5 Reasons Leaders Stumble and Fall
1. When the Pressures of Growth Crowd out the Promises of God.
There are two kinds of pressure related to the growth of a church. The inner pressure a leader feels to be a catalyst for growth and the outward pressure that comes in responding to that growth.
When these unrelenting pressures are allowed to crowd out the promises of God, trouble will eventually follow.
The promises of God include that He is always with us, He alone has the power to change lives, and He will build His Church.
When we try to lead the church in our own strength, running ahead of God (because we don’t think He’s doing things fast enough) or lagging behind God (because of doubt), we forsake the power of His promises.
Pressure will always be with us, so we must lean into God’s gracious promises, power, and presence.
We must first be humble followers and allow God to lead.
2. When Human Temptations Are Stronger Than Healthy Habits.
We cannot escape the realities of our humanity, but they must never become an excuse (or permission) for giving in to temptation.
What is your great temptation? What is your leadership Kryptonite?
It’s important that you know so you can resist.
However, saying no to our greatest temptations rarely works by itself; we also need to replace them (crowd them out) with healthy habits.
What three healthy habits do you have that protect against your top temptations?
In general, healthy habits include practices such as daily prayer, genuine accountability within an authentic community, and margin for things like Sabbath, rest, and play.
But we can also employ specific good habits to overcome particular temptations.
For example, the practice of daily gratitude helps overcome the temptation of comparison, envy, entitlement, and focusing on what you don’t have.
3. When the Loss of Authentic Community Skews Perspective and Gives Permission.
A long-standing occupational hazard for church leaders is to help get everyone else in the community, such as a small group, and fail to get the same experience for themselves.
Isolation is a great danger for any pastor, staff member, or church leader. The scary thing is that you can be among people but not really be with them. So we must open up and be transparent.
Our perspective of ministry, the church, culture, and life, in general, becomes skewed when left unchallenged and limited to our own thoughts.
Isolated and on our own, it’s easy for our thoughts to become small (lack of hope), spiral downward (feeling discouraged or defeated), and lose connection with truth and wisdom. Community is vital.
It then becomes easy to rationalize and justify (permission), which is an invitation to stumble and fall.
Can you name those in your close community where you have no secrets, and they lovingly but firmly hold you accountable? (We are in danger without this.)