind their backs to others. It’s a “one-two punch” that’s hard to beat!
  1. Be the expert on every subject, whether or not you actually know anything about it. You’re the leader – that means you always know everything, right?
  1. Closely related to number six is the principle of never showing any weakness or lack. That would only emphasize your need for others’ help which is hardly appropriate for a leader!

Moreover, accepting anyone’s help or even input would model interdependence. This is to be avoided by a leader at all costs. God has called you to be an eagle, soaring far above the rabble of the crowd below!

  1. Rely more on positive human examples than on those namby-pamby people who apparently enjoy suffering.

Tell stories about successful sports heroes, celebrities, and wealthy business-world icons, whether they know God or not. Keep everyone’s attention on success and winning. That “cross” stuff is for losers!

You don’t want your culture to be one of hardship and pain; who would want to follow that? Keep things positive and always, always demonstrate in your words and actions the importance of winning.

  1. Don’t give power away; only give responsibilities (without power) away. Keep the power centralized in yourself. You’re the leader – remember that! And leadership, if it’s about anything, is about power.

In any case, giving power away only shows you trust others. They’re supposed to trust you, not the other way around. Be strong!

  1. Please read number one again. Yep. Seriously. If there’s only one method from this great list that you remember and act on, let it be this one. It will work! And, here’s the really cool part: all the others will flow naturally from it. You won’t even need to remember to do them! This is the power of, as they say, keeping first things first.

That’s it. Again, these methods are guaranteed to work for you just as they have worked for the multitudes who traveled this path before you. I’ve even tried a few of them myself and I can personally recommend them as quite robust and consistently effective!

Perhaps you also have already tried out a few? Don’t settle for merely a couple; try them all out. Go for the highest! Don’t just be a leader – be a great leader!