The 3 Temptations of Ministry

By Aaron Ivey

Jesus broke bread with those He led, and there’s something radically compelling about sharing life, food, drink, laughter, and struggle with those you lead.

With that in mind, in the journey of leadership, avoid these 3 temptation which are bound to sabotage any ministry:


You cannot measure your worth by your twitter followers. Your sheep don’t need you to be culturally relevant. Our culture is marked with loneliness, isolation, lack of friendship and intimacy, broken relationships, boredom, feelings of emptiness and depressions, and deep sense of uselessness. A culturally relevant shepherd will lead his sheep off a cliff.

Are you in love with Jesus? Do you know the heart of God? Answering those questions should come well before questions about how far your influence reaches.


We crave approval of the masses. And this plays out in how we lead. It can become more important getting people to buy our CD than making those in our immediate community feel cared for. This is fatal for any shepherd.

Your band doesn’t need a boss most of the time. They need vulnerable brothers and sisters who know and are known, who care and are cared for, who forgive and are asking for forgiveness far more.

Your band doesn’t need a spectacular shepherd; they need a faithful, devoted, shepherd to lead them.


The long painful history of the church is the story of people tempted over and over again to choose power over love, control over the cross, and being a leader over being led. Matthew 20:28 gives us a different picture:

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Have you developed healthy, intimate relationships with the sheep you lead? Or have you opted for power and control of them instead?

Which of these temptations do you fall to most frequently? And do you resist this temptation?

This principle extends beyond church walls, but can be applied to our families, our work places and our circle of influences including our friends.

So, stay close to God and emulate His leadership!


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