How to be an Offering – Banishing Pride in Position

Ryan Egan —  July 20, 2011 — 6 Comments

Anyone who is on some type of “platform”; being a pastor, worship leader, or even having a lot of social media followers, can quickly and easily run into a problem:

“Wow.  Look at this, I have some influence.  People listen to me.  This is pretty amazing.”

Now, the problem isn’t with people listening to that person, or even that they have influence.  The problem lies with how that influenced is used.  Will it be used for God’s glory or for personal gain? A new worship leader and blogging friend of mine says today that it’s possible and quite clear from Scripture that it could be used for both (think Moses, David, Solomon, the Apostle Paul), but there will always be a danger to take pride in the position we’ve been allowed to be placed into and forget about our call to magnify the greatness of God.

When we take pride in our position we start to do things like:

  • Believe we’re the only ones with the right answers or solution
  • Yearn for more influence, followers, and recognition of man
  • Stop relying on God’s Word and character to drive our daily living

There are a few simple ways to combat getting caught up in our position that I’m learning to apply daily:

  • Spend time in God’s Word every day and remind yourself that He is infinitely more great than we can ever imagine
  • Allow wisdom from God’s Word to influence every daily decision made
  • Pray daily, “God, thank you for putting me in this position.  I don’t deserve it and it’s only because of You that I’m here.”
  • Listen to other people’s ideas and suggestions and implement them.
  • Give preference to people above yourself in conversation (listen first, then speak) and organization (live to equip leaders as you lead, not dictate).
  • Learn the words “You’re right” and “I’m sorry” and say don’t be afraid to say them when you mess things up.

Lead and lead well.  But don’t let your position become an idol and a cause of offense to those who are under your influence.

Question: How do you balance increasing leadership and influence with the ability to stay humble and continue to magnify the greatness of God?

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Ryan Egan

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Ryan is a follower of Christ, husband, father, worship leader, & creative. He is heavily involved in the Association of Free Lutheran Churches and desires to teach others to live a life of worship in everything they do.
  • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    Great post, Ryan. The temptation to make our platform an idol is so strong. But I also think everything in life has potential to be an idol, really. Our family, our leisure, our music, our friends, our food. “Influence” isn’t the solitary demon. I actually think influence is great and we should pursue more of it. The key is to apply exactly what you outlined in this post – doing the things that keep us humble and make us see how undeserving we are. Being passionate, humble worshipers of Jesus, I guess.

    God also has a unique (often humorous) way of revealing our weakness to us, doesn’t He?

  • http://www.iamanoffering.com iamanoffering

    You’re definitely right that anything has the potential to become and idol. I just wonder if influence has more of that potential as it automatically feeds into and onto our pride. Maybe it’s just that way for me, personally. Music doesn’t have a following attached to it (unless you’re the one making it, of course!). It seems easier to get swallowed up in pride when you know people are listening to you and paying attention to you.

    You’re right though, we just have to be watchful, diligent, and discerning in everything we do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joelklampert Joel Klampert

    Great post… not going to lie… it does feel great knowing you have the ability to influence others.
    When people look to your for guidance it is awesome.
    Abusing that is dangerous and getting a big head about it where you forget That God made you the person you are can sabotage what he wants to do with you and in you

  • http://twitter.com/jgangwish Jason Gangwish

    I think it was David S who also encouraged Worship Leaders / Pastors to ask their Lead pastor “What can I do to serve you on Sundays” (or something to that effect) THAT is a good one… and is very humbling.  

    One that I am working on is “Seek servantship rather than leadership.”Great Post Ryan.

  • http://www.iamanoffering.com iamanoffering

    What do you think the best way is to go about making sure we don’t abuse authority since it does feel so good and can be very dangerous?

  • http://www.iamanoffering.com iamanoffering

    Right on, Jason. Servant leadership is much more effective, but much more difficult. It’s also much more rewarding in the long run.