Pride: The Pastor's Worst Enemy
Dr. David Murray has a post, over at the Gospel Coalition Blog, in which he considers the numerous ways that pastors (especially gifted, younger ministers) are liable to fall into the trap of ministerial pride. Dr. Murray notes the particular causes, pastoral consequences, and personal cures with regard to ministerial pride. When he comes to consider the causes Murray suggests the following:
- Public gifts. As your gifts are exercised in public (unlike those with more private and unseen gifts and ministries), they are more likely to be recognized, admired, and praised.
- Official status. As many of Godâ€™s people respect and honor the â€œofficeâ€ of pastor (sometimes regardless of who fills it), you may be inclined to think it is you they respect and honor.
- Man-centeredness. When people are blessed under your ministry, they will often attribute it to you rather than to God.
- Worldly ideas of leadership. You see yourself as â€œin charge of all these people,â€ rather than their servant.
- Inexperience. The Church is quite unique in how it places untested and inexperienced young men into positions of the highest responsibility without going through the â€œhumbling school of hard knocks.â€ Having never been led, they sometimes do not know how to lead.
- Misunderstanding of call to the ministry. Paul did not see the pastoral ministry as a prize he had earned. For Paul, it was as much a grace, an unearned gift, as salvation (Eph. 3:8).