If you have been in ministry for any amount of time we know we want to preach the Gospel. We want Jesus to change lives. We know people need to admit their need for a Savior. Pride has kept many people from accepting Jesus. Admitting sin and acknowledging that in our own strength we can do nothing to inherit eternal life is a constant stumbling block for prideful people. We are not to boast about ourselves; if we want to boast, then we are to proclaim the glories of God. What we say about ourselves means nothing in God’s work. It is what God says about us that makes the difference (2 Corinthians 10:13). We know this because we teach it.
The thing about pride though and the one leading the ministry that teaches about this, we fall into it in our leadership. We teach against it but sometimes we fall victim to it in our leadership. Pride becomes a stumbling block for leaders who want to move forward but who are too proud to take feedback on their leadership or ministry. Pride drifts in when we boast about the things we are doing in our ministries and thinking it’s because we are leading it so well. Pride comes in form of a saying something along the lines of, “My way is the best way so that’s what we are doing to do.”
How do I know? I feel like I’m in the middle of this battle. I wrote a post last week about pride as a blind spot and as I have been looking back it’s amazing how noticeable it can be. What’s a blind spot for you is a like a sky-scraper for your team. Trust me, they notice.
The thing about pride detours people, kills a team vibe, limits others growth and limits your ministry growth.
So how do you combat it as a leader? That is always the question right?
Answer: Be humble.
I’m sure these are not original (because the Bible teaches it) but here are some things I have been intentional with to try and maybe they will help you too:
- A humble leader is a thankful leader. Pride let’s you think you have done it all. Humility allows you to realize others are with you working on the same goal. So being thankful for your team and letting them know that you are goes a long way.
- A humble leader learns from everyone. Pride let’s you think you know it all. Humility allows you to learn from the team that reports to you, the volunteers who serve under you, and the people you allow to speak into you. I have been going to coffee with our volunteers intentionally asking them how they think our ministry can improve.
- A humble leader lifts up others. Pride let’s you think you need to be in the spotlight. Humility allows you praise others for their acomplishments and lift them up. When ever someone asks me about what I am excited about in our ministry, I try to sing the praises of others on the team instead of talking about what I have done (I still need to work on this, it’s hard!)
- A humble leader doesn’t worry about titles. Pride allows you to think that because your title is “whatever” it means you don’t need to do “whatever”. Humility allows you to realize when you loose the title, you gain relationships and a servant heart with the people whom you serve with.
- A humble leader admits when they messed up. Pride let’s you think you have done no wrong and that you are awesome. Humility allows you to admit you need help, from God and from others, in order to keep moving forward.
I’m not perfect at these but they are what I am learning in this new season. I know everyone needs to improve in some area because the thing about about is that if it’s not caught in time, it could be too late.