3 Pitfalls of a Gifted Church Leader


By Marty Field

There is a growing epidemic in our world today in the lack of strong church leadership.

Society today, and many times in the past, find themselves naturally drawn to charisma. This becomes the criteria by which people place authority and leadership.

For example: If someone shows strong skills in the area of public speaking, then the logical conclusion stands that they need to be a preacher or pastor. If someone belts out the chorus of, “I Can Only Imagine,” in tune and in time, then they are going to be the next Mercy Me. In our heads it all makes perfect sense. images So what, if any, is the problem?

Rarely does the general church culture look past the surface when gauging where someone’s service should be, as long as it seems as though they have it together. People, as a rule of thumb, can overlook a lot of things if the pastor or leader of the church is growing the body or breathing energy into the church family. As long as the surface seems smooth, people will not question what’s underneath.

When we only focus on the surface of our church leadership, we often forget how spiritually one can get lost in their abilities or gifts. This creates a serious problem. A church leader may be extremely gifted, but can they be used for the Kingdom if they have a weak relationship with God?

A multitude of negative situations can occur when something like this goes on within the walls of a church.

1. A gifted church leader will look at the success that he obtains and begin to say, “Look at me! Look what I did!”. In Judges 7:2, we see God’s feelings on whether or not man gets the credit versus the Kingdom.

The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many people for Me to hand the Midianites over to you, or else Israel might brag: ‘I did it myself.’ Judges 7:2

The victories that are achieved in the ministry are not to boast or glorify ourselves, but to give glory to God and advance the Kingdom. If a pastor builds a strong church following, let him not think and act as if it was his doing.

2. A gifted church leader can begin to draw into how great he is personally, and in turn draw farther away from God. When the people of the earth began to flourish and attempt to build a tower to the heavens, God caused a great confusion in their language and culture and scattered them across the world.

And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let us make a name for ourselves; – Genesis 11:4

The goal of ministry should never be to draw people to us personally and our talents. The goal is to draw people to the Creator and His Amazing Grace!

3. Finally, a gifted church leader driven by talents over spirituality exposes himself to a greater possibility of falling to worldly temptation. Too many times we see a pastor rooted in the world instead of the WORD. Temptations can come from money, sex, and many other forms of idolatry. According to researchers with the Barna Group and Christian Living, 30% of pastors have had more than one extra-marital affair. 80% of pastors will leave the ministry within 5 years of completing seminary training.


These statistics stem from church leaders who are relying on human ability rather than an intimate relationship with God. So what can be done?

It’s quite simple to say, and takes more commitment to follow up. Cling to the Word of God and realize that our gifts come from Him. (Click to tweet)

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.- Ephesians 2:8-9

This is not from ourselves, but from Him and Him alone. God doesn’t always call the equipped. However, He ALWAYS equips the called! (Click to tweet) When we cling to the truth of God’s word and grow into an intimate relationship with Him, He will bestow on us the talents and gifts needed to be successful beyond measure.

What can gifted church leaders do to insure they will remain rooted in the Word and not the temptations of this world? Please comment below.

MF Bio 50x50Marty Field is married to one wild and crazy Irish Okie. Father to two brilliant, hilarious PK’s. He is a full time youth minister and a part time bare knuckle boxer. He is well-known in his small town for being a great minister, awesome sports announcer, recent cancer survivor, and all around nice guy. Contact: Twitter | Blog

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3 replies

  1. Good post, one we all need to read. It’s so easy to forget to give God the glory, to forget that our gifts come from Him, to forget that God can give and take away. It seems like daily I am learning just how much I need God! I need Him more each day.
    Not only can I not do it without Him, I don’t want to.

  2. You are right. We can’t do it without Him, yet we feel as though it is something we have done that earns the glory sometimes. Thank you for your comment!

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