10. Avoid the religious spirit.
The religious spirit, or an attitude characterized by tearing others down without building them up, is the enemy of any congregation. But pastors can easily become more critical than they realize. Soon, their trust of other leaders erodes, leaving them to rely only on themselves for wise counsel. And the enemy often pounces in isolation.
Pastors need to trust other leaders within the congregation and without to help them continue learning and growing. When a pastor feels he knows everything and cannot learn from any other leader, he is falling down an increasingly slippery slope.
Pastors can rid themselves of the religious spirit by doing regular heart checks. Like a physical exam, pastors need a spiritual retreat to get alone with God and ask Him to reveal if there is anything preventing them from being the leaders God intended them to be.
All Christians need to avoid the trap of using their spiritual position in the world to become a celebrity to the people around them. Pastors are no exception. But as leaders of their churches, they are more susceptible than anyone. When pastors focus on the real tasks of working for the Lord, not for themselves, they will avoid the trap of popularity and be the followers of Christ they are called to be.
Michelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre, award-winning author, speaker, writing coach, pastor's wife, and mother. As a literary agent for Wordwise Media services, she is a sought after workshop presenter at popular writers' conferences like She Speaks and Greater Philly Christian Writers conference. Please visit her website at michellelazurek.com.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Mkeith813