Are you a lead pastor? Or a staff member at your church? Here are four things that probably build your ego but actually may hurt your church:
- When people tell you this: “There’s no other church in our town/city like this church.” They’ll talk about the great preaching, excellent music, and usually one or two other things that are a priority for them. They’ll say they’ve been visiting around for years trying to find a church and they finally found yours.Let me break it to you kindly: you likely aren’t as great of a church/preacher as they are saying. You may have an awesome church, but it probably isn’t as great as that one person is making you believe. And be warned, if it took years for them to find your church – they are probably difficult to please, and it won’t be long until you aren’t so great anymore. When you believe what they say – it builds your ego, and it will probably hurt your church.
- When people tell you: “You’re the best teacher in our city.” That’s not true. There are several other pastors in your town that are hearing that same thing from someone else. You might be the best teacher for them, and they’ve church-hopped enough that they’ve heard plenty of speakers. But a church-hopper isn’t the one you hope to communicate best to. And your communication style doesn’t speak to everyone. It speaks to them, and that is good, but you probably aren’t the best teacher in your city. When you believe what they say – it hurts your church and grows your pride.
- If you are growing at a fast rate (above 15%-20% a year) for more than two years in a row. Growth is an important sign of church health, but not the only sign. If your church is growing at a really high rate, it becomes nearly impossible to assimilate new Christians at that rate. And if they’re not new Christians, then you’re probably gathering the wrong group of people – you’re gathering a bunch of churched people. Growing at a fast rate builds your ego but it potentially hurts your church.
- If you don’t have staff members who will tell you hard things. If you have staff members who always seem to agree with you, that builds your ego but hurts your church. If your ideas are always the ones that win out at the creative meetings, it builds your ego, but hurts your church. You need staff members who will tell you that the sermon didn’t connect, that something came across wrong, or that you didn’t handle a conflict well. You need staff members who have better ideas than you. If you don’t have staff that will regularly ask to try things differently and correct you, it’ll build your ego and hurt the church.
Have you experienced any of these? Do other thoughts come to your mind?