Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Common pitfalls for Church-growth guys

1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us how we ALL struggle with temptation.  Those who attempt to build growing churches must be aware of some common pitfalls (these are things I have personally experienced and struggle with):

1) Developing an unhealthy view of yourself.  Pride, an over-inflated view of your own importance, has destroyed many a talented pastor.  Thinking you are the answer to everyone's needs, that you should always be available and approachable, will end up crushing you and your family. Thinking you are above being questioned and shouldn't be held accountable to others in the church is precisely what the devil wants to do to turn God's servant into a taskmaster.

2) Developing an unhealthy view of others.  You may begin to see SOME people as expendables - people who don't bring a lot to the table, as though they only exist to meet some need in YOUR life. Others who aren't your 'yes men' or fail to stroke your ego sufficiently, you will view as your personal enemies - as though disagreeing with you makes them "the spawn of Satan."  You might forget that God puts people in your life to make you better - that you NEED people to help you, to sharpen you, to encourage you, to drive you into the presence of God.  You might view other ministers who haven't risen to your "level of success" as beneath you.

3) Developing an unhealthy view of results.  Deriving your significance from your success will ultimately destroy you.  Pursuing anything above Christ will be like so much sand in your mouth... disappointing... it cannot satisfy.

You were created for God's glory - not your own.  You will face these temptations often in ministry as Satan attempts to make ministry about YOU.  Learning how to navigate these pitfalls will make for a much more fulfilling ministry.  Constantly expose your heart, your innermost thoughts and feelings to the Lord. Pray for pure motives - for honesty/transparency.  Surround yourself with people who love you enough to be honest and to hold you accountable.  Be humble and remind others of your inadequacies. God exalts the humble - if YOU have to do it, then you've got it all wrong anyway.