Don Moore

6 Leadership Mistakes I’ve Made in Ministry – Part 1 Distraction


Failure, of one kind or another, is an inevitable reality for all of us as leaders.

Fear of failure in our culture is at an all-time high and increasing as expectations grow around us! I must confess that I’ve had my fair share of failures over many years of ministry leadership. However, I sense that learning from my failures has helped me to become a better leader.

In this 6 part blog series, I’ll share with you 6 leadership mistakes I’ve made with the hopes that you may be safe-guarded from the same issues in your life and ministry. Each has resulted in the formation of new habits to protect me in the future.


Distraction: Leading in a world clamouring for my attention

Pressured schedules, putting out fires, multiple spinning plates, great ideas, family obligations, even social media…

The most important significant currency today is not my money – rather it’s my attention.

Countless attempts are made every day to capture and absorb my attention. How do I learn where to direct it?

Normally, I’m not one to play video games; however, recently I downloaded a game just to check it out. I played it a little and it was somewhat captivating. So I found myself taking a few minutes here and there just to enjoy and relax.

iphone-game-appWhat I didn’t know, until after a couple of weeks later, was that this game tracked the stats each time I played. In only two weeks, I’d logged nearly 8 hours of playing time. What a shocker! Where’d I find that time? What had I ignored? A simple temptation to check out a game had pulled me way off focus of higher priorities!

Staying focused with all of the tempting ‘noises’ that surrounds us can be a difficult task as a leader. If we’re not careful, it can take us away from the true task and priorities that God is calling us to.


To avoid distraction, try following these 3 steps:

1. Attune To His Voice

I must take time for silence alone with God’s presence every morning which goes beyond a time of scripture reading and prayer. Listening gives me a fresh sensitivity to His primary priorities for each day

2. Act on His Priorities

I build my day around those priorities that come to me in His presence. Sometimes, these are very specific to do’s and at other times they are values to keep in focus throughout that day.

3. Avoid Non-Essentials

Keeping my daily priorities clearly in focus, I resist the temptation to get distracted by other things that may be good and even important but can pull me off-focus of my primary priorities for that day.

As church leaders, we are going to face moments of difficulty, even failure. The important part is to fail forward and learn from our mistakes. When you feel distracted, try to maintain a connected relationship with our Maker by taking some time for silence. He will show you the way.

Follow along with the next instalments of this series:

Part 2: Drivenness

Part 3: Defensiveness

Part 4: Drift

Part 5: Divisions

Part 6: Divergence

Great leadership resources from our recent Church Leaders Forum, “Cultivating a Culture of Dare” are now available online. Watch the video of Mark Buchanan, download the power point or peruse the resource booklet here.

About the author

Rev. Dr. Don Moore, is our National Church Ambassador. Don is available to inspire vision and explore partnership opportunities with denominational and senior church leaders, to assist churches in accomplishing their missional goals, both in Canada and around the world.

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