8 Idols Church Leaders Still Worship Today

8 Idols Church Leaders Still Worship Today

Ever ask yourself as a church leader, do I worship something or someone other than God? 

It’s a great question to ask and a great heart check.

I’ll stick my neck out and suggest that you do have idols you worship instead of God. At least I do.

Once you identify them and root them out, you’ll become a better leader.

You’re an Idol Factory

I get challenged about my personal and leadership idols every year when I read through the middle part of the book of Isaiah.

Chapter 44, for example, is all about the futility of worshipping idols, which in those days were mostly wood or stone carvings.

So what’s an idol today? You don’t need wood or stone to create one.

An idol is anything that takes our focus and reliance off of God.

John Calvin was dead on when he said, “Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.”

Discard one, and you’ll simply create another.

8 Idols Church Leaders Still Worship Today

The list could be much longer than eight, because Calvin was right.

But here are eight I struggle with or have seen other leaders struggle with.

These are in no particular order, because, well, any idol is bad enough to be #1:

1. Strategy

So I’m a strategy wonk. If you read this blog, you know that.

I think many churches fail for lack of a clear, coherent strategy. I wrote in detail about how mission, vision and strategy interrelate here.

But strategy is no substitute for trust.

As valuable as strategy is (and it is), no strategy is a substitute for trusting God.

Strategy makes an excellent servant and a terrible master.

2. Skill

By all means, get better at what you do. Learn, listen, polish and perfect your skills.

Skill alone can get you far, but the church is a supernatural thing.

God changes hearts. You can’t. I can’t.

You know what’s better than a skill set? A surrendered skill set.

Having a B-level set of skills that’s surrendered is better than an A-level set of skills you’re trying to use without God.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof is founding pastor of Connexus Church and the author of several books, including his latest best-selling work, 'Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow.' Carey speaks to church leaders around the world about leadership and personal growth.