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Do You Have the 'Ecclesiastic Ego'?

  • Russ Olmon and Deb Mertin Ministry Advantage
  • 2016 23 Nov
Do You Have the 'Ecclesiastic Ego'?

The familiar proverb, “pride comes before the fall,” is sadly realized in our world time and time again.  Within our culture, there is a gross exaggeration of human accomplishments, accompanied by  a continual need for recognition of such feats.  Repetitive praise about a job well done help to elevate the human ego and this does not always result in a balanced life of humility.

This behavior is seen in the business world, the sports arena, the entertainment world and unfortunately, has even infiltrated into the church leadership community. Many leaders who have risen to lead large churches have fallen into the “God complex”. An arrogance of who they are and who they have become allowing them to see themselves as infallible and have personally raised their self-worth to be above those they lead.: God gave them the role to lead the church and adoration from their followers becomes an addiction. It can be challenging for those kinds of leaders, and for ourselves, to take the advice or wise counsel from those that can keep us accountable and on the road of humility.

When a leader operates from humility, the Lord gives authority to lead and from that authority comes power. Part of strong leadership is submitting our weakness; nothing is achievable without the Lord and our confidence comes from the covenant we have in Him.  When leaders start to elevate their own self-worth by thinking that church growth or increased offerings are from personal accomplishments,  brokenness could soon follow. 

Humility shows up and grows up in serving. It is rooted in our identity with Christ, not our position within the church. Put simply, humility is about seeing yourself the way God sees you as a leader, and serving others the way God sees them and serves them. We are nothing without Christ and unless a leader recognizes Christ’s lordship in their life, it can be easy for him or her to start believing that their leadership position is a result of their own abilities.

Runaway pride has destroyed many a leader, a church and a family and the road back is painful, hard and does not always end with a positive outcome.If a mistake happens, the leader  with a prideful attitude may blame everyone but themselves for their conduct. The saddest part of a fallen leader is not only the personal affect, but the impact on their team and the church. Damage may be forgiven but for some, it is difficult to forget. 

The greatest example of humility was the life our Lord lived on earth. He never used title, or position or possessions to have power over the people. We have no earthly entitlement to the position of leadership. It is a gift, to use wisely from a heart of humility.

Matthew 11:29 “ Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”

This week's article is submitted by Russ Olmon, President of Ministry Advantage, and Deb Mertin, Ministry Advantage coach. For more on this and other helpful subjects, go to

For over ten years Ministry Advantagehas been one of the premier church resources that provides coaching and training for pastors and church leaders helping them turn their vision into reality.

Publication date: November 23, 2016