4 Deadly Symptoms Of An Unhealthy Church Leadership Team


Just as a healthy person visits the doctor for a routine check-up, a healthy church leadership team routinely asks itself, “How are we doing? Are we effectively leading our church toward its vision in building the Kingdom?”

Here are four deadly symptoms of an unhealthy church leadership team:

1. Public Disagreement – If your church leadership team is consistently fighting and disagreeing on things ranging from theology to what to order for the church mid-month luncheon, then that could be a symptom of a misalignment of vision among the team.

Of course, people will not always agree with each other. Healthy disagreement is good and productive. Healthy disagreement happens behind closed doors in a safe place where all ideas are heard and trustis established among all team members. The moment that trust is betrayed by team members taking the disagreement public discredits the entire church leadership team’s ability to cast vision and propel the church forward.

2. Solid Rock or Shifting Sand – Most likely, everyone on your church leadership team won’t agree on every theological issue, but if your team is constantly changing its viewpoints on major key issues that influence the church’s doctrine as a whole, it could have disastrous effects. As a church leadership team, you need to be on the same page regarding your church’s theology. Ask, “Which theological issues are major to us? Which are minor?” When you’re hiring, be upfront with candidates about the church’s theology, and have in-depth discussions on whether the candidate is a good match with the church theologically. Theological misalignment among church staff members is detrimental to the long-term health of  the church.

3. “Are we there yet?” – It’s difficult to get where you going if you have no idea where that is, or where you are right now. A lack of direction and purpose on a church leadership team will cause church staff members to be confused and feel led to nowhere. A healthy church leadership team has direction, vision, and a set of goals and objectives. Communicate them clearly to your team and routinely revisit them to stay focused.  

4. “I can’t remember the last time we…” – Unhealthy church leadership teams don’t invest in each other spiritually. Healthy teams are comprised of healthy relationships, which take time and intentionality. Engage with each other in pursuit of what God has for your church and your community. If you find yourself wondering when the last time you prayed for each other was, then reevaluate. If you find yourself praying because of the people on your church leadership team more than you find yourself praying for them, refocus your mindset. As a team, study the Bible together, pray together, and then approach the issue.

If your team is experiencing these symptoms, they are not only affecting your team, but also the congregation with whom God has entrusted you. These symptoms can develop and spread like a cancer.

Identify the symptoms and remove the sickness as soon as possible, just as you would a sickness in your own body, so that your team can experience the great things God has in store for your church as a whole.

What are other symptoms of an unhealthy church leadership team that you’ve experienced?