Having served in full-time ministry for more than 30 years I have seen and experienced the pitfalls that come in Ministry first hand. The unholy three, Satan, the world, and our sinful nature all take aim at Christ and his message of Life. One of the best ways to attack the church is to go after the shepherd. While there are many things that can distract, derail, and destroy out ministry I believe they all fall into 1 of three dangerous pitfalls.
Losing Sight of your Humanity (Humility): Pride I think tops the list of temptations for pastors and those in ministry, it shows up in so many different ways: a pride that says I don’t need to study the Word because I know theology; a pride that is more concerned with his appearance before his people, than being faithful to preach what needs to be heard; a pride that says I am worth every penny you pay me, in fact, you should be paying me more. This nasty Pride can easily morph into a love of power, and the feeling that your ideas and plans should be taken without question.
Losing Sight of Your Call: This leads to many issues, neglecting your family by forgetting that you are called first to shepherd your family then the flock of God; This causes you to put the “Work” of the church ahead of the people you are called to Shepherd; It is also easy when you lose sight of your call to take on everything, forgetting, if you are a pastor, that your call was to administer the sacraments, preach and teach – equipping the saints for their ministry. This can also lead to a grab for power when losing sight of being called to be servants.
Losing Sight of the Lord: This can lead to