Sanford Levings

"Hi, I’m Sanford Levings, President of MinistryCFO and author of this blog. The purpose of our blog is to share with you information and insights that we gather from working with and listening to our clients and partners, located throughout the country." read more

Characteristics of Unhealthy Churches

We’re not counselors, we’re just bean counters. We don’t regularly run into these unhealthy characteristics but we have, indeed, seen them. It’s sad. As Christians, we want all churches to thrive and prosper.

This list is not meant to be an inclusive list of unhealthy characteristics. Rather, we want to provide you with a list of what we see when we visit and work with churches.

If you church is experiencing cultural woes and dysfunction, then a first step might be to have the staff read the book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni,­Print/dp/0470580461

Here’s a list of what we’ve seen:

  • One person, usually the Senior Pastor, makes every decision.

  • The leader is aloof. He spends most of the week at home preparing for his sermon for Sunday. He can’t be bothered as he prepares.

  • One person, who is not the leader, has way too much power and influence.

  • The church is operating on gut and intuition because the financial records are a total mess. Financial statements either are not available or the statements are grossly inaccurate. And it’s probably both.

  • One staff person is making life miserable for the rest of the staff.

  • The Senior Pastor is stressed and the stress permeates throughout the organization. Everybody is rushing around and talking quickly.

  • Incredibly high staff turnover.

  • Nobody knows anything. Staff roles are marginally defined. The future is unclear. There are no goals.

At MinistryCFO, we know some great team coaches who can help guide your church to better emotional and functional health.