Unhealthy egos have a way of choking a ministry. They inevitably turn attention toward the minister–and away from the message, away from the Body, and away from God.
But unhealthy egos don’t always recognize they’re unhealthy. So, here’s a handy pocket guide to detect a toxic ego.
You know your ego is out of control if . . .
. . . more people refer to your church by your name rather than your church’s name.
. . . your church’s website features a dramatic picture of you holding a microphone.
. . . you calculate how to inflate your image with self-deflating humor.
. . . you maintain a reserved spot in the parking lot.
. . . you direct your fans to a website named after you–billysmith.com, etc.
. . . you tweet things like, “I was humbled to see I was voted Most Popular Pastor.” (Humble people don’t cite their humility as they brag.)
. . . you convince yourself that you can handle any downsides of an oversized ego.
What ego detectors did I miss?
It’s a bad idea unless it’s your idea…
Every reference to the ministry of your congregation begins with I.
Your interactions with colleagues, especially the inexperienced ones, consist of stories about yourself.
You rarely participate in discussions where colleagues share hopes, dreams, disappointments, failures.
This is so true. I once went to a conference at a church where all they could talk about was the pastor. The church website, rather than being firstchurch.com (made up name) was pastorsname.com. They all thought he was this big shot, but I’d never even heard of him before I went out there. I wondered how the church would survive when Mr. Big Shot went on to something else.
YOU KNOW YOU HAVE AN INFLATED EGO WHEN:
You think you’re the most humble person around.
You restrict your group memberships to those connected with churches.
You find it difficult to make ordinary friends outside of the clergy or the church with which you’re affiliated.
You believe humility is optional and not difficult to attain.
Ali, I’ve attended a church that was pretty much centered around the pastor’s ego and when he left, the church struggled. Many of the people who were in leadership under him left with him. Of the ones that stayed, it was like they were unable to make decisions since for so long he and his underlings told everyone what to do. Very sad
You know you have an inflated ego when you attend all team/committee/ministry meetings. If you can’t make it, you suggest they don’t meet.
How to Kill a Ministry All by Yourself:
YOU KNOW YOU HAVE AN EGO PROBLEM WHEN:
You exaggerate your past successes
You hog your pulpit
You accept praise for other people’s work and success.
We were in New Zealand recently and popped into a nearby church that was nearby. The guest speaker went on and on for 1 hour and 20 minutes. I looked around and noticed that he had lost his audience after the first 15 minutes.
He interjected his diatribe with “come on, come on”. As if he wanted the room to fully endorse his meanderings. My god it was pain full.
Inflated ego=a ministry can’t survive without you being a part of it.
When you deem it necessary to use an honorific title that precedes your given name.
When you refer to the ministry that God has allowed you to manage as being “My” ministry.
Derek Prince who was a man called by God to perform amazing feats of missionary work especially in China and his ministry lives on after his death, said that 50% of pastors should not be pastors. They are pastors to cover up their rejection and lack of self worth which means that their self worth is their ministry, hence the mess they make of things because inevitably their focus is them not what they do.