Decision-Making in Church Leadership: What Challenges You Face


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When the leaders of your church sit down to make a decision, do you find yourself having to constantly postpone certain discussions because you can’t seem to reach common ground? This issue of decision-making in church leadership is common in larger churches because there are many people involved and, therefore, many opinions. 

The temptation is not to do anything, and as a result, the church’s growth remains stagnant. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this hard. By approaching it differently, you can come to quicker decisions that align with your mission and help your church thrive. 

The Internal Challenges Your Church Has to Overcome

As mentioned above, the biggest problem with decision-making in church leadership is there are multiple voices that want to be heard and multiple opinions about what path will lead the church to growth.

Before we get into the solution, let’s look at the most common challenges that come up as a result…

Lack of Alignment in Vision & Strategy

A clear vision and supportive strategy are crucial aspects that should govern church leadership. Without it, confusion and lack of unity aren’t far behind. 

All the church leaders and every member of the team must share the vision of the church. Without vision serving as a guiding picture, the church lacks the compass it needs to get to its ideal destination.

But for everyone within your ministry to share your vision to grow, you need to have a strategy. Otherwise, it’s up to each person’s interpretation, leading to a lack of sound decision-making in church leadership. 

Culture of Disagreement

Disagreement is present not only in church but in every aspect of society. However, its impact is most significantly felt in the church as people hold strong opinions and feelings about their chosen ministry.

Consider these scenarios, for instance: 

A prevailing culture of disagreement among church staff members doesn’t just add to the level of discord. It also takes your focus away from the church’s mission and vision, and ultimately, it leads to inaction.

The Benefits of Having a Strategy

When there’s so much disagreement about what to do next—in terms of marketing or anything else—it ends up creating a lot of half-built bridges. For your church to grow, those in decision-making roles must learn to change their thinking from… 

“We have to figure out which path is the right one.” 


“We have to focus on a strategy, choose a path, execute, measure, and shift as needed.”

Otherwise, you’ll continue to do nothing, and there will be no movement. 

That’s why you need to develop a strategy that can help with ANY choice made, and then measure the results of awareness, engagement, growth, etc., and shift as needed. Changing your approach toward decision-making in the church is integral to the success of your marketing efforts and your church as a whole.  

Let’s look at why having a strategy is so beneficial for decision-making in church leadership…

It Gets Everyone on the Same Page

Church staff members sitting while drinking coffee and analyzing data on laptop in front of a wall with the word hope.

The first and most important benefit you’ll gain from having a strategic plan is the ability to get everyone on the same page. From a practical standpoint, this ensures consistency and organization. But it also helps foster a respectful environment—not just for church leaders but for every member of the team. 

Efficient staff communication is vital to a healthy church, and that includes distributing your strategic plan to every member of your team. Each individual should understand their role in taking the church to the next level. This is the first step toward better collaboration.

It Offers an Outsider's Perspective

A strategic plan, particularly one developed with help from an outside marketing team, is also crucial to see the big picture of the issues plaguing your church. When making critical decisions, church leaders find it hard to separate themselves because they are a part of it.

A solid, strategic plan will enable them to take a step back and examine the issues from a more objective point of view. 

Decision-making in church leadership can be tricky because you might end up making decisions that not everyone will be happy about. But in the end, it’s the decisions that facilitate growth and enable you to carry out your mission that are worth pursuing. 

You’ll Have a Plan 

A good strategic plan provides you with a guided path toward your mission and goals. Running and growing a church is already rife with challenges. Without a plan, it’s like driving with a blindfold on. 

By having a good strategy in place, you’ll be able to determine the best steps for your church to take to achieve its vision and mission. That plan can also be used as a guide when making crucial decisions that impact the church’s future and its members. 

You’ll Have Data to Measure How It’s All Working 

The ability to measure the results of your church marketing efforts is crucial to move forward. 

Take for-profits as an example. Most rely on analytics to tell them where their traffic and conversions are coming from. That helps them focus their marketing resources on the ones that bring in the highest number of conversions.

The same is true with marketing your church. You need to home in on the tactics that bring in results, and measuring data is critical to make that happen. 

When it comes to decision-making in church leadership, information gathering is an essential part of it. After all, you can’t base decisions on intuition and anecdotal evidence alone; instead, you need to have access to measurable data. 

Your Goals Become Clearer

In the game of basketball or any sport, it’s impossible to take a shot when you can’t see the net. This is an important analogy for building a strategic plan for your church. 

You need to identify and make your goals clear among all members of your team. That way, everyone can devise the actionable steps you must take to achieve that goal. 

It Allows You to Use Resources Wisely

Churches have limited access to resources; therefore, every dollar must be utilized properly and wisely.

Building a strategic plan is one of the ways to not only improve decision-making in church leadership but also optimize resource utilization. Church leaders must come together to identify priorities and scope out the consequences of every decision. 

Wisely using resources is not only beneficial in terms of growing your church. It is also integral in encouraging more donations to your ministry. 

Final Thoughts on Decision-Making in Church Leadership

All church leaders aspire to make good decisions. But there is a gap that exists between good decisions and the processes that go into making them. 

That’s where Viral Solutions can help! We’ve seen this scenario play out one too many times. 

Decision-making in church leadership should not undermine the trust and confidence of the church or its vision. At the same time, you can’t sit on indecisiveness either. Developing a solid strategy and communicating that strategy to your team is a vital step to getting everyone on the same page and for your marketing efforts to move forward. 
Learn more about our church marketing services, and let us help develop an effective strategy for your church!


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Filed Under: Leadership, Marketing by Industry