10 Evidences of “Siloed” Ministries in a Church

One problem I see with many churches is that their staff leaders operate in silos rather than as a team. Read these evidences of that kind of structure (or lack thereof), and see if your church might qualify:

  1. The staff seldom meets together, or they meet without intentionality. You don’t need to meet with purpose if everyone is doing his or her own thing, anyway. 
  2. Any meetings the staff holds are more about individual reporting than about vision-casting and team building. Those reports can even, in the worst situations, become competitive. Everything is about “I” and “my” ministry rather than “we” and “our.” 
  3. The staff seldom do anything together outside of office hours. They don’t share any level of life together. They are simply employees who do their respective jobs. 
  4. Staff members try to protect their turf – and thus, their job – more than contribute to an overall vision. Sometimes they do that because of negative experiences in the past. At other times, it’s because of professional insecurities or honest fear.  
  5. Staff members are generally suspicious of one another. They may eventually learn to trust each other, but the process takes a long time. . . . so long, in fact, that some members leave before it happens. 
  6. Seldom do any two ministries actually plan anything together. Nobody wants to hurt another ministry, but neither is anyone asking how ministries might partner together. Every ministry is individualistically oriented. 
  7. Ministries tend to compete with one another for calendar space. That may be because no one’s in charge of calendaring, but it’s also often because the staff don’t operate as a team. From their silos, it’s “first come, first served.” 
  8. Ministries don’t know what other ministries are doing in the church – and don’t often even think about it. It’s the latter part that concerns me the most. It’s one thing to be so busy you don’t always know what others are doing; it’s another matter not to care since it’s not your ministry anyway. 
  9. Ministry leaders get frustrated with each when volunteers move to other ministries. Everybody gets bothered when somebody they recruited and trained moves to another ministry in the church—even if the first ministry was really not the best fit for the member.  
  10. Nobody on the staff can describe a clear, compelling vision that drives all the church does. That may be the biggest issue, in fact. A church with no clear vision from the pastoral leader will almost inevitably produce siloed ministries. That’s natural, since they have no vision to rally around in the first place. 

Do any of these characteristics describe your church? 

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