Pitfalls of Leadership - Lesson 1

Pitfalls of Leadership (Part 1)

Consistent time in the Scripture and close relationship with at least one or two other spiritual men are important elements of leadership.


John Iamaio
Pitfalls of Leadership
Lesson 1
Watching Now
Pitfalls of Leadership (Part 1)

1. Spend Time with the Lord

2. Avoid the Lack of Spiritual and Emotional Accountability

3. Don’t blame others for Your Personal Problems

4. Summary

  • Consistent time in the Scripture and close relationship with at least one or two other spiritual men are important elements of leadership.


  • Avoid taking the role of elder lightly and cultivate realistic expectations from yourself and others.


  • Two strategies to help you avoid pitfalls of leadership are to deal with temptation agressively and listen to your wife carefully.

Listen as Dr. John Iamaio, teacher and counselor, help us understand those pitfalls and how to deal with them. John is a licensed Christian counselor with the American Association of Christian Counselors. We are thankful for Dr. Iamaio's willingness to share these lectures with us. Copyright 2014 by Biblical Eldership Resources. Used with Permission. For more teaching on the topic of leadership, please visit www.biblicaleldership.com.

Pitfalls of Leadership
Dr. John Iamaio
Pitfalls of Leadership (Part 1)
Lesson Transcript

Well, I'm going to start off with a premise this morning with us. And the premise is this We live on a fallen planet and all of us here are fallen creatures. If you don't believe that, look around at the group that we have here. We are all fallen creatures. I love what the Apostle Paul says in Romans eight four. We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for the adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. That's a beautiful verse. Someday I'm going to be 64 with black, wavy hair. That's what that first means. But you'll note, you'll note in the verse, you'll note in the verse that the verse talks about groaning. And that's exactly what we do. When I was first a Christian, I remember I remember reading. I remember after I went into a Bible college for five years. I remember going through Luke's gospel in one course, and essentially what we looked at was Jesus prayer, where he said, The elect cried day and night. And I used to wonder, how can the the elect, how can God's people. Cry out day and night. And then as you get older and you get married and have kids, right. And have grandkids, then you'll know what that verse means. You start crying out day and night when you become an elder. You find yourself crying out day and night, and you find yourself groaning. And that's part of the Christian experience. So I've been in ministry for about 40 years. And what I'm going to do this morning and this afternoon to speak to you guys, hopefully from my heart, that's been regenerated by the spirit.

And I want to give us some just practical thoughts and counseling later on. But I want to look at some pitfalls in being an elder at this point. So if you got your notes in front of you, let me go down through three in this segment. The first one is this. Here's a pitfall that you men and I need to avoid is the first one. The first pitfall that you and I need to avoid is this the avoid our consistent time in the scriptures, a quiet time, time alone. I was telling Paul just a few minutes ago that one of the threatening aspects about living in America and maybe this is true in Canada, but living in America is this We are afraid of being alone and we are afraid of quiet. We find that all Americans may perhaps people in Canada, too, but we need to spend time alone. If you're going to prevent burnout in your ministry, whatever your ministry is, you must as a priority. And that's the word here priority. You must as a priority have time in the Scripture where the Lord is dealing with you, not so much about sermon preparation or about teaching or about counseling, but you must have time by yourself where the Lord deals with you, just you and the Lord. There's something about that that brings joy to the Christian. There's something about that that brings joy to the elder when he's just speaking to the Lord. Lord, deliver my heart about who I am in relationship to you. So this first point here is spend time in the world by yourself with the Lord listening to the Lord. Few months ago I had the privilege of dealing in the same month with five pastors and wives.

All of them are burned out. That was their complaint. The burned out, every one of them. And one of the questions to get them into the place of restoration again was this. Talk to me about your quiet time. Talk to me about not sermon prep, but talk to me about your time where you can be alone with the Lord. And part of the healing process for those men and their wives was to take them through time where they just got alone with the Lord and just had the Lord speak to their hearts. Some of you guys are probably feeling burned out this morning. Let me encourage you about something. You can be restored by spending time with Christ. If he's alive this morning, he can revive your soul and revive mine. There are times where I need to be revived. There are times where I want to throw the towel in. There are times where I'm saying, Listen, I'm done with people like Kevin was saying a little bit ago. There are times where I need to hear the Lord deal with my heart. So I would suggest to you, number one is don't get into the pitfall of leaving out your time with the Lord that God's sovereignty and his personal work of His grace work in your heart as you spend time with him. I love that, Jesus said in Matthew 11. Come to me, all of you who are weary and heavy laden, and I'll give you rest. You're talking to elders there. You know that. You know that. It's not going to pass there. Yeah. Come to me all. You are weary. The word weary here. I don't want to get too technical here, because then I'll feel convicted by what Kevin was saying about the Greek words.

