Young Leader: Ego


Ego: The Church does not need brilliant personalities but faithful servants of Jesus

Genuine authority knows, however, that all immediacy is disastrous, particularly in matters of authority. Genuine authority knows that it can only exist in the service of the one who alone has authority. Genuine authority knows that it is bound in the strictest sense by the words of Jesus, “you have one teacher, and you are all brothers” (Matt. 23: 8). The community of faith does not need brilliant personalities but faithful servants of Jesus and of one another. It does not lack the former, but the latter. The community of faith will place its confidence only in the simple servant of the word of Jesus, because it knows that it will then be guided not by human wisdom and human conceit, but by the word of the good shepherd.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Keeping our egos in check is so important because it is counter-cultural to everything we see and hear. We live in a day where self-promotion is rampant. The church sadly is no different. What worries me is kids who are digital natives are growing up and they don’t remember what it was like before the age of the minor Christian celebrity. You have ministers who start a blog and buy followers on twitter before long they are wearing swag and hitting the conference circuit speaking about things they have heard and seen others do but have never done themselves.

This may seem harmless enough but the greatest damage it does is it creates a misunderstanding of where authority comes from and what we as Christians are supposed to do to leverage the authority we have been given. The purpose of our God-given authority is to build the community and serve as faithful servants of Jesus Christ.

Am I anti-twitter, Instagram, Facebook? No. Well maybe anti-Facebook, I honestly don’t like Facebook. There is the problem when you can be in ministry for 2 years open up a twitter account and not know a thing, you have never built anything and you start to think that you have something to say because few people come to your blog every day. It’s just far too easy to build a platform before you have paid the price for a message. The reason our message can be so shallow is we do everything we can to protect our ego’s and avoid pain. Pain in ministry refines the call and focuses us on what is eternal.

Our world is in massive need of genuine authority. We have enough egos in Christian ministry we need more servants.

Questions we need to ask ourselves often to keep our ego in check:
1. Do I love people who can do NOTHING for me?
2. If I lost my influence would I be ok with that?
3. Do I use my position to get people to do things for me?
4. Do I say and do things that will get Retweeted or Do I say and do what the Holy Spirit is asking me to say and do. Even if that is unpopular?
5. Do my actions reflect my stated priories?
6. Do the people walk away thinking I am great or did I in my conversation make them feel great?

11 thoughts on “Young Leader: Ego”

  1. As a young person who is in training for ministry, these “Young Leader” post are very relevant. Really enjoying them! Looking forward to hearing you speak in Newfoundland this April!

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels that way about Facebook. More to on topic though, there were so many good points, and ego is something I always feel like I’m battling with. But i like your point on the pain of ministry, because if it hurts, then it is definently more than ego keeping you there. Thanks for this series.

  3. Sam,

    Thank you for sharing on this subject. Question #2 is something I’ve been walking through the last 3 years. I went from a church of great influence and well over 2,000 people to a church plant with a small launch team that is growing now. It’s been a humbling experience and I’ve realized many of my flaws and how inexperienced even in 10+ years into ministry. Love your perspective and blogs you share.

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