August 17, 2014

Mistakes Leaders Make Blog Series #1: Replacing Jesus

One of the best books I’ve read on leadership was written by a veteran pastor who has been in ministry for decades. Pastor Dave Kraft wrote a book called, Mistakes Leaders Make (Re:Lit), which I recommend every Christian leader reads. It actually mirrors the challenges and temptations we face as pastors and church leaders.

So let me start with mistake number 1.


When Jesus takes a back seat in ministry and church – we are headed for trouble. It means we have forgotten why we started church in the first place, or why we are leading church.

All of us start really well in ministry but once we get comfortable and achieve either success or frustrations – we tend to replace Jesus with ministry. I have seen a lot of church leaders and staff,once they entered into full time ministry, lose their passion for Jesus. It’s intriguing how we can work inside the church and forget Jesus.

One of my pastor friend who fell into sin said something that still haunts me. He said, ” I can make a church grow without Jesus.”

booksWe can actually replace Jesus with marketing, slick strategies and church business as usual but the effects of it would be a form of religion devoid of power. Our affection for Jesus can be replaced by achievement for Jesus and sometimes it so subtle that we won’t recognize how far we are now for Jesus. We can give our life and work to the work of the Lord while neglecting the Lord.

Dave Kraft said, ” We can start to rely on ministry instead of Jesus to meet deep needs in our own lives. I am convinced that many people move into leadership roles because of people needing them or because being in control satisfies something missing in their own sense of value and worth.” 

Now that is a thought worth chewing on. How about you have you replace Jesus with ministry?