I admit to becoming increasingly aware of envy, and it is ugly. And I’ve started to notice a pattern, which you might recognise, and maybe a way through.
Not every minister will ‘fit’ every church. If that’s you, when do you go? Should you go?
We follow a crucified Saviour. That sounds obvious, but it always needs repeating. Because the penny never seems to drop. Not all the way, all the time.
Do you have a passion to see the lost found, and the found built up? Do you have a desire to see the gospel understood, churches planted, men and women converted, children growing in their faith, and for you to be playing a part in that for the rest of your life? Do you treasure your time in God’s Word, and love to see it opened among his people so they are dazzled by his wonder? Then you’ve identified what he means to aspire and desire this noble task.
What is the alternative to self-centred, rebellious ambition? Is there a way of rewriting ambition, so that it can appear in a God-centred, passionate, obedient way?
That’s what Diotrephes heard – that he would be first, that he would be like God. That he would rule the church, that he would be its saviour, that he would be its sole source of truth, that he would be the exclusive centre of its relationships, and that he would be worshipped.
Ambition is a strange, wonderful, glittering but dangerous characteristic for any Christian leader. With it, we can achieve amazing and faithful gains for the kingdom; without it, we are passive, workshy, and go with the flow. But with it we can also domineer, control and make ourselves the enemy of a grace-filled gospel. The New Testament gives us clear examples of the best and worst kinds of ambition.