The 7 Deadliest Sins of Church Leaders

Everyone needs accountability—including (and especially) church leaders. Here are seven warning signs that issues in your leadership (or on your leadership team) are on the horizon. Keep an eye out for these in your church, for the sake of protecting the leaders and the people they lead.


1. Comparison

One of the best ways to feel better about yourself as a church leader is to compare yourself and your church to people who are not doing as good as you are. (It’s also a sign of extreme insecurity.)

2. Piling On

When a church leader falls and people begin to attack, one of the biggest problems in church world is that Christians seem to feel an obligation to “pile on” when they do not know the whole story … and in reality the person who fell probably needs more people praying for them than they need another bullet in their back.

3. Majoring on the Minors

When church leaders refuse to “break bread” with someone else who is a believer but doesn’t line up doctrinally with everything they believe, then they do not represent Christ as He commanded us to in John 13:34-35.

4. Leading by Fear

If God has not given us a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7), then He hasn’t given it to church leaders to lead with.

5. Using Prayer as an Excuse for Passivity

Many times a church leader can see a problem and realize that a difficult decision or a tough conversation needs to take place … but they will “pray about it” rather than participating with the leadership calling God has placed on their lives.

6. Declaring What We Are Against Way More Than What We Are For

All too often when people hear the word “Christian” they think, “Oh, those are the people who hate me and what I do.” What if we, as church leaders, stopped screaming at people and actually took the time to serve them? THAT could change the world.

7. Laziness

Ministry is tough work. Loving people is tough work. Leadership is tough work. When the memories of the past are greater than our future hopes and dreams, it is most likely because we have settled into a place of predictable comfort and have no desire to “step out of the boat.”