1. “I can do it better myself.”
True, to an extent. But you can’t do everything better.
And even if you could, where would you find the time? This phrase leads down the path of “I must do it all.” You can’t do it all. You are finite. You are rhythmic. You cannot sustain a fevered pace, going from one task to the next. You will burn out. You must delegate wisely.
2. “I am judged on results.”
No, you’re not. You may be employed to produce results. But you’re not judged by God to produce results. That’s His arena.
Your task is to remain obedient and faithful. This requires a stellar and growing, dynamic relationship with Christ Himself. Many of your colleagues have burned out thinking they were being judged by the results, which were not forthcoming in their assignment.
3. “If I work hard, God will provide.”
Nope. Hard work isn’t a trigger for God’s provision. At least, hard work ALONE isn’t.
This phrase implies you can go and go and go, at the expense of other areas of your life (like your physical health, your marriage, your parenting) and somehow God will fill in the gaps. Those who live by this phrase believe resting is evil and lazy. Again, not true. Resting is not only a solid practice, it’s ordained.
4. “I’m called to the ministry.”
No, you’re not. If you’re a pastor, you’re called to be a disciple who is cleverly positioned in the pastoral context.
If you’re a youth volunteer, you’re called to be a disciple who is cleverly positioned in the youth ministry context. Get the idea? If you believe the “called to ministry” phrase, you run the risk of replacing God with ministry and begin worshiping the ministry itself.
5. “I need others.”
True and not true. You need others because you are wired for community. Even if you’re an introvert, you cannot survive in ministry leadership without a few deep relationships.
But don’t fall into the trap of believing you need others. What you need is Christ. Co-dependency on others is unhealthy. If you believe you deeply need others, you will hang on every slice of approval and morsel of disapproval. As a result, you’ll ride a rollercoaster of emotions.
Want to remain strong in your ministry leadership? Then you’ll have to come to grips with these five phrases. Don’t be deceived by them. They sound good on the surface. But stick to the truth, or one day you’ll hit the wall and be totally surprised.
What Scriptures would you add to these five phrases? Are there other subtle phrases like these you’d like to add to the list?