Pitfalls of Leadership - Lesson 2

Pitfalls of Leadership (Part 2)

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


John Iamaio
Pitfalls of Leadership
Lesson 2
Watching Now
Pitfalls of Leadership (Part 2)

1. Make the Gospel the Main Message

2. Be Serious about Being an Elder

3. Know What the People Expect from You

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 2)
Lesson Transcript

But my favorite period, an author is Richard Baxter. Anyone ever read Richard Baxter? Love what he says about the people in his days as they are. They come to the assembly with bleeding hearts. That's what's in America today. We have people coming to church and they have bleeding hearts and they want you and myself to men help mend them, which is our responsibility as Christian elders. Let me give you three other pitfalls that I see I've seen in my life, and I think this is the reason why Chuck asked me to bring the subject of pitfalls, because he was probably thinking this. Now, who do I know that's had a lot of pitfalls? And he probably said, Well, gender. So I said, I'll do it. Let me give you three other pitfalls that I've seen down through the years and people's lives and in my own life. The first one in this session is a pitfall that we need to avoid, is spending all our energy on particular items without sharing the gospel in their context. Now, what I mean by that is this There are so many areas to get involved in today, right? There's so many issues to get involved in today. I think of something dear to my heart is education. Christian education versus secular education. In our day, I could easily get involved with arguing the point of Christian education versus secular education. And who benefits from having Christian education and secular education? Or we can get involved with gun rights. Anybody here a hunter besides me, I. I'm a deer hunter, and my son and I go deer hunting together. I love sitting up on my tree stand 20 feet up off the air. It makes me feel significant. And and I love sitting on my trees then.

But the reason why I love setting up my tree stand is because it's quiet. No one's there. No one's calling me. No one's asked me questions. No student has asked me any question, just there by myself in relationship to the Lord. It's a beautiful experience. But I can make gun rights a major issue. I can make the abortion rights a big issue where same sex marriage. What I'm saying is I'm not saying don't get involved in those issues. What I'm saying is that's not the main issue. The main issue is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And what I mean by that simply is, is that when we take the gospel and share it with anyone, that is the highlight of our ministry. That's the highlight of our ministry, when there are people who come with homosexuality to me and wrestling through homosexual issues, I can get on with them about all the recent studies. From a DNA perspective to other perspectives. But that's not the main focus I should have. I mean, that's good to have those those information points. But when I see someone struggling and then they don't know Christ, my main job as a Christian counselor elder, is to preach to them that in a mean, derogatory way, but in a way that shows them Christ because that's the answer to their life, Is it not? Is it not the answer to your life before you became a Christian? Was answering mine. I was a Roman Catholic and I was so in tune with the Roman ism. And I can remember on Fridays not eating sausage on my pizza, you know, And you want to have that problem here. Yeah, another sausage on pizza. I remember as a youngster ordering pizza with sausage on it on Friday night about quarter to 12.

And I'd wait because I was a faithful Roman Catholic until five after. And because if I listen, if I ate that sausage and died, I go right to hell. So after I was converted as a college student, you know what I did on Friday? I went and got a steak. Oh. One of the first things I did when I was converted, I really got to state. So what I'm trying to say is this and this first point make the gospel our main focus, the other issues, all kinds of issues. When I am up in the tree stand, I'm deer hunting, I see a fox go by a rabbit, go by a squirrel there by raccoon go by. So my main reason for being there, the main reason for being there is the gospel, the good news. And if you preach the gospel, you have to tell them the bad news. First of all, the good news doesn't make sense. You need to take them to the law in integrity. Then commandments, you need to share with them how they've offended God and you're under the wrath of God. And what's needed in their life is repentance. And when they come to Christ, that's good news and we need to make that clear to them. Here's the second point, by the way. Second Corinthians four through one through seven is appropriate or appropriate one appropriate text for that first point. The second is this Another pitfall we need to avoid is the pitfall of taking our position as elders seriously. I mean, are you gifted to be an elder or not? Are you gift? Gifted to be a pastor or not, you need to take it seriously. You need to get along with the Lord. This is one of the topics you need to get alone with the Lord about.

You need to ask yourself this What's my motive for doing this stuff? What's my motive for really preaching or teaching or counseling? What is my motive? And I can't answer that for you guys here. You can't answer this really by going to some kind of a conference. But you need to get alone with the Lord and say, you know, Lord, maybe I'm not really cut out for this. I know we all feel that way. We all feel at times we're not cut out for this. I had a theology Prof. I asked them in class one time. I'd say to him, I said to him, Do you ever feel like quitting? And he said, Yeah, every Monday. And that's the way it is or not with us or for preaching, right? Monday can be a tough day for us. Yeah, I understand that. But we need to avoid the pitfalls of never investigating our characteristics. You need to go to first Timothy three if it's been a while, you either your first Timothy three, you need to go to Titus one. You need to analyze those need. If you've got a good wife, you need to say, Do you think I am? I'm gifted to be an elder. Do you think I'm gifting to be a bishop, a pastor? Do you think I am? Because if I'm not, I don't want to do this. I don't want to ruin other people's lives. And once again, man, I understand. We all feel like we're not gifted at various times. I understand that. But some of us, if not all of us here, have that gift. And we need to cherish it and use it for the glory of God. I remember so often when I first became a traditional pastor, when I was 25 years old, I went in the pastor, That's seven years of schooling down.

And I thought, Well, seven years of schooling, this will be good. All those people there. I've been taking notes for seven years. Now it's your turn to take notes. And I came with bells going 25 years old. What did I know? Nothing. I mean, I had all my notes and I thought that they came to listen to my notes and they didn't come to listen to my notes. They want to know if I could empathize with them, identify with them, teach them. Yes. But do they? Does this guy really know where my heart is? Because if he doesn't, they're not going to listen. Isn't that right? You know that. And if you don't know it, we should know it. It's more than just giving out notes. I was the choir director in this little Baptist church. I was the youth pastor. I was the chief administrator, I was the counselor. I was the preacher three times a week preaching, and I taught the adult Sunday school class. I look back now at those years now and 38 years old. I look back now and I go, How in the world did I do that? Why did I do that? What was my motive for doing that? And I praise God in God's providence, people became believers in that ministry, and God was patient with me teaching me, You can't do this by yourself. It's impossible. So that's the second pitfall we need to avoid. If you're an elder, check and see if you have this desire and these qualifications continue in being an elder. Here's the third one that we need to consider in this time frame. Another pitfall that we need to avoid is to find out what specifically we are expecting from our assemblies.

What are the people in your assembly really expecting from you? Do you know? And also this do you do they know what they should be expecting from you? What are they expecting from you? Is the expectations. Get us all in the trouble. Right. You noticed with your wife, right? You're expecting something and she's expecting something totally different. I asked my wife a few years ago. We were out for Valentine's dinner. I asked her, I said, What are you expecting from me as far as romance? And she said, Honey, when you vacuum the floor. Now, I have to admit, man, maybe you guys are better than I am, but I never pictured vacuuming the floor as being romantic. You know, maybe I do. Maybe a few of you have. That wasn't me. I didn't know I was expecting her to say something sexual. But that wasn't what she was thinking. She was thinking if I would help her, that was romantic. And you see, expectations get us in trouble with people and people in our church. What are they expecting from us? What are we expecting from them? I love Paul's statement, statements and the epistles dealing with spiritual gifts. This is an expectation issue. Do you know what your gifts are? They have you. Have you considered reading and concentrating and meditating with the Lord in your quiet time about Romans 12, First Corinthians 12 through 14, Ephesians four, first, Peter four. Can you say yes? Very good. That's me. That's me right there. You see if you know your gifts. If you know what your expectations are with a lawyer, that's going to make life a little easier, is it not? Yeah. So I would encourage you. What are your expectations? Do you know what they are? Do you know what the people in the congregation want from you? Do you know what you want from them? Oh, may the Lord give you and myself clarity as to those particular.

So just in summary, once again, a pitfall that we need to avoid. Number one is spending all of our energy on particular items without sharing the gospel. Number two, another pitfall that we need to avoid is really considering are we elders? And then number three, another pitfall that we need to avoid is specifically what are we expecting from our congregation and what are they expecting from us?