Chris and I feel as though we are in a time of testing. We are anticipating a life of humble church leadership. And yet, I feel like we are being asked by God “do you really want to do this?” At this point my answer is…”I’m not sure.”
I believe in calling. I believe in calling being affirmed by others. And we have been pretty secure in our sense of calling to be in church leadership in some capacity.
But here is where the rubber meets the road. We can feel the calling, and be affirmed by trusted people of our calling…but do we really want to do it?
I am quickly learning that humility is hard. Especially when you are in a place of respected leadership. However the only way to be in church leadership and do it well is to remain humble. If we are to do this…I don’t want Chris (and I) to be another sensitive, insecure, prideful leader.
By sensitive I mean, never willing to hear someones concerns about yourself, and becoming defensive if your being questioned. By insecure I mean feeling threatened easily when confronted. And by prideful I of course mean having an inflated sense of self; always being right, because you know better than anyone else. Which is the easiest trap for a pastor to fall into because they are reading all the time and can sometimes feel as though they have all the answers that a lowly lay-person does not have.
This seems to be the most practically difficult task in the life of pastors. Even those who are highly esteemed in the Christian theological world are being brought down by their staff and congregation over pride. CJ Mahaney is a good example of this. He is a guy that I have always highly respected. He has written many amazing books (one of which is called Humility), been president of sovereign Grace ministries and is widely known for his solid theology and great speaking. Unfortunately he is now fighting the battle of years of pent-up frustration from those who have worked with him because of his apparent pride issues. The allegations may not be 100% true, but they can’t be ignored.
We all have pride in us. So how do we guard against the raging need to be right all the time?
I know regardless of how much soul-searching I do on this subject now, I will battle with pride in the future. That may sound hopeless, but I know my own heart and I know that this will be a life long journey for me. I just pray that God can work a miracle. I don’t want Chris and I to be that way.
I desire to live a Christ-like, servant life that is preached so heavily in Scripture. We are bound for failure when we forget Paul’s words in Philippians 2:5-7:
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
If Jesus, being the King of the universe can become a human, be born in a barn to two poor kids, then die a criminals death on a cross, all doing it in perfect submission and humility. Then I can at least try to take a page out of His book. Right?