4 Leadership Dynamics in Growing Churches They Don’t Talk About at Conferences

People want to be a part of leading growing dynamic churches. We listen to conference speakers (or read blog like this!) and we get the impression that it’s all fun and games. However, the reality is that leading any organization that is making a difference in the culture around us has it’s tough aspects. Here are some attributes of leading in growing churches that I don’t often hear people talking about:

  • futureroadSuccessful Failures // Things go wrong … you’re going to attempt things that don’t work out the way you wanted them too. High performing teams see failure all the time and they seek to learn from every failure. Rather than avoiding failure these teams embrace it as a robust learning experience. “Don’t waste a crisis.” When something goes wrong lean in and try to learn from this experience. 
  • Resentment Management // Things aren’t fair … as a leader you see lots of injustice and inequity in your organization. For some reason some projects get better funded than others. Certain team members get a “special deal” that is different than other people. High performing leadership teams know that we can’t balance out everyone’s needs in the organization. These imbalances can create resentments in us and our people. Your leadership team’s ability to manage resentment will be a limiting factor to growth and development.
  • Pain Tolerance // “You’ll only grow as far as your pain tolerance.” – Sam Chand. Church leadership is painful. Our resources are always less than the needs we are attempting to meet. We see the inside of people’s lives as they are in their darkest hour. Navigating the complexities of leading in any human development organization is tough. Pain is a constant companion for leadership teams in growing churches. This pain keeps us relying on Jesus and draws us closer to him as we lead!
  • Safety Avoidance // As a church grows it becomes harder and harder to take faith based risks. The stakes become higher and decisions that used to be feel exciting now feel way too risky. Leadership teams of growing churches actively look for ways to take risks that require faith. At some point every leadership team has the choice to take a safer road or risk it all and blaze a new trail. Complacency is a temptation of leadership teams in growing churches. Leadership teams of dynamic churches actively seek out the riskier road.

I’d love you hear your thoughts leaders dynamics in growing church that you don’t hear people talking about. Leave a comment!


  1. Those are great Rich! I would totally agree- I would add one about what to do when your church plant fails. I think a lot of conferences assume that those in attendance are having success mostly.

    1. Love it … imagine a church leadership conference where it was all about learning from failures … what went wrong! That would be so insightful … I bet people would learn a lot from that! The Church Leadership unConference! 🙂


  2. Those four alone would spark some great, yet tough, conversations.

    Here’s another one for you: Leader / Staff Disconnect – Sometimes a senior leader wants to launch a new program or event that will create a lot of extra work for an already “buried” staff. There’s almost always a way to make it happen, yet many times the staff will just run full-speed ahead and burn themselves out without discussing various options with the leader that might make the project easier or less stressful. They’re afraid of being seen as unfaithful to the vision of the church or not a “team player.” Nobody wins in this scenario. A simple conversation about timelines, workloads, and various options is key to growing your church while keeping your staff intact.

    1. Love it … this is also known as “The Ivory Tower Syndrome!” 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving this input. Super helpful.

      – Rich

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.