I came across an excellent post today that sums up much of what needs to be said about the root cause in the crashing and burning of a number of ministry leaders, either publicly or behind the scenes. In fact, I wrote some of these same thoughts not long ago in my post, Only One Hero in the story. She writes.
There is a sneaky culprit that I have observed quietly ruin men and churches and ministries… and families. It’s not what you may be thinking, either. The “culprit” has a name. His name is pride. I’ve come to see Pride with a face. See if you can see that face, too: It starts out oh-so-quietly … a good message (or, sadly, an ideology) is spoken eloquently and people follow. Pretty soon, the messenger is being worshiped rather than the giver of the Message. The speaker believes the accolades are warranted. After all, it is a pretty good message. ”Look how good it’s working for me.” Said leader puts himself (or herself) out there as the example to follow.
Pretty soon, we’re reading books and buying CD’s from a person rather than seeking the Lord for ourselves. This is not only bad news for the follower, it’s bad for the leader. If the messenger basks in the praise of men for more than a moment, the door is opened and the invitation is sent. Shortly, Pride arrives on his heart’s doorstep. Left unguarded, Pride moves in, taking first a small, quiet room in the back of the heart—almost unnoticed—but before long Pride, takes root and displaces other tenants of the heart: Humility, Grace … Gentleness.
These are not the qualities of a “real” leader, after all. A man with a message is more than a man. He’s a “HERO.”
Thank you, Heidi, for treating the issue incisively and getting down to core causes. It’s something every one of us needs to keep in view.