The Most Dangerous Words Church Leaders Use
A few days ago I posted a question on Facebook (you ought to like Church Simple) and Twitter: What are the most dangerous words in a church leader’s vocabulary?
I had some great (and telling) responses, here are a few that got me thinking:
- Me or I: The public nature of ministry can make it easy to get caught up in ourselves. When “we and us” becomes “me or I” you may be in for some trouble. Jason McNeal does a great job discussing this on his blog.
- Hurry: Sometimes we can find ourselves in a hectic season, but if it lasts longer than just a season, we run the risk of burning out. We need to learn how to tame the tyranny of the urgent, and the hurried mentality that comes with it. Scott Couchenour describes it as simultaneously adopting two contradictory postures: resting faith and determined action.
- Sure or Yes: How many times have we over committed ourselves because we said one of these without thinking?
While the responses I got were solidly dangerous, there is one word that has had me thinking a great deal lately. This word, in my mind, is one of the most dangerous words in a church leader’s vocabulary, yet very few will ever say it out loud:
Legacy, or more specifically, my legacy
Regardless of our age or position, we all run the risk of letting our desired legacy influence how we lead. The irony of this is that we are completely incapable of determining what our legacy will be. Todd Henry tells us that our legacy will be backward engineered after we are already fertilizing daisies.
Blunt as it may be, it is a good reminder for each of us that regardless of how we may want to be remembered, we really have no control over it… and instead of focusing on the “small k” kingdom of our legacy, we need to be working on building the “big K” Kingdom.
What do YOU think is the most dangerous word in a leader’s vocabulary?