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10. 2. 2023

Staff Health| Church DNA/Culture

The Top Ten Things Church Staff Think Are 'The Worst' About Their Church

| 2 min read

Written by Todd Rhoades
Nov 18, 2019 11:53:33 AM

Last week, I started a series about what Church Staff members think about their own church.  In part one of this series (LINK HERE), we talked about the top ten things church staff LOVE about their church.  Today we’re going to look at what staff members say is the ‘worst’ thing about their church.

Why is this important?

Every year, thousands of church staff jump ship.

Some leave for another church.  Greener pastures. A God-given opportunity.

Others leave for good.  They leave the ministry altogether.  What once was a calling turns into a burden they can no longer bare.

When staff people leave YOUR church, there’s a good chance it could be for one of these reasons.

Take a look at is list of WORST characteristics of churches, and see how you’re doing.  Do you risk losing staff during 2020 because of any of these issues?

Here they are, in order:

1.We are Steeped in Tradition and Set in Our Ways 

“We are very stuck in our traditional ways, not wanting any change or progress.”


2. Our Church Polity/Governance

“The worst thing that  I think about my church is the government organization. I believe that the way that she is organized doesn’t bring results for the church.”


3. Biblical Illiteracy is Prevalent

“In spite of the way we teach, Biblical illiteracy runs rampant and it begins with much of the staff not have an adequate grounding in the Bible or theology.”


4. Too Many Power Plays / Church Politics

“Overall, there is an unwillingness to communicate issues and try to resolve conflicts.”


5. Our Church is Too Small

“Our church is too small in size to financially afford to realize the vision of the lead pastor, which leads to many disappointment from unmet expectations or failures from overstretching beyond what we are actually able to do.”


6. Our Church is in Decline

“We’re experiencing a decline in attendance and finances.”


7. Our Facilities or Location is Holding Us Back

“Our facilities are crowded and we have a lack of connecting spaces”


8. We are too Inwardly Focused

“We spend most of the resources of the church satisfying its member’s wishes at the expense of reaching the lost.


9. We Suffer from a Severe Lack of Vision/Leadership

“We don't know who we are or where we are going.  We don't have a strong vision and there is a significant divide along theological lines.”


10. Our Attenders Aren’t Committed

“Majority of attendees don't desire to connect and get into a place of serving or committing… Some that are totally apathetic, non-responsive, but won't articulate why.”


How is your church doing?

How many of these issues are issues at your church?

How does this change the way you lead in 2020?

Here’s today’s homework.  Choose your church’s top area that you know needs to be worked on.  Then write out a plan to eliminate this problem in the next 12 months.

(Maybe you need to ask your church staff or a small group of key volunteers to rank these criteria and potential areas).

Maybe the issue is Biblical Illiteracy.  What changes can you make to help people fall in love with God’s Word and WANT to learn more about it and put it into practice? Maybe it’s a different approach to Sunday Sermons. Maybe it’s a class.  Maybe it’s small group or one-on-one discipleship. Whatever works in your context… make a plan!

Maybe the issue is getting more people committed to serving. How are you doing it now?  What’s NOT working? What can you change? What can you do that will excite and help volunteers to WANT to be a part?


The biggest part of the solution might actually be determining what to tackle. What you give whole-hearted priority to will most-likely improve in one year’s time.

One other piece of advice.  

Be open with your current staff about where your church is.  

If you’re frustrated, they probably are as well.

It’s better to head off their frustrations before they decide to leave.

Recruit them to be a part of the solution.

In my experience, staff don’t leave because of these problems themselves.

Staff move on because they feel like there is no hope in solving the problems.

Sometimes, a little hope (from you) is all they need.

Need help working through this with your staff?  Don’t know where to start? We’d love to help. Feel free to reach out to me.  My email is todd.rhoades@chemistrystaffing.com.

Have a GREAT week in ministry!



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