The Number One Reason Churches Get Stuck

If you’re like us, you want to build an agile and enduring church that is around for generations to come. After all, the church was meant to advance. Jesus said he would build it, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. Every church has amazing potential.

So, why are so many churches stuck?

It’s a question that has both challenged and guided the development of ChurchOS over the past nine years. After working with hundreds of churches, we see one theme that summarizes the challenge. It’s simply this … church leadership teams haven’t established a church leadership worldview that each team member shares. There’s no common language. Decision making is muddled. And vision is fuzzy at best.

The church has been able to standardize (to some degree) what it means to be a follower of Christ. Yet, we haven’t been able to do the same for what it means to lead his church. Elders, pastors, staff, lay leaders, and the congregation aren’t aligned in their understanding and often, church resembles the children of Israel in the book of Judges where “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

That’s a picture of what it means to be stuck.

So how do you keep from getting stuck? Or how do you get unstuck? To begin, you must develop and maintain a commonly held understanding of the following:


The Great Commission is the mission of the church. It’s a beautifully simple picture of reaching people with the power of the Good News, teaching them the ways of Jesus, and sending them out to do the same for others. Have you restated this mission in simple terms? Does your entire team understand it? Or, have they been able to interpret the purpose of church for themselves?


Vision is an inspiring and informative picture of the future. It inspires commitment and informs next steps. Have you agreed upon the future state of your church? Have you painted a clear picture and communicated it well, especially to your leadership team? Or, does each leader have a picture of their own?

Biblical Strategy

Strategy is the fundamental thing you do to make more and better disciples – to accomplish Jesus’ mission. We believe Acts 2 explains how the church was meant to work. We use a tool called the Great Commission Engine to help clarify this basic biblical strategy. Have you established a simple understanding of your biblical strategy? Have you taught it to your leaders? Or, does your leadership team and church family have their own interpretation of how to accomplish Jesus’ mission?

How Decisions Are Made

Church leaders must develop a framework or set of lenses through which they view the church and its purposes, and then make decisions. This framework must then be understood and utilized by senior leaders, lay leaders, and even the committed Ninety-Nine. Do you have a teachable framework for decision making? Have you trained your leaders to use it? Or, are your leaders left to determine their own rationale for taking action?

We promise if you establish a clear understanding of these simple things, you will keep moving. It takes work. Missions drift. Visions leak. Strategies get complex. Decision making gets difficult. But it’s so worth the effort.

We would love to help you establish a church leadership worldview and make church make sense. If you are stuck, it’s time to get going. If you are growing, it’s time to ensure your team maintains momentum. And if you are a new church, now is the time to align your team and build this into your DNA.


Intentional Churches built ChurchOS to mobilize your Ninety-Nine to reach their ONEs. It establishes the conversations, disciplines, and routines that will keep YOUR TEAM aligned, focused, and accountable to Christ’s Great Commission for generations. You can find out more by reading our BOOK, listening to our BOOK PODCAST, or SCHEDULING A CALL to talk about how we can work with you and your team.

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Kirby Andersen
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