In this very concise article the author talks about the dangers that come to young Pastors who are enticed by the possibilities of becoming well known conference speakers or authors.
I don’t think it is only the young Pastors who have that struggle.
The sin that resides within us has wired all of us toward ambition. We want US to be noticed, appreciated, and ultimately, loved.
In my ongoing series of posts about “rethinking church” I’ve been considering how the WAY we’ve attempted to structure our Christian fellowship and interaction may be limiting our ABILITY to truly grow into the likeness of Christ and therefore BE what we are intended to be as a church.
I wonder if the issue of Pastoral ambition and self-fulfillment through ministry is fed by some of the same structures and mindsets?
A recent commenter to this blog mentioned that many in Christian leadership become “power mad” (his words) and pointed out that the tendency is not exclusive to either large or small Christian fellowships. Agreed… and that phenomenon among Christian leaders flows out of two things:
- Sin resides in Christian leaders just like it does in the rest of us… Christian leadership does not exempt a person from being a card-carrying member of the “it’s all about me” club.
- The structures we’ve put in place typically elevate (literally and figuratively) the Christian leader into a place that he’s distanced from the rest of the body.
The second point feeds the first. And it’s a deadly combination.
I am very much in a process of discovery on these “rethinking church” issues. I’d love to hear your feedback. Here are the questions that are bouncing around inside my head right now regarding biblical leadership in the church…
- What are the healthy, biblical attitudes about leadership within the true church that we need to freshly recognize and amplify within our fellowships?
- What fears about leadership (on both sides of the coin) do we need to admit and repent of? (Fear is not faith… and is therefore sin.)
- How can we heartily acknowledge and benefit from Christian leaders (as we are instructed to do in the New Testament) without putting them in a place where they are unable to truly connect with others and be genuinely connected with?
- How can we keep a high view of the importance and vital need of Christian leadership within our fellowships without making one man, or a group of men into leaders who are feared (because of their God-given authority) rather than loved as fellow members of our communities?
- How can we better carry out authentic relationships with our Christian leaders that enable them to be honest about this struggle with exalting themselves?