A number of years ago, I sat in an Applebee’s with a fellow minister in our area. It was a typical pastor-lunch-share what’s going on kind of thing. Both of us were considered to be “up and comers.” We were close in age and even among well-meaning men who love the Lord, competition can crop up subtly. His preaching/teaching gifts were ahead of my own, but our church was growing faster than theirs.

Leadership “lock-in” (a term I first heard from Seth Godin) is a condition in which leadership believes people are “locked in” to their product, church, political party, etc. It’s a common leadership mistake, but a deadly one that befalls most churches in decline. Perhaps they are the only viable option within their denomination or the only church in the city. Perhaps they feel they have the most vibrant preaching or worship around.

So, they get lazy.

They get smug.

They get proud of the job they think they’ve done.