The world of ministry leadership can be rather confusing. There is a constant tension between utilizing charisma and battling egotism that many ministry leaders lose. Over the last thirty years, there has been a long list of reported ministry leaders allowing their charisma to cross over to egotism which has led to some very destructive behavior that resulted in public downfalls that have deeply hurt the church worldwide. The irony in these situations has been the publicity of these downfalls have only reached the levels they have because of the grand ministries they led. So, why does it seem that God allows egotistical ministry leaders who are living in sin to lead such large and seemingly successful ministries?
The word ‘ego’ refers to an exaggerated sense of self-importance, which usually results in an excessive preoccupation with “self” (“What does the Bible say about ego?,” 2014). This is not a trait that is acceptable from a ministry leader, but due to the lack of confidence that this author has witnessed in ministry leaders, there are a large number of ministry leaders susceptible to egotism. According to King Solomon, humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life (Prov. 22.4), not egotism. Later on, Peter commands Christ followers to clothe themselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Pet. 5:5). Proverbs 8:13 makes it clear that God hates pride or egotism. Yet, ministry leaders operating outside of the scriptures seem to be blessed by God and leading large successful ministries. At least, successful by human standards.
A successful ministry in the eyes of God are those where life change is happening, people are genuinely growing closer to Jesus, and disciples and reproducing themselves. Not buildings and budgets.
Bennis, W. G. (2002). Leading in an Age of Vulnerability. Presented at the Leadership Summit, Cincinnati, OH.
Butts, B. G. (2006). The entrepreneurial leader as change agent: Developing innovative churches (D.Min.). Asbury Theological Seminary, United States — Kentucky. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.library.regent.edu/docview/304923079/abstract/528859405EC54D36PQ/1
Stanley, A. (2005). Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision (annotated edition edition). Sisters, Or.: Multnomah Books.
What does the Bible say about ego? (2014). Retrieved January 28, 2017, from https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-ego.html