With Steve Jobs you were only toast if you thought he was wrong but didn’t dare to say so. But I’ve seen pastors act as if disagreeing was an act of treachery.
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.
Talking to some friends the other day, the subject turned to personality tests, and to Myers-Briggs. ‘What are you?’, we all wanted to know. And the conversation turned into a psychological ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.’ Those kind of tests do have a useful place, and the MBPTI test in particular
One of the key aspects for a Christian leader’s character, is self control. Like any element of Christian maturity, no Christian can opt out, but something of the intensity of leadership means it needs to be underlined: ‘An overseer must be… self-controlled’ (1 Tim 3:2) ‘an overseer… must be… self-controlled’ (Titus 1:7-8) Or, put negatively,
It was probably the most formative piece of feedback to a sermon I have ever received. I don’t remember what I had preached on, but I know I thought it was pretty average, and I wasn’t happy with it. Straight afterwards a friend came up to me and asked me how I thought it had
I was at a large church for a book launch, and the author was introduced as ‘One of the brightest theologians around. A Professor at the University of [prestigious name deleted].’ The problem was, he wasn’t. A bright guy, yes, but a junior lecturer. A bright guy, but this was his first book – and