As a ministry consultant and Chief Solutions Officer for Nxt Level Solutions, I get the opportunity to work with lots of different ministries and ministry leaders from around the country. It’s awesome to see how God is using each ministry’s unique approach, style, and idiosyncrasies to share the gospel, transform communities, and change lives. After leaving a visit with a church, the one thing that I always walk away with is this: “God is doing some amazing things everywhere and in ministries of all shapes, styles, sizes, denominations…”
On the other hand, I’ve come to the realization that it’s easy for ministries, groups, emerging movements, and denominations to become what I call “ministry arrogance.”
Arrogance is defined as: display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride. Combine that with ministry and you have-ministries and ministry leaders who show a display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.
Yes, your ministry is doing great. Yes, God is allowing your church to grow. Yes, there are awesome core distinctions of your denomination. Yes, people want to learn from you. Yes, you are the sexy trendy thing. Yes, you hold onto important traditions…No, your ministry is not superior than any of the other ministries that God is using to draw people closer to Himself.
11 Signs That You May Suffer From Ministry Arrogance
- 1. You spend more time focusing on how others “have it wrong” than you do on the things that you can improve on.
- 2. You laugh and shake your head at the stylistic differences of another ministry.
- 3. You think your worship style is the only way someone could possibly connect with God.
- 4. You can’t understand why so-and-so’s church is growing and their pastor is not even a good preacher.
- 5. You can’t believe that ministries would have the audacity to have that length of a service time (too long or too short).
- 6. You believe the issues that you care about are the only issues that everyone else should care about.
- 7. You discount New Media and Online Ministry as illegitimate ministry.
- 8. You allow your way and your preference to become “The Only Way!”
- 9. You think because the expert at the conference said it…It must be the way, the truth, and the life.
- 10. You can’t believe that a ministry would use that version of the Bible seriously, NIV is the Non-Inspired-Version.
- 11. You read this list and laugh it off and say, “Who does that?”
When it comes to ministry you think BigIsTheNewSmallWait, scratch that, uhh that’s the name of my blog; somehow that has to be true.
The bottom line is there are many more ways and signs that you may suffer from ministry arrogance. We are all susceptible to it, and often times, the only way that we can get away from it is by having an open heart, getting out, and being exposed to other ministries, and truly trusting God.
I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
In this way, we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe, we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body,
Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t. If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else. Romans 12:3-6 MSG (a.k.a the hip hop slang version of the Bible)
Share your thoughts on these 11 Signs of Ministry Arrogance and add more signs to the list.