Dysfunctional means a number of things to me.  Primarily it refers to an emotionally and/or socially unhealthy person, any type of ongoing behavior that is not healthy to the person or persons around them.  It could mean serious 12 step issues or it could be a highly controlling person who wants to control everything and everyone around them, or it could be that this person is simply so co-dependent on others that leadership is impossible.  Often it means a mean spirited person.  The emphasis is on the effect this type of person has on the people around him or her.  The mere presences of this type of person makes the atmosphere toxic.   Usually people know this person is not a good role model and certainly not a spiritual leader.  Many of us are dysfunctional sometime in our lives, but shouldn’t remain dysfunctional most of the time.

The most deadly dysfunctional type of person in the church is the one who wants to control everything that happens. To see how to deal with this type of person click here to buy SACRED COWS in our store.

From our Advance leadership Forum (to join click here)

There are two kinds of dysfunctional people magnetically attracted to a declining church … people who have a need to control and people who have a need to be controlled. We talk alot about the former, but very little about the latter. I think you are experiencing this second kind of dysfunction. It is not a desire for leaderhsip, but a need to be controlled … to be told what to do (so they don’t have to talk initiative), what to think (so they don’t have to grow), and how to behave (so they don’t need to accept responsibility.

The difficulty is that if you do not step into some form of assertive leadership, somebody else (namely a controller) will see the opportunity. So yes, you need to be assertive (but not dictatorial). Part of being assertive is to be aggressive and pushy about their need to be spiritually disciplined (grow) and aligned to mission (accountable). So don’t dictate tactics … establish the clear vision and mission and rigorously hold them to it.