The Non-Profit Clash

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

I have been involved in church ministry in one form or another for most of my life. Even when I was involved in the business world, I frequently helped non-profit organizations, offering my time, finances, and wisdom. 

To this day, I remain a huge supporter of what our front-lines non-profit organizations are doing, especially our local churches. 

However, there is often a fundamental disconnect between the board of these ministries and the director or pastor. This disconnect can easily escalate into a full-blown clash—believe me, I’ve seen it firsthand when I’ve been called in as a consultant—if this issue isn’t quickly addressed. 

The main issue is the mindset of measuring success by quality or by quantity. Both have their place, but often times the board members are thinking primarily in terms of quantity while the director or pastor is thinking primarily in terms of quality. 

Here’s how I addressed this topic when I taught a group of ministry interns…

In my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter I have a chapter called “Don’t Try To Grow Your Ministry” in which I note: 

This is a common disconnect in nonprofit organizations and churches. Many of the boards of these organizations are wonderful, godly people who fully believe in the mission of the organization. These board members are often successful business people who have both wisdom and wealth to contribute to the organization. But here’s the problem: the way we define success in a for-profit organization isn’t the same way we define success in a nonprofit organization. And often the way we define success in any of our ministries doesn’t line up with the Bible’s definition. 

For both pastors of churches and directors of non-profit organizations, and for their respective board members, I would recommend using Shepherd Leadership as a discussion-starter to address this potentially ministry-derailing topic. Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter is available in print or ebook, and in audiobook through either Audible or Apple.

If I can help as a consultant in your church or non-profit, please get in touch with me. 

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