Mediocrity in Ministry – the New Smoking!

So by now you’ve probably heard that sitting is now considered the new smoking.  If you haven’t, then you need to read this article in Runners World.  The article basically states that sitting for 6-8 hours a day can lead to issues like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even depression.   It’s basically your body not doing anything and the end result is that your body starts to wither away. 

I hate to bring in a comparison here but I see this happening in ministry all of the time and unfortunately most ministries don’t recognize that they are basically killing themselves by doing nothing and settling for mediocrity.  The end result is that their congregation starts to wither away.

What are some signs that a ministry is settling for mediocrity you ask?

1)      They (Leadership) take creativity out of their worship experience – meaning they don’t change much from week to week and the leadership gets comfortable with the status quo.  Confession: I’ve been very guilty of this and so has every ministry leader ever! Change is good and the local church should be one of the most creative places around.

2)      The church turns inward and becomes a ministry unto itself!  AKA – The proverbial “Holy Huddle!” The church focuses on the happiness of their members and they ignore their community essentially flipping those people off and telling them to go to hell!

3)      The Church starts to believe their own press!This is when the church leadership hears how “wonderful” they are and how they are a “pillar” of the community and then settles on that belief without pursuing the very ministry work that earned them that reputation in the first place.

4)      The leadership that guides the ministries lead under obligation and not passion.Scary thought but it happens all of the time.  First of all, the church shouldn’t have programs that they can’t lead with passion.  Second of all, if you lead a ministry you should be finding passionate people who can help you lead.  Passion is cool!

5)      The vision of ministry has been lost or perhaps never established I’m not going to quote the often misquoted Proverbs 29:18 verse about vision instead I’m just going to use good ol common sense! If you don’t know where you are going, then you’ll probably end up somewhere else!!!

I could go on and on but the cold-hard truth is when we let mediocrity infiltrate our ministries we are basically asking for our ministries to go by the wayside and die.  That is so sad!  If this is happening then it’s time for re-evaluation and redirection and it’s time to turn mediocrity into momentum.  It’s time to quit being comfortable and start being creative.  Jesus was the most creative, momentum filled, mediocrity killer of all time.   Shouldn’t we try to lead like Jesus? I think so!


Brian Holt was called into and served in children's ministry for over 20 years. Brian had the privilege to lead in children's ministries ranging from mega-church to plant church size. Brian changed roles in his church and now serves as the Care Pastor at Rock Creek Church in Prosper, Texas overseeing the Care and Support ministries of the church. Brian has been married to his lovely wife Amy for over 24 years and they have 5 amazing kids. Brian's passion is to see every man, woman and child fall in love with Jesus and become one of his devout followers, transforming their lives in the process to be more like Him everyday.

One Comment

  • Lisa Goodyear

    So True!

    Brian,  Thanks for a great blog!  This is so true and sadly so many leaders, as you have stated, fall into the category of mediocrity in their ministry.  They wonder why they do not have new members or new kids in their program.   This is a great blog and I pray many will read this and thier eyes will be open to using creative methods in their ministry.  Thanks!