5 Common Derailments in Ministry Leadership

Man alone

One of the hardest things I do in ministry is interact with those who are no longer in ministry, but wish they were. They’ve been derailed. They messed up and got caught or the guilt got the best of them. In my experience, it usually takes the first of these for the truth to be known.

You should first know that I’m huge on applying grace, but the reality is that we lose good, effective ministry leaders because they begin to make dumb mistakes. From watching this process over the years, there appear to be some common reasons this occurs. My purpose of this post is to expose some of them, hopefully to catch some before its too late. Do any of these apply to you?

Here are the 5 most common derailments in ministry leadership:

Thinking it couldn’t happen to me – It can. It can. It can.

Refusing to listen to others – In my experience, God will attempt to rescue those in jeopardy. Refusing to listen dismisses the voice of God.

Overestimating personal value – Pride goes before the fall.

Underestimating the worth of others – Genuine humility is a protector of character.

The slow fade – It never starts at free fall. Allowing temptation to become little sin and little sin to become big sin. That’s where it always starts.

That’s what I’ve seen. Do you need the warning?

You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. No temptation has seized you except what’s common to man. When tempted, God provides a way out.

Perhaps this post is one way.

I’m praying for you. I’ll even be a safe place if needed, but I’m hopeful you’ll find one. Don’t be a statistic. Be an overcomer of temptation!

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5 thoughts on “5 Common Derailments in Ministry Leadership

  1. "Underestimating…" I have seen some wonderful leaders fall into that one pretty quick! I am working with a leader now that is fresh out of college and a newlywed to boot! He has such great potential and I really don't want him to fall in where so many others have. He is, in some ways, starting to work in that direction now. Keeps doing all that he can on his own; keeping things close to the vest (so to speak); things like that, nothing major, but…
    At this point, I continue to pray for and WITH him on a weekly basis. I never hesitate to speak my mind on issues, but I do wait until I have been asked! Surprisingly, he does ask, and when I answer I give specific observations, I don't give pet peeves or agendas! When I see something he has done that might not work well, I let him know what and why. Even more importantly, when I se the things he does that work ( and there have been many!) I make sure he knows that also!
    He's a good kid with tremendous potential and I am proud to support him any way I can.
    Twitter: bryankr

  2. Nice observation of the main stumbling blocks that trip up not just pastors but all believers if we ignore the warning prompts of the Holy Spirit.

    The BIG questions need tackled: What do we need to do to help restore one another? How can we create safety networks to help without being judgmental? Where is biblical community able to play a part? When are we going to really wrestle with this issue?

    • yes, great questions. Feel free to write a guest post of some thoughts. I've written on that issue a few times, but it's a needed subject.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson