Be Aware of the Self Serving Bias When Diagnosing Your Ministry

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cone_slide8One of the greatest challenges in diagnosing your own ministry is successfully overcoming the self serving bias.  You know this term, right?  A self serving bias is “the tendency of people to attribute success to their personalities and failure to external factors.”

For example, while diagnosing the previous ministry year one might determine that Event A succeeded due to great personal leadership and Event B failed due to the disinterested customer’s lack of spiritual maturity.

One of the discussions that I begin consultations with is based on the Andy Stanley line that “your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results your currently experiencing.”

When diagnosing my own ministry outcomes, I’m learning to ask myself, “Is my rationale for the success or failure of this strategy affected by a self serving bias?”

I’m learning to add this same step into my consultation work.  See also, Brutal Honesty about Your Present and Innovation Step One: Acknowledge What’s Not Working.

By the way, one of the reasons that fresh eyes are so important is their immunity to the self serving bias.  Whether you take advantage of a one hour coaching call with me or have coffee with a ministry practitioner from another church in your area, you can counteract the dangers of the self serving bias.

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