9 Things That Keep Church Leaders from Seeing God’s Hand in Their Church

The Church is God’s church, and we can trust He’ll do something through His people that brings Him glory. At the same time, though, I’m convinced many pastors and church leaders often miss it when God’s moving in their midst. Here are some reasons why this happens:

  1. Personal sin in our lives. When we’re walking in disobedience, our sin clouds our heart and mind from seeing the work of God. When we ignore God’s Word in one area, we’re likely to miss the work of God in another.
  2. Preconceived ideas of how God would work. Sometimes we’re watching for God to do something – but, we’ve already decided just how God should or would do it. If He operates in a manner different from what we expected, we miss it.
  3. A pessimistic spirit about everything. You probably know someone like this (in fact, you might be like this): no matter what positive things happen around them, some folks see only the negative. They see problems and drawbacks no one else sees, and they seldom see God work.
  4. Unwillingness to see God’s hand. This often happens when we’re wanting to leave the church, and we really don’t want to see God working in our midst – lest evidence of His hand compels us to settle down and stay.
  5. Comparison with other churches. We set our goal to be as successful and big as “x” church down the street, and anything less we deem unsuccessful – even if God’s hand might be in the “smaller stuff” at our church.
  6. Eyes on the next place of ministry. Almost as soon as we start talking with another church about a potential move, it gets tougher to see what God’s up to where we currently are. That’s because we’ve already set our sights on the supposed greener grass elsewhere.
  7. Taking for granted all daily blessings. We fail to recognize God’s graciousness in day-to-day life (e.g., putting a roof over our head, putting food on our table, and giving us a family to love), so it’s no surprise we fail to see the blessings of God in our ministries.
  8. Patterns of “fire-fighting” leadership. “Fire-fighting” leaders are always watching for fires to put them out before the flame gets so big and hot that it harms the church. While their motive is pure, their continual watch for small problems usually means they don’t see the small blessings of God’s hand.  
  9. No time devoted to listening to members’ stories. We see God’s hand more when we actually spend time with our church members, listening to them and hearing what God’s doing in their lives. We miss that opportunity when we cocoon ourselves in our studies.

What would you add to this list?

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