When we believe our own press, we're in trouble.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a growing number of church leaders meet their ultimate demise. Some have been very public and humiliating. Some have been for sexual or financial sins (or both), but there is a growing trend of pastors losing their jobs because of domineering, bullying, and leadership malpractice.
It seems that sometimes the larger a church becomes, or the more entrenched a leader becomes in a local church, the temptations for strong-handed leadership grow exponentially. Entitlement rears it’s ugly head, and before you know it, an out of control leader can ultimately lead a church into chaos and revolt.
So… how do you keep control? How do you not succumb to the human tendency to turn leadership into a dictatorship filled with demands and behaviors that sometimes make corporate America seem tame?
I think some of the remedy is in your ability to stay humble.
The ability to not believe all of your positive press.
The gift of being humble.
Recently Dan Reiland shared 12 Traits of a Humble Leader. Today I want to share his first five. I think they are important for us to read as we start this new week. How are you doing?
1) Humble leaders are not easily embarrassed.
Humble leaders do not try to protect a reputation or project a certain public image. They aren’t worried about trying to look good. This doesn’t mean they don’t care how they’re perceived or what happens, but they just don’t take themselves too seriously. Humble leaders possess a healthy balance of self-awareness and self-confidence.
2) Humble leaders are not offended if they don’t receive credit.
When a leader isn’t looking for credit, they’re not offended when they don’t receive it. Every leader appreciates acknowledgement, but they don’t seek it out or need it in an unhealthy way. Humble leaders serve for the good of others, not for accolades.
3) Humble leaders are willing to lift others up.
Prideful or narcissistic leaders may try to keep you down or at least in your place, but a humble leader finds ways to lift others up. They will promote young leaders, give others opportunities, invite you to a seat at the table when they can and freely give public recognition.
4) Humble leaders are not prone to gossip.
Gossip finds its root in jealousy, envy, and pride. Gossip often puts others down in order to gain allies, gain an advantage, or maneuver in position. These things are contrary to a humble heart.
5) Humble leaders have a good self-image but don’t need to tell you how good they are.
As I mentioned, humility comes from a place of strength, and therefore is nearly always connected to a good self-image. A humble leader knows their strengths and is not hesitant to talk about them if needed or asked, but they don’t have a need to constantly tell others of their worth, accomplishments or importance.
(You can read Dan’s remaining 7 points here… they are well worth your time this morning).
So… how are YOU doing at staying humble?
It’s a struggle. Sometimes daily.
But keeping yourself in check in this area will not only honor God, but it can ultimately save your ministry, your family, and your church.