6 Signs Your Church Has Ministry Silos (Tear Them Down)

As churches grow and Pastors (ministry leaders) are hired to look after various ministries, the healthy church-focus becomes threatened by the inevitable: Ministry Silos.

This is when ministry areas become myopic — nearsighted — to the point they rarely look at the entire organization or even at another ministry outside of its narrow walls. It can affect us all.

Ministry silos will eventually destroy the farm (to take the analogy to the next level). Why? Because a ministry must understand the part they play in the overall church mission or it will slowly become its own entity. And those self-centered entities start to compete with each other and dismantle the unity and loyalty of your entire church brand (and create sub-brands).

It also costs more to develop all the separate brands rather than one unified brand. A healthy church must become a branded house, not a house of brands.

Here are 8 ways to tell if you have Ministry Silos (that need to be torn down):

  1. One ministry is more important than the whole. Their leader gets special treatment and seemingly can get away with whatever they want. They can have their own logo, their own vision, their own… whatever!
  2. Jealousy between ministries. Ministries get special treatment to the point of jealousy by other ministries. No one feels like they’re working together for the whole church’s story. One ministry eventually wants what others seem to be freely given.
  3. When asked about the church success, individual ministry leaders will talk only of their successes. Sharing the church story? It’ll be mainly about their direct ministry’s successes.
  4. Individual ministries are the hero of the church’s story. This is pretty bad since your congregation should always be the hero of your story; not your ministries.
  5. In public there’s talk of unity; yet in private there’s dissension between ministries.
  6. Mercy and grace is expected only for an individual ministry. A ministry can continuously struggle and break rules but others can’t get away with it. All ministries need the same rules.
  7. A ministry leader only cares if a benefit, reward, or success is for them. There’s very little congratulatory talk for other ministries.
  8. Meetings will be mainly about one ministry instead of all the ministries. Be careful of meetings that seem to always talk about one ministry. Meetings should center around the importance of everyone’s work and the congregation!

Note: Ministry Silos often pop up even with the Senior Pastor (or senior leader). Be careful when the sermon, the offering, the worship service, or the key leader’s pet projects become more important than everything else in the church. That’ll destroy the farm too.

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