Church leaders are supposed to be multipliers (see II Timothy 2:2). People inside and outside the church want a culture of multiplication in their organizations (see Liz Wiseman’s book Multipliers: How the best leaders make everyone smarter). But sometimes we inadvertently exhibit practices that diminish the potential for our congregations and ministries to thrive.
The following is an incomplete list of indicators that, far from multiplying, may actually suggest you have drifted toward being an “unintentional diminisher.”
Take a close look at each of the following statements. If it is true, mark “Y” for yes, and if it’s not, mark “N” for no.
In meetings, I do most of the talking. I have so many ideas that others need to be made aware of. Y N
When I see someone struggling in their ministry area, I quickly jump in and rescue them from failure. Y N
I am currently not equipping or coaching my staff or key leaders. Y N
Over the last year, I have identified, recruited, and equipped less than 10 percent of our attendees to take on new leadership opportunities. Y N
Most everyone serving in this ministry reports to me. Y N
When I convene a group for strategic planning, I usually have thought out the entire outcome so as to save time and prevent wasted effort. Y N
When presented with a ministry challenge by others, I focus on being able to provide them with the best and most complete answer. Y N
I have fewer than three unchurched friends that I have an open and ongoing conversation with about faith and church. Y N
I have not discovered those with the gift of evangelism in my congregation and I have no plan to equip members of my congregation to share their faith. Y N
I have made no effort to discover those in our congregation with apostolic gifts and to seek their perspective on ministry strategy and direction. Y N
If you marked “Y” after any of the above statements, you MAY have some tendencies to act as a diminisher rather than a multiplier. But if that's the case, don't beat yourself up. The truth of the matter is that none of us get it right all the time. And there are steps you can take to create a growth environment and multiplication mindset for your congregation. If you are interested in multiplying your impact by starting a new service, site, or congregation, contact me.
Rev. Ben Ingebretson is director of new church development for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church.