If you’ve never heard of the term “ministry silo” before now, don’t worry. I first heard it a couple months ago, when some bloggers started using it. It’s one of those terms that’s really new, but people use it like everyone is supposed to automatically know what it means. I had to Google it.
Tim Stevens, in his very helpful new book, Fairness Is Overrated writes that “Silos are the walls that are between departments in an organization.”
Imagine a silo on a farm. It’s that very tall building filled with valuable crops. But it’s separated from the rest of the buildings by very high walls.
On a farm, silos protect the crops from cross-contamination. In a church, says Stevens, “Silos turn colleagues into competitors. …Silos will tear apart a church faster than just about anything. From a silo-built church come jealousy, slander, gossip, bitterness, conflict, and competition.”
In my experience, silos happen in two way in Small Churches – both of which need to be identified and overcome.