10 reasons why people disengage
A pastor I spoke with today was struggling with how to deal with disengaged leaders. I shared with him a “Top 10” list I frequently share with leaders I coach. congregations and I thought I’d share the list with you too.
1.We assume that people know the “Why”. We spend too much time talking about logistics and the “whats” rather than reminding people of the “whys.” Every team needs to have their own “I Have a Dream” speech.
2.We fail to honor their passions and use their greatest gifts. You don’t have to motivate people when they’re passionate about something. Find out what energizes people and unleash this energy towards fulfilling your vision. If you don’t know what energizes people, ask them! Always start with where the energy is!
3.We fail to tap their wisdom. The best leaders I’ve worked valued each person’s perspective and wisdom. Some of the best gifts I’ve received from leaders and colleagues has been a clarifying remark, a new perspective or an insight to one of my blindspots. Don’t neglect the counsel and wisdom of those around you.
4.We give them tasks but not tools or the authority to get the job done. We need to support and resource the people we give responsibility to. Ask volunteers, “What do you need from me or other team members to do your best work?”
5.We care more about results than the relationships. If we see a person as simply a resource to get something done and not as a friend and colleague in ministry, we miss out in one of greatest joys of ministry. This is one area where I think we can have our cake and eat it too. We can build great relationships as we achieve our desired results.
6. We delegate but don’t develop. A leader’s job is to help grow disciples and help people live more fully into their vocation. How are you developing the people around you? Do you help them discover, develop and deploy their gifts?
7. We micromanage. Provide people with a clear picture of the desired outcomes and allow them to find the best ways to achieve them. We need to find ways to provide structure without stifling people’s creativity.
8. We spend too little time encouraging the heart. The book, The Leadership Challenge, reminds us of the importance of recognizing and celebrating the contributions of others. Congregations need to hear the short-term wins that are regularly occurring to maintain momentum, and these celebrations provide ample opportunities to acknowledge the gifts and efforts of people.
9. We don’t deliver on our promises. Volunteers often say they feel neglected once they’ve said yes. They report not being trained, supported and encouraged. Good leaders take time for training and frequently ask, “How can I support you in your efforts?”
10. We fail to care for their souls. Do you pray for your volunteers regularly? Do you encourage them to take the next step in their faith journey? If our first job is to grow disciples, what are we doing with to nurture the faith of the God has entrusted us with?
These reasons remind us of the opportunities we have to encourage, empower, equip and energize people who are engaged in ministry. What are some things you regularly do to help people feel valued and remain engaged?