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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

18 Mar '14

High ambition coupled with shallow discipleship is a dangerous combination

Posted by T.J. Addington in ambition, leadership, leadership motivation, vision
I often meet people with great ambition in ministry. That does not impress me, no matter how vast their vision. There is nothing uncommon with this scenario. 

Why am I not impressed with great ambition and vision?  Because much of this is coupled with a shallow discipleship of Christ which means that the ambition and vision are more about the individual than about God's Kingdom. Ministry is merely the opportune channel to build a personal kingdom, name or reputation. And that is not immediately known but does become apparent over the years.

What are some of the signs that leadership is about the individual rather than about God? 

  • Lack of accountability to authority above them such as boards 
  • Lack of a common vision - it is the individual's vision
  • A need to control rather than empower
  • Narcissistic behavior
  • Using people rather than teaming with people
  • A focus on money and power
  • Name dropping
  • A need for affirmation and recognition
The common element here is a focus on self which is the result of shallow discipleship. The closer we get to God, the less we become concerned about us and the more about God. The less the spotlight on us and the more the spotlight is on God. The less it is about us and the more it is about team and common vision. It is the difference between pride (me) and humility (God).

I have seen many leaders lead well in their early days running on energy and a vision. But because it was more about them than Jesus they had a leadership failure in their forties or fifties. the common element was that their leadership was more about them than it was about Him.

This is an issue that every leader ought to think about all the time.

(Written today from Berlin, Germany)