Lecture 3: Pitfalls of Leadership – Part 3

Course: Pitfalls of Leadership – Lectures 1-3

Lecture 3: Pitfalls of Leadership – Part 3

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

1. Temptations

Another personal pitfall is that of temptation. Temptations abound in our day. Obviously in talking to men and knowing what men think; when you hear the word temptation, you are not thinking about vacuuming the floor. You are thinking about sexual temptation which is pervasive in our culture. Then there is also the temptation of power and control over people. I’m the elder and you are the surf and that is the emphasis we sometimes can give people. There is also popularity or self-promotion. This is another temptation. There is money and materialism in order to impress people. You can say as an elder or church leader or as a Christian that you have so much, wanting to impress others by our wealth. That is a pitfall in itself. What are some of the ongoing temptations that you have never shared with anyone, even your wife? You need to be careful when you share your temptations with people; you don’t go up to someone, a visitor in church or someone you don’t know, and share your personal problems with them. You have to wise in regards to these issues. But the question once again; do you have anyone you can share with concerning temptations in your life? This is a pitfall in itself; sharing temptations of lying, drinking alcohol, pornography, etc. You are setting yourself up for a dangerous fall and also addictions. People just don’t get into addictions. When we lack emotional intimacy with someone, our hearts crave emotional intimacy because that is the way Lord has made us. We need to connect with people and to communicate with people. When it isn’t there, what we easily do is run to an addiction with the idea that the addiction will help me overcome this lack of emotional intimacy. So we go to addiction after addiction after addiction. But the real issue is not the addiction but instead getting that person to say what is really going on in their heart and mind. As a counselor, I have heard it all.

Listen to what 1 John 1:3-4 says, what we have seen and heard, we have proclaimed to you also, so that you may have fellowship with us and indeed our fellowship is with the father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. These things I write to you so that your joy may be full. Here is this fellowship that is going on between the Father and you and Jesus and you and you are communing with God, sharing with God. But it is also sharing with each other and when that occurs, joy occurs in the Christian life. And when it doesn’t occur then you are not in fellowship with God. You are not sharing your heart with others and that is when addictions come knocking at your door. Be careful about the lack of intimacy; that is a pitfall for us.

2. Church Activities verses Time with Your Families

People will not necessarily remember you after you leave your position in the church. But your legacy will be with your wife and children. You need to make sure that you are spending a lot of time with them and isn’t that what wives complain about with us? You become so wrapped up in the work of ministry. If you are an elder, you love to organize and plan things. I have so many lists in my house; I even have lists telling me where my lists are. I love planning and organizing and being in people’s lives and help working with them through problems. I can easily forget about my wife and children and grandchildren, however, we need to be constantly aware of this. Under the priority under Jesus Christ, we need to spend time with our family. For myself, I have had to budget time for my wife and children and family; otherwise I will not do it. So the second pitfall is not spending enough time with family. You also need diversions; that is why I like bow hunting and shooting deer. Some of us like chopping wood and stacking wood; I love stacking wood. It doesn’t require any thinking or involvement; it is just stacking wood. You need an exercise program in order to keep fit to do ministry.

3. Listen to Your Wife

The third pitfall is not listening to your wife. My theological position on this is all of us men are afraid to listen to our wives! Why, because we are afraid that they are going to control us. I have seen this with counselling men for forty years. We are afraid of having our wives tell us something because we don’t want them controlling us. We are afraid of our wives. I ask young girls how many of them want guys to tell them all the problems they have. Yeah, they answer but the guys don’t even want to discuss it. I don’t want to share my heart with my wife and then the frustrations of listening to her. I would rather talk than listen. The Lord had to teach me to listen, for me it isn’t easy. As elders, we want to tell people what to do, don’t we? This is part of our ministry, especially after the sermon. People want to talk to us and we need to listen to them.

4. Summary

Another pitfall is temptation; spending too much time with church activities and the last one is not listening to our wives. God gave us our wives so that we would have some wisdom. If you are married to a wife like I have, a wife with a lot of wisdom, you need to cherish that.