reshared with kind permission from Josh Reich.
All of us believe lies in our lives and those lies shape us. Lies that we aren’t good enough, strong enough, that I owe God, that we can be in control, that God doesn’t love us, that we aren’t lovable or worthwhile.
Lies like these, shape us. And if we don’t face them, these lies will determine the stories we tell and live.
Pastor’s believe lies as well. I know that might be a shock, but it’s true.
And like lies in our personal lives, if we don’t face them, name them and see the impact they have on our lives, they will determine how we lead and what our leadership (and lives) are like.
Here are three of them:
1. What happens at my church is because of me.
All pastor’s know this isn’t true, but we easily believe it is. You can tell by their mood after they hear how many people were at church, what the offering was like, how the kid’s ministry went. Much of what they feel about their sermon is based on what they can read on people’s face, the connection they feel or lack thereof.
If numbers are up, our moods tend to be better. If there were no technical mistakes in the service, we feel better.
This isn’t to say that excellence doesn’t matter, cause it does, but it can become a difficult idol to shake.
2. God loves me more when I preach.
I love preaching. I feel like God has gifted me to do it and I love using this gift for His glory. It is an honor. But it is easy for me to feel like God loves me more because I preach or that I feel his presence more in my life when I am preaching.
It is also easier for a pastor to replace their devotional life with sermon prep. When this happens, we aren’t filling up our bucket, but merely giving out.
It is often easier to do something for God than see what God is doing in us.
3. If I’m not at church, it will fall apart.
As a church planter or pastor, you will battle this. Will people care about your church as much as you do? What happens if your church completely falls apart when you aren’t there? While many struggles with this, I’ve never actually heard of a church closing because a pastor was away for a week. Revolution will not fall apart if I’m not there, but like lie #1, it is easy to fall into.
The healthiest churches are the ones that a pastor can leave for a week or two and give others a chance to step up and lead.