Being in ministry leadership is a great privilege, but it can bring with it a desire to take pride in the influence that you have in other’s lives. Anybody that thinks that they have arrived in leadership because of their own ability or accomplishments has been ensnared by pride. This is not something new to Christianity, but goes way back to the early church leaders in the New Testament according to Ravi Zacharias.

[Related Topic: Death to Pride (and Fake Humility)]

God deserves all the credit

A calling, or desire to lead in the Christian faith, is described by Paul in the Bible. He explained that you can boast about whatever you want, but what will you gain? He said that he could boast about many things, but he would rather boast about his weakness so that no one would credit him his position or influence. It can be seen in the Bible again and again that you are where you are because of the presence of God in your life and his work, not by your own strength.

Romans 12:3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

We are called to serve

If you go through the New Testament, the word “leader” is used less often when describing a person of influence within the church than the word “servant.” In leading others, you serve and equip them to follow God instead of seeking influence or attention.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

Don’t get carried away by what the culture tells you about leaders, but study God’s word and align yourself with his definition. Jesus was the greatest example of a leader who gave all the glory to God for recognition he received. Instead of exalting himself, he chose to help those around him, using his time and energy to preach to them and help them discover the love of God.

Remain humble

You did not arrive where you are because of your own skill. Remember that the Word of God tells you that you are called to lead by his grace and mercy. Your voice and body can be lost. Everything is fragile and vulnerable. You are here by the virtue of God’s strength, not your own. It is a gift from God to be able to speak to others and fulfill what he has called you to do. He is able to bring you to the place he wants you to be, and the best way to get there is to be an imitator of Christ.

[Related Topic: When Self Is the Center]

If you are humble, God will use you in profound ways, but if you are arrogant, he will break you.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. If we believe we have earned our role in leadership in the church, how might this affect our actions and attitudes?
  4. Read Romans 12:3. Why is honest evaluation of yourself important? What happens when we don’t evaluate ourselves honestly? 
  5. Why do you think that the New Testament puts so much emphasis on the role of a servant? How are being a leader and being a servant brought together in the Bible?
  6. Why is it important to have a firm foundation for your theology as a pastor or church leader?
  7. Why is it good to be reminded of our physical dependence on God?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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