If you’re a ministry leader and you are not following www.churchleaders.com then you should go check them out right now. Specifically, go read a recent article by Ron Edmondson entitled 10 Dangerous Distractions For A Pastor (I’ll wait here until you’re finished). I found all 10 points to be uncomfortably insightful and refreshingly helpful. We’ve all seen families sacrificed on the altar of ministry, compromise for the sake of comfort, and power grabbing that was nothing short of ungodly. Allow me to add a few thoughts to the list of ministry pitfalls for your prayerful consideration.
1. Neglecting daily personal devotions. The danger in ministry is that all of our energy is pointed at studying for others and we can easily neglect studying the Word for our own edification. This naturally creates a weak spiritual framework for our lives where others are fed while we remain hungry.
2. Lack of accountability. There should always be a pastor, preacher, prophet, or leader that can tell us the truth and not just what we want to hear. King David needed to have a Nathan in his life to be saved (2 Samuel 12:1-13). We all need a voice of authority regardless of how much authority we may wield.
3. Lack of self-control. Self-control is a vital ability the ministry should exhibit even in areas that may or may not be classified as sinful. Impulsiveness may be charming, but it is also dangerous especially when you are tasked with caring for the well-being of others. Finance and temper are two areas that are often troublesome for ministers who struggle with self-control.
4. Getting too comfortable. I know some of us wish we had this struggle but before you laugh it off remember that complacency is a tragedy. The church and especially its leaders must remain vigilant lest we fall asleep waiting on the Bridegrooms return.
5. Getting too defensive. I realize that the ministry and the things of God are constantly under severe attack, but it is unhealthy and counterproductive to be constantly defensive rather than offensive. Admittedly, sometimes the best offense is a good defense, however, that can morph into a hunker-down mentality when we should be advancing.