Saving Your Church from Itself

Six Subtle Behaviors That Tear Teams Apart and How to Stop Them

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"If you apply the principles throughout these pages, you will put yourself and your team in a place of greater health, which in turn will create greater outcomes. I strongly recommend you read this book."--Mark Cole, CEO, The John Maxwell Co.


Alignment of vision and purpose doesn't happen by accident, and it isn't maintained without careful attention and proactive strategies. As a coach and mentor to hundreds of pastors, Chris Sonksen has had a front-row seat to the unfortunate outcomes when a team member begins to drift from the vision of the church and the leader they serve. But the good news is, these situations never come out of left field. There are always warning signs that, if heeded, allow church leaders to rise to the challenge of keeping their team healthy, unified, and moving forward together.

In this powerfully practical book, Sonksen unpacks six subtle behaviors that undermine team unity and lead to problems that can derail your ministry and even split your church, including

· pride
· artificial harmony
· isolation
· a critical spirit
· divisiveness
· disrespect

He then offers a blueprint for what to do when you see or feel evidence of these behaviors creeping into team dynamics.

Now is the time to act if you want to improve and preserve the unity of both people and purpose in your team. The action steps laid out in this book will get you there.


"There is a word in this brand-new book from my friend Chris Sonksen that sums up what every organization must be aware of: Leaderdrift. We see it in churches, nonprofits, companies, big businesses, sports, and every facet where the strength of the team determines the success of the organization. Chris identifies the six subtle behaviors that every leader must be aware of as they strive to keep their team united and aligned. If you apply the principles throughout these pages, you will put yourself and your team in a place of greater health, which in turn will create greater outcomes. I strongly recommend you read this book and let it serve as a potential guide that may save your church and your leadership from itself."

Mark Cole, CEO, The John Maxwell Co.

"I have known my good friend Chris Sonksen for many years and am always informed by his keen insights, his strategic solutions, and most of all his heart for the church. Saving Your Church from Itself is no exception. It will clarify, produce insights, and offer pragmatic solutions, all the while giving huge doses of encouragement."

Sam Chand, author, leadership expert, and coach

"Chris Sonksen's passion to help leaders stay focused on the vision of a church or an organization and to build a healthy leadership team is always evident in the books he writes, and Saving Your Church from Itself is no exception! Chris not only identifies the characteristics that can tear leadership teams, churches, and organizations apart, but he gives practical insight on how to recognize the subtle changes that begin to take place and can lead to dissension. This book is a must-read not only for church leaders but for anyone who is in a position of leadership."

Rich Guerra, SoCal Network superintendent

"Chris Sonksen delivers wise and practical insights in his new book, Saving Your Church from Itself. It will help you identify and guard your church from the subtle drifts that can take place in the attitudes and behaviors of individuals who threaten unity, passion, and vision. I know Chris well, and his heart is for church leaders. The content in this book comes from his years of experience and passion for the church. It's a refreshingly candid look at how to strengthen your church before it's too late."

Dan Reiland, executive pastor, 12Stone Church, Lawrenceville, GA; author of Confident Leader!

"Chris Sonksen provides an honest, vulnerable, and practical guide to both identifying and overcoming the subtle shifts in attitude, behavior, and character that can turn the work of God into Satan's playground. Whether you are a lead pastor or part of a ministry team, you'll find this book to be helpful to your soul and your ministry."

Larry Osborne, author and pastor, North Coast Church

"Author Chris Sonksen offers leaders a practical and insightful guide with Saving Your Church from Itself. Chris smartly warns us that all leaders and teams can drift but then wisely shows us how to spot the signs early so we can make course corrections that prevent tragic outcomes. Reading this book may save your church and your leadership!"

Dave Ferguson, lead pastor, Community Christian Church; author of B.L.E.S.S.: 5 Everyday Ways to Love Your Neighbor and Change the World

"How we think, speak, and live is tied to the efficacy of our leadership. Chris Sonksen masterfully teaches leaders how to stay the course rather than drift in pride, isolation, and burnout. His practical steps promote collective awareness and are key to developing the true leader within you. Jesus' message reached all people; the strategy within this book mirrors that paradigm. No matter what leadership level you're at, this book is for all who are committed to the work God has called you to. Through research and life experience, Chris Sonksen has quickly become a premier thought leader in this area."

Dr. Joseph W. Walker III, senior pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Nashville, TN

"There may be no more timely word than this one for the leadership of the local church of Jesus Christ in a post-pandemic world! Chris has once again stepped into the unspoken that exists on the leadership level of a local church. As a leader who has lived what he writes about, I can attest firsthand that we need this book right now!"

Matt Keller, founding and lead pastor, Next Level Church, Fort Myers, FL

The Author

  1. Chris Sonksen

    Chris Sonksen

    Chris Sonksen is the author of When Your Church Feels Stuck, Quit Church, and Indispensable Church. His personal experience comes from his own success in pioneering South Hills Church, a multicampus church that has been widely recognized...

    Continue reading about Chris Sonksen