The Pirate Cartel

December 5, 2016 by admin - No Comments


by dan grider

Church planters often take on the challenges and risks of planting a church only to find that within two to five years some of the same behaviors are emerging in their church plant that existed in the traditional church.

The reason for this is because pirate cartel members have moved into your church plant. Thom Rainer states that, A cartel is an alliance of bullies, bully-followers, carnal Christians, and even non-Christians that form an alliance in a church. Its ultimate goal is to get its way. It feeds off of selfish power.

We discuss this in our training events. It is the process of how pirates from the other churches can move in and in short order begin to create discord and chaos. The primary quality of a pirate is that they will not accept and submit to the culture of your church. They will continue to press their culture, ideas and values on you and the church.

Often you can identify a pirate when they come to you with their pedigree. They often want you to put them into power and position based on their background, education, and experience. They often lead by saying, I was an elder in my past church. Or I have a degree from…

A person isn’t necessarily a pirate just because they comes from an existing church and tell you their background. These are warning signs. You need to follow up with an interview and a clear explanation of your culture. It is better to do border patrol than to allow them inside the working parts of your church.

No matter how much you need help in your plant do not put these people into power quickly. When you do give anyone leadership responsibilities in your church be sure that you know them well. Make sure that they know your values, and that they are not pushing back on your culture. Do not give pirates any chance to build momentum. You as the leader must act quickly when you see a pirate at work. They will quickly build momentum and create a cartel.

Here are five signs that you have empowered a pirate cartel:

The Pirate Cartel

  1. When a cartel is allowed power, the church is already unhealthy. The cartel is, by its definition, self-centered and power-driven. The church will quickly become very sick this evil is not directly confronted.
  2. A pirate cartel leaves carnages of wounded and dying people. 
  3. Pirate cartels drive away healthy leaders. Some of these leaders are driven away by the cartel. Others leave on their own accord because they want to be in a joyous and healthy church. Their departure exacerbates the problems in these churches.
  4. Pirate cartels cause church leaders to work from a posture of fear.Instead of moving forward in faith, church leaders often spend more time worrying about how their decisions will impact the cartel. These leaders know the cartel will divide the church. They will take a small group hostage. They will remove their tithe. They will create division. If you come after them if they will exercise a power move against you.
  5. We are told in Scripture to manifest the fruit of the Spirit; the pirate cartel causes the church to do just the opposite. Galatians 5:22-23 is clear about the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Pirate cartels bring hate, discord, anxiety, impatience, evil, fear, brutality, and chaos.

Thanks to Thom Rainer for his church cartel article that was used in this blog.