But the word the word we here at exhaustion. And Jesus is saying, if you're exhausted, come to him. He'll give you a rest. That's his promise to us as elders. Okay, That's number one. Number two, we need to avoid the pitfalls of consistently avoiding spiritual or emotional accountability with one or two two other people. I don't want to embarrass you, man, but I'm wondering how many of you have an accountability partner? I'm not asking you to raise your hands, but someone who knows you quite well that can look at your face and say, Hey, you know what? You need to shape up here? I've got two accountability partners. That's how bad I am. I need two of them. I need two people to look at me. I've been working with one felon. He's been working with me. I've been working with him. He myself for 17 years now. And we get together once a month. We have this little agenda because I love organization. So we have this little agenda we go through and we pop these questions to us. How are you doing with your wife? How are you doing with your kids? How are you doing with your ministry? Talk to me about your finances. Talk to me about your exercise program. Talk to me about your diet. We get in each other's face about those issues, and we hold each other accountable about those particular things. Don't avoid. This is another pitfall that I see. Don't avoid you, your friends, one or two people that you can be accountable to. The devil loves to get us off by ourselves. And no one cares about you. No one cares about me. Loves to get us off by ourselves. And when we're out their selves, that's when the evil one and his cohorts come by and they attack us.

But if you have someone going alongside you, that's why Jesus sent him out to buy two. Why didn't Jesus and him out one by one? Right. Two by two. I love Paul statement or the assignment statement in Ecclesiastes. These chapter four verses nine and ten two are better than one. And then he goes on and he says, If one falls, what's going to happen? The other one picks them up. But then he goes on with the warning, and here's what he says to the one who falls when there's not another one to pick them up. And there's a lot of people falling all around us. You know them, I know them, and I have to go my own heart. That's why I need somebody saying, You better check me on this. You better you better check me. And that's because I could easily fall this week. So number two, avoid the consistent desire to be alone and not work with others in an accountability fashion. Number three, we need to avoid the pitfalls of hiding and blaming others for our own personal problems. It's by nature for you and myself, guys, to want to hide and blame. By the way, you see that on the news every night, don't you? What do we have? The Democrats, what are they doing? Hiding, Blaming the Republicans, Doing, hiding, blaming. You see this all the time. One of the nations doing, hiding, blaming. What are the wives and husbands doing in our congregations? Hiding, blaming what our elders usually do if we're not careful hiding blame. We can do that. We can hide and blame. It's very much of our fallen nature to hide and blame. Avoid that. Don't be haters. And what I mean by that is emotionally hiding.

Are you depressed? Are you feeling fearful? Are you feeling anxious? I know all of those above. I have felt in my own life in 40 years of ministry. And the easy thing for me to do when I get that way is to say, you know, that's not me. I'm not feeling depressed. I'm not feeling anxious. I'm not really an angry person. I've got a little picture in my in my study that's got this women pounding her fist on the table. And she's saying to this counselor behind the desk, I can't have the personality that says I'm not angry. And that's the way we can be. We can we can be angry people and not really admit it to ourselves. We can hide and we can blame all the reason why. Have you heard this? The reason why I am an angry person is because I'm Irish. That's what Kevin told me a little bit ago. And I have said the same about being an Italian. I hear German people say this, right? I'm a stubborn German and that's why I'm angry. Oh, okay. We blame our ancestries. We blame our mothers and fathers. We blame our geographical location. They're the reason why I'm cold spiritually is because we live in Canada or the northern part of the United States. That's why I'm cold spiritually. Now, the reason why you're cold spiritually is because you're hiding. You don't want to get close to the Lord. You don't want to connect with him. Let's go to Genesis. We just have 5 minutes left in the session. The Genesis chapter number three. I want you to see this about the hiding and blaming scheme. You know it, you know the passage. But I do want to point out something to you about it.

Oh. Verses 8 to 13. They heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves. See that? That's why you guys hide. That's why we hide emotionally from each other. They hid themselves in the presence of the Lord among the trees of the garden. When the Lord came to this man and said to him, Will you not that the Lord didn't know, but he wants to bring conviction on them. In verse ten, he said, I heard the sound of you. This is Adam and the Garden. And I was afraid, No, what happens? He's afraid, just like you and I get at times. And I was naked, so I hid myself in the Lord confronts him. Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten from the tree, which I have command you not to eat. The man said The woman. The woman whom you gave me. Now, here's the point I want you to see. It's. He blamed me. Not just Eve, but he's blaming God. And that's part of the hiding process. The hard part of the hiding process this morning. If I didn't have this woman, you see, things would be better. If I didn't have this chance, things would be better if I didn't have this responsibility of being an elder. It'd be much better for me like you taught me in this situation. And it's your fault I'm in the situation if you've ever done that. I have. And what does God want from us? Don't hide. Do not come away from the bushes. He knows all about you. Stop hiding from each other. God want you to come up and say this is the way it really is.

Well, once again, point number one, we need to avoid the pitfalls of not having a consistent time in Scripture. Number two, we need to avoid the pitfalls of avoiding accountability. Number three, we need to avoid the pitfalls of hiding and blaming others.