I remember being taught 2 Corinthians 2:11 at a young age. We are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices, schemes, plots, and plans. He will take full advantage of our ignorance. As sad as it sounds, I believe we have all fallen prey to the enemy because of our ignorance at times. I also firmly believe it’s not a world we have to live in, and that our spiritual eyes can be opened. I believe when we don’t acknowledge that the enemy is at work, we begin to play his game.
A wise man taught me that if I ever think I can beat the enemy at his own game, I’ve already lost. The Bible teaches that the only way to beat the enemy is to never play his game in the first place.
I think if we’re not careful we can get caught up in either being ignorant or thinking we can touch fire and not get burned. So, I thought I’d shed some light on some of the deadly traps we as leaders can fall into. These are some of the games the enemy wants us to play.
Here are some of the ministry traps the enemy doesn’t want you to be aware of:
- Spiritual Mediocrity – This is the idea that truly striving to be all God has called you to be as a follower of Christ is not that important. We as leaders can fall into this trap when we deem the work we do for Christ more important than who we are becoming in Christ.
- Ministry Comfort – In Scripture, those who served God found comfort. I can’t think of one person in the Bible who found comfort in the work they were actually doing for God. They were often put into very uncomfortable situations that caused a great deal of growth in their belief and trust in God and less in themselves to play his position in their lives. I think if we’re not careful we can become so comfortable that it becomes more about us and less about those we minister to. It can also cripple discernment in what God’s calling you to do. One sign that you may be trapped by comfort in ministry is when you act/seek/rationalize/make moves to protect it. Never mistake comfort for calling. Learn to hear God’s voice.
- Above Accountability – We need to remember that leading a ministry doesn’t exempt us from the accountability we are calling others to. We are leaders. But perhaps more importantly, we are stewards. We’re commanded to steward everything God has given us–time, staff, volunteers, budgets, motives, and even relationships. You see, the trap of thinking I’m above accountability is a trap that makes me believe I get a pass. It fools me into thinking I can make decisions without filtering them through God’s word. It gives me the false impression that my rise to leadership shields me for accountability.
- My Ministry – Nothing is more gratifying to the enemy then seeing a church full of leaders with individual mentality in ministry. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel ownership in your ministry, because you should. You need to feel the freedom to create and have vision, but it should never be at the expense of the church’s unified purpose and direction. We all need to be moving in the same direction. There needs to be unity that continues to move the church as a whole towards its God-given purpose. Leading a ministry doesn’t make it yours. Leading it makes you responsible for helping to fulfill its part of the total church’s vision.
I believe there are many more ministry traps out there, and I think we need to help each other avoid them. What are some other traps you’ve seen or experienced yourself?
Hope it helps,