#8 Not Wanting to Be Big or Good
So trap #9 was "wanting to be big," but an equal trap is not caring whether we ever become big or good.
I have run into this more times among church leaders than I really want to remember. It’s like we want to disguise a lack of hard work, prayer or simply being smart about what we do as "faithfulness." It’s as though languishing away in apathetic irrelevance is somehow more godly than a church that is growing and actually reaching people and therefore, say the critics, must have sold its soul.
God does have a preference for reaching people instead of not reaching people. He does have a preference for being effective as opposed to ineffective. Ineffectiveness can also lead to an arrogance of justification… a perverse sense of superiority over those who have seen growth and genuine life change.
I can hear what some of you are saying. Agreed. Just because a leader hasn’t seen the results he or she is hoping for does not necessarily mean that God is not in what they are doing. Some ministries will always involve a lot of investment for little visible reward. But why do so many people gravitate to that as the default answer as to why their ministries are ineffective? Too often, leaders are ready to mask incompetence, a lack of diligence or deeper issues under the guise of being "faithful".
At the end of the day, I wonder if these two traps (8 and 9) force us to look deep into a place few of us want to look: into our motivation as leaders. Some of us are motivated by pride. Some of us are motivated by a fear of admitting we really don’t want to work intelligently, strategically and prayerfully at the ministry God gave us, or that we may be in the wrong place.
In both cases, the soul-work of honest prayer and introspection is hard. But the fruit could be great – it might open up room for God to work more effectively in all of us.