Jump directly to the Content
Leadership's Top 40: #40

My Greatest Ministry Mistakes

He watched his dreams crumble at Circle Church. Did that failure invalidate his ministry?
My Greatest Ministry Mistakes

Over the coming weeks, we will be highlighting Leadership Journal's Top 40, the best articles of the journal's 36-year history. We will be presenting them in chronological order. So today we present #40, from 1980, the confessions of David Mains, a pioneer in racial reconciliation, on the things he did wrong in his efforts to do right in this volatile context.

When I was first approached to write an article on painful lessons I learned from ten years at Circle Church in Chicago, my immediate reaction was to review instead all the successes. Pastors easily fall into the success trap that permeates our culture. We laud winning teams, fire coaches of losing teams. We rarely read about struggling or declining churches. They just don't make the news.

I have already had my chance, though. I wrote the book Full Circle when our four-year-old church in Chicago was still moving toward its zenith. We had started with a few friends and a dream to establish a church in the infertile ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

May/June
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
The Audacity of Rev. Jeremiah Wright
The Audacity of Rev. Jeremiah Wright
The sermon that inspired Barack Obama from the pastor who could derail him.
From the Magazine
They Might Be Giants. (Or Angels. Or Superhuman Devils.)
They Might Be Giants. (Or Angels. Or Superhuman Devils.)
Who, or what, are the Nephilim? We don’t know—and maybe we don’t need to.
Editor's Pick
Imitate Me: Paul’s Model of Mentorship
Imitate Me: Paul’s Model of Mentorship
Unlike power-driven approaches, healthy Christian mentoring is characterized by generosity and trust.
close