We all make mistakes. When we get to know what they are we can learn from them and by the grace of God we can even stop making them. Ministry can take a nasty face plant when the mistakes are not addressed.   Here are 5 mistakes I’ve made that hopefully we all can learn from.

1. Play the Blame Game –  If something goes wrong, there is no good fruit in pointing fingers and passing the buck.  There is nothing worse than a leader that won’t admit they were wrong and to add injury to the insult blame someone else.  The only buck to pass is the good ones. Make sure when things go right, put the spotlight on the winners, the real team players. Think of it this way, as a leader you take the heat when things go wrong, the team takes the credit when things go right.

2. Copy Cat-  What works in some churches might not work in yours.  A mega church ministry in a diverse metropolis is going to have different ways of doings things than a small church located outside the town of 200. I have friends who pastor in the sticks. The men’s group meets around the pastor as he skins the deer. A women’s outing is when they all load up in someone’s van and head to Walmart in the adjacent county.   (we keep throwing around an idea for a “Stick’s Conference” just for the small church women’s leaders)  The problem with replicating other people’s anointing is that it is other people’s anointing.  Just like you wouldn’t teach or preach like the famous lady on the TV.  Find out if the Holy Spirit is the one instigating this idea, not the success of that ministry.

3. Only live Within our own Christian/Ministry Circles-  This mistake will stagnate the best of leaders. It’s important to meet periodaclly with other ministry leaders outside your church and even outside your community.  You will be encouraged and even make some friends you can talk to later.  It helps to keep perspective and to keep the bigger picture in mind.

4. Never mentor or promote the people around. I’m not talking about training yourself out of a job. I’m talking about birthing new ministries, winning souls and helping the next generation of believers to walk confidently in their calling. A common mistake is to keep everyone under the leaders thumb. For instance not letting anyone teach a bible study or even getting offended if someone else starts one the same night you have one. Not mentoring the next generation, or at least have someone ready to take over for you. Allow people to step in with new ideas, be open to their success by even encouraging and investing in it.  Rejoicing when they do succeed.

5. Don’t Seek God – This one will transform a ministry into a program almost overnight. The last thing any church needs is another program.  Seeking God first is a great safe guard against self righteousness, and judging others.

Q4U: What are some other mistakes we make?