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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.

27 Apr '11

Humble Church

When you think of your church would you characterize it as humble or prideful? Congregations, like people can live with either pride or humility.


Take a congregation that has been highly successful in its day but is now struggling. They desperately need to change the way they do leadership, they need new organizational structures and they need to trade out a tired staff who are locked into paradigms that are twenty years old. Yet, leaders cannot make the radical shifts necessary or admit that there is a need for change. The reason? Pride! It means accepting the fact that they are in trouble, accepting the fact that they are not who they once were, accepting the fact that they actually need help. Accepting the fact that they cannot rest on their past success but must radically reinvent the future.



This raises an important issue. Ministry success for a church often brings with it a level of pride that hinders the future effectiveness of the church. Pride is by nature a self-sufficient attitude along with the belief that we have ministry figured out and we are good at it. That pride takes our eyes off of Christ, focuses it on us, prevents us from seeing what we need to see and prevents us from learning from others. It may "work" for a season but it will "hurt" in the end.

In my experience, churches like the ones I have described above don't get their act together until they have been humbled and realize that they need help. Some never do and simply fade into an obscure future, living on the shadows of the past, believing all is well.

Humble congregations are forged by humble leaders (both lay and professional) who know they are dependent on God for any lasting spiritual fruit, are learners by nature and live with the awareness that they never have it all together. They are always willing to learn from others and guard their hearts against the pride that will sabotage their success.

Is your church a humble church or proud church?