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.
Category: self leadership
I’d considered a series on the blog, on how different pastors are responding to the crisis, and the creative solutions they have come up with. But the more I thought, read, and listened, the more I thought that actually, there are some core lessons we are all learning.
My generation of pastors is facing the greatest leadership challenge of its life, globally and in real time. From the human perspective, the future of the church rests on our actions over the next few weeks.
What is it about the patterns of being Christians together, that lays us open to spiritual abuse – both as perpetrators and victims?
Leadership has to be an expression of the Fruit of the Spirit, not a cover for egos, bullying and power.
So, what are the spiritual habits for pastors, so that we avoid self-sabotage? They are all obvious, but essential. And in my experience, we need to re-learn these lessons frequently, and with increasing force over time.
This wasn’t just being busy; this was a series of simultaneous responsibilities with a major price tag, and a lot of grieving people.
Are we willing to use people who are better than us? Because if not, we are doomed to be the best person in the room.
Each one had constructed a ring-fenced zone, where sin could roam free but still safely caged. Had none of them watched Jurassic Park?
Even the best of us can get caught in a bitterness of spirit, whether to an individual, a group, a type or even a whole church.
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.
We usually take ‘self-control’ in a negative sense. Not losing your temper, or not watching porn. That’ s a vital spiritual standard, and we need it. But unless we add in the positive kind of self-control, it’s static.
Theologically, the healthy and wide spectrum resonates with grace, but one end tips into being motivated by guilt, and the other end tips into inertia. One denies the gospel, and the other takes the gospel for granted.
If you want people to focus and contribute, you need to help them keep in the game. And that gets harder as the clock keeps moving.
When you’re a leader, it’s all too easy to be the hero. You’re the one with the answers, the vision, the ideas. You’re the pack leader, the team captain, the one who’s first over the top. And you know as well as I do, all the things that are wrong with that ‘big hero’ style.
It’s not that this kind of leader want to be the only person in the room – Diotrephes needed that church he could control – but he needed to be the leader in the room. And he’d break fellowship with an apostle to win.
Yet another high profile ministry crashed, leaving a trail of spiritual wreckage and a plume of non-Christian cynicism. And the lesson again is the deadly nature of being a lone pastor, an unaccountable pastor, a too-senior-to be-talked to-seriously pastor.
I woke up this morning to news of more ministry heroes of mine crashing and burning, their ministry pasts, presents and futures potentially deeply suspect.
Look at yourself rather than others. Look in the mirror, and check your deepest motivations.