5 Signs the Enemy (Not God) Is Winning in Your Life and Leadership

2. YOU’RE GROWING ARROGANT

Arrogance can creep in so easily among church leaders.

There are two primary ways Christians succumb to arrogance: success, and by using a common but false definition of ‘maturity.’

Let’s start with the first. The most difficult test of character is not failure. It’s success.

Here’s why. It’s pretty easy to be humble when you’re failing. It’s just far too easy to take all the credit when things go well.

As a result, leaders of growing churches and ministries almost always have a daily fight with arrogance. Or at least hopefully there’s a fight. Because if there isn’t, arrogance will win. Every time.

I know in my life as the church has grown, as more people have read my blog or even listened to my podcasts, the battle against claiming credit is daily.

I remember that when our church was little, I regularly prayed: “God, write a story so big here that only you can possibly claim credit.”

The truth is, God has. Our church or my wider ministry has impacted far more people than I ever dreamed or could possibly have pulled off. But I still have to fight myself to make sure that I’m not trying to snatch credit for anything God has done in my life or ministry.

The goal of Christian leadership, after all, is not to get people to follow you. It’s to get people to follow Jesus.

If the battle against pride isn’t daily, pride will win.

A second way that arrogance creeps in is when Christians falsely characterize Christian maturity as knowledge.

If you listened to many in the church these days, you’d think knowledge equals maturity. The more you know, the more mature you are.

Scripture suggests that’s a false test. After all, as Paul points out, knowledge puffs up; love builds up.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.