Healthy church leadership is more rare than it should be. Every month I meet more and more church leaders who are in, or are coming out of, very unhealthy leadership cultures. They’re often refreshed by the culture at Redemption Church (which is not perfect, but is healthy).
One of the key ingredients to our healthy environment: We take God very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves very seriously.
Healthy church leadership cultures take God very seriously. He’s a consuming fire who created everything, knows all, and is ready to judge the living and the dead. He is holy, righteous, good and gracious. When he shows up, the earth quakes. You can’t see him and live. You don’t trifle with a God like this.
But to be a healthy church leader, you can’t take yourself very seriously. You’re a vapor who is made of dust and headed there soon. You’re plagued with folly, self-deceit and sin. You have very little control in any ultimate sense. God is delighted to use you as he made you–and even uses your mistakes to accomplish his purposes.
Without this second perspective:
- You’ll be deceived into thinking you’re something you’re not.
- Rather than serving with humility, you’ll think you’re entitled to something.
- You’ll give lip service to the grace of God while also imagining that you deserve a slice of the credit for your success.
- You’ll worry and fret about things you can’t control.
- You’ll fight to protect your reputation as though you were a big deal.
- Your insecurity will plague those around you and ruin your leadership.
True confession time…
I sometimes struggle with taking myself too seriously. But the more I remind myself that I need to take God seriously instead of myself, the more it frees me to enjoy what he’s called me to and create a fun, healthy environment for my fellow leaders.
We need more healthy leaders. We need more healthy churches. May it start with us.
In what ways do you need to take yourself less seriously?