Show Notes – Episode 12
Avoiding Resentment in Gospel Leadership
Resentment is never a godly response, but there are some things that leaders can do that bring about resentment in those that follow them.
At times we foolishly feel validated by opposition and resentment.
Are we doing things as leaders to foster this response?
1. Personal agenda comes before God’s vision.
Is my team serving me? Or are we together serving Jesus? The former results in people being used rather than helping them be used by God. On our own, we can get an inflated sense of self-importance and value. Encourage people to do what is right, but not to further our own agenda.
2. Pushing takes the place of leading.
Pushing is prodding from behind. Leading is encouraging others to follow. Ministry was never intended to be a state of perpetual, joyless exhaustion or discouragement.
3. Overextension becomes the norm.
Living on the ragged edge will make the leader irritable, the team tired and fearful, and the ministry culture unhealthy. At first you feel the overextension and know that it’s wrong, but over time you grow used to it and begin to excuse it.
Overextended people will begin to hate what they once loved.
4. Short-term fruit is valued more than long-term health.
Immediate impact is what is most important. The upside to overextension is seeming productivity. Achievement is intoxicating, and the results give a short-term euphoria that’s hard to resist.
5. Warning signs are dismissed.
Once multiple people have come to you with feelings of resentment, you must be willing to look in the mirror.
6. Enough is never enough.
There’s a fine line between contentment and complacency. Complacency is lazy. But contentment will press forward with balance—non-destructively. Deterioration can come at two wildly different paces. Complacency brings low-energy, gradual deterioration—like a slow rot. But overdrive brings high-energy deterioration—like a fast-burning rocket.
7. Competition or comparison is encouraged.
Pitting the team players against each other is a sure way to ultimately hurt the whole team. When this happens, the team that should thrive with camaraderie, appreciating each others’ strengths, will fracture with competition.
8. Leading by fear leads to resentment.
Fear has two contexts—one healthy, one unhealthy. Reverence is healthy fear, fright is unhealthy fear. God’s word calls us to fear Him, but not to fear men. And His word teaches that He does not give us a spirit of fear, but of love and power and a sound mind. Perfect love, God says, “casteth out fear.”
- How do I respond when someone tells me they need to take a break?
- Can I find joy in the faithful monotony of ministry?
- Would I define my leadership as leading or pushing?
- Are there any warning signs in my leadership for resentment development?
- How does our ministry reflect a spirit of faith-filled expectancy?
- Is there an unhealthy spirit in our ministry that flows out of the heart of our leaders?
- Are we responding to ministry conflicts in a gospel-oriented manner?