Challenges for Church Leaders Today by William Zook

By William Zook
Challenges for Church Leaders Today
by Apostle William Zook


I received this from a dear brother and pastor in Africa. It represents his heart-felt concern for the church in Africa. Since receiving this I've heard from many others from every continent echoing the same concerns. I send it today for I believe it to be a prophetic challenge to the church as a whole throughout the world. It is a call to prepare the bride of Christ for His soon-coming return. It is time, brothers and sisters, for church leaders to stand up for Jesus and through His Holy Spirit make the Bride holy and pure for her Husband. It starts with leaders!!

Challenges for Church Leaders Today

The Church needs leaders who can take her to the next level. To convert the reaped harvest and integrate them into the main life of the church, a new generation of leaders must rise to the surface. If the church is to do its job, then we must face and solve these key issues. If we are going to move on from strength to strength and see a greater move of God, then we need to rectify these leadership problems that are threatening the forward march of the church. We must rise up to face, fight and finish these challenges. We must stop behaving like the ostrich.

12 Vital Leadership Challenges

These issues are not theoretical but practical leadership problems that every careful observer can see. They are not particular to one church or denomination, but they spread across the landscape of the church. We cannot just fold our arms pretending as if they do not exist. The future of the work demands that we address them squarely today.


1. The Challenge of Individualism / Independence

Too many church founders are not responsible to anyone and therefore can preach, teach and lead their church the way they like. They behave as the "Alpha & Omega" of their ministries. They relate with no one and are not accountable to anyone. Too many nasty incidents have been the outcome.


2. The Challenge of Personal Kingdom building

It's an open secret that many of our leaders are focused on building their kingdom rather than that of Jesus. Most personal kingdom builders are highly gifted, visionary leaders and entrepreneurs who are focused and literally consumed with what they are doing. They build their church with the heart of a CEO building a large and successful company. They have hurt the body of Christ in no small measure. Sometimes, the leader sees their denomination as the very kingdom of God.


3. The Challenge of Success and Significance

Too many of our leaders focus on success without emphasizing ministry. Many fail to explain how they truly come to become who they are. Success is seen only from physical and material acquirement angle. This has led many young and up coming leaders into error and wrong pursuit.


4. The Challenge of Servant Leadership

Most of our leadership teachings and practices are wrong and way off the mark. Position, title, age and class are used as parameters of leadership. We emphasize hero worship and adulation of leaders. We emphasize control, selfish interest and connection. We operate with the unwritten code that church leadership means self-enrichment. Not much is being seen on true servant leadership.


5. The Challenge of Leadership Development

Most of our churches have no deliberate leadership development policy. We handpick and appoint leaders with little or no spiritual training to lead and pastor our churches. We now tilt towards secular education, high paid jobs and management styles of worldly companies to run the church of the living God. No wonder decay is setting in gradually.


6. The Challenge of Mentors and Fathers

This is a serious leadership issue. The cry is for true fathers and genuine mentors. Most mentors have become tormentors. Many fathers have led in the wrong way. They fail to provide good examples to follow. Moreover, they have not been balanced, open and transparent in their approach to issues and scripture. Wrong models are hurting the body of Christ more than anything else. Where are the Apostles and Prophets who are God's designated leaders of ALL churches and ministries?


7. The Challenge of Pitching Camp

This is one great challenge that is eating up the unity of the body of Christ. Every leader has a camp and if you do not belong to their camp, you are persona non-grata. Church leaders of different camps and ministerial networks feverishly work to discredit each other. Belonging to "camp A" or "camp B" has worked against the unity of the church. Today, you have a great many ministerial networks and associations but the needed unity is not there.


8. The Challenge of Mega Churches

Consciously or unconsciously, mega churches and their pastors tend to behave as if they own their territory. They look down on smaller churches and tend to control and demand obeisance from them. In some cases, they tend to take the properties of smaller churches, thinking that they only can win the city for Christ. This attitude has brought much anger into the body of Christ. Big and small churches are the will of God. Both of them are needed for city taking. Both need each other.


9. The Challenge of Continuous Learning

Church leaders need to overcome the challenge of refusal to learn. Many who have experienced one form of growth or the other now detest learning. The lack of learning spirit is hindering the continuous growth of the church. Leaders with no relevant, current and up-to-date information are not leading the church up but down.


10. The Challenge of Church Image

The unpalatable behavior of pastors and church leaders have created wrong images for the church. The majority of society sees the church as a "commercial venture." Most of the wrong views people have about the church boil down to wrong leadership being displayed. To change the image of the church, leadership must lead the way.


11. The Challenge of Wrong Motive

It is crystal clear today that many are in the ministry for the wrong reasons. The desire for money, and financial lucre have eaten so deep into the life and blood of many so-called leaders. Too many reports of wrong deeds by church leaders show clearly that their motives of being in the ministry are wrong. We must rise up to face this challenge squarely, else, the church has no future.


12. The Challenge of Successors

Church leaders have really not come to terms with the issue of successors. They still behave as if they will live forever. Some who have to choose successors are doing it the wrong way. In some cases, when the leader dies or is incapacitated, no one is able to take his place. This has led to the decay and death of so many once promising ministries. It's time we begin to address this challenge squarely.

Overcoming These Challenges

Every challenge has a solution. The Lord of the harvest can help us to overcome these formidable challenges. The following steps will really help.

1. Willingness to admit mistakes.

2. Willingness to adjust and change.

3. Rediscovery of God's heart and mind.

4. Renewing our vision for world evangelism.

5. Praying seriously about them.

6. Taking steps to connect with other leaders.

7. Willingness to embody the required change.

8. Reinstatement of God's leadership for the church starting with Apostles and Prophets . . . NOT Popes and Bishops!!

Yours In The Service . . . Dr. John

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Apostle William & Prophetess Monique Zook

Visitor Comments (1)

Challenges for Church Leaders Today

I am a Kenyan scholar, taking my doctorate on Leadership and doing my thesis on church leadership and your article makes me want to weep. As a born again Christian, your words ring true for the church, not only in Africa, but in Asia, where I do a lot of training for pastors and church leaders. if you want, I will share with you my thesis is on the effect of leadership on church growth in Kenya. (where I define growth as both numerical and expansion of the church ministry, and the spiritual growth as outlined in the bible)
Be richly blessed.
In Christ's service,
Peter Mutia

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