Pop over here and read the post on Dr. Thom Rainer’s blog: Eight Ways Leaders Make Themselves Vulnerable to Spiritual Attack by Dr. Chuck Lawless, then come back and let’s talk about these eight points.
1. We focus on others, often to the neglect of ourselves. As women we tend to nurture first then take care of ourselves. But we are not going to nurture in a healthy way if we are not healthy — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Evaluate your own state of health as you tend to the needs of others in your family, workplace, and church.
2. We replace spiritual disciplines with ministry activity. Do-ers especially struggle with this. I’m one of those. But Romans 15:13 (HCSB) encourages us to draw it in so we can overflow it out effectively: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe [in Him] so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” You must make time with the Lord, continually and daily, a priority or your ministry activity will take a hit every time.
3. We do ministry in our own power. Read on down in Romans 15 and see how Paul talks about boasting only in Christ and thus has the power of the Holy Spirit. We are reminded also of this power in verse 13 mentioned above. We must not lead in our power but only in His. There is no comparison between the two!
4. We think failure will never happen to us. Have you ever told a leader with a new idea, perhaps a young woman just starting out in ministry that it’s been done before, or it’s just too risky? So what? What if she tries and it fails? Won’t she learn great lessons? What if she tries and it works? Will you support her willingness to take a risk?
5. We ignore our “little” sins. Little sins, when ignored, become big ones if not dealt with. A continual cleansing of the heart is so necessary for us all. 1 Timothy 1:5 (HCSB) says, “Now the goal of our instruction is love [that comes] from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” A good conscience is a result of daily repentance of even the smallest of sins so we can lead effectively.
6. We see people as the enemy. Yes, she’s a “trouble maker” or she has hurt you in the past. But she is not the enemy. Recognize that the devil uses relationships that struggle as a way to stave off God’s work in and through His people. Pray and ask God for a way to build bridges to those in your ministry who seem to live on the other side of harmony. “Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you ⌊to live⌋ in harmony with one another, according to ⌊the command of⌋ Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice,” (Romans 15:5-6 HCSB). It may take endurance but God can bring unity!
7. We minister in the secret places of others’ lives. This can bring a sense of pride from the confidentiality or the ability to “help” someone in crisis. Be very careful that you minister out of pure concern and always strive for pure motives in your ministry.
8. We have few real friends. Sometimes it’s hard as a leader to build relationships. Be sure you have a couple of close accountability friends in your life. Those who will check on how you are “really” doing and who are not afraid to call you on the carpet if needed. They also provide prayer support and wisdom that we are desperate for.
OK, how do you see this list? How do you evaluate your leadership based on these thoughts? Perhaps this is something you can work through with your teams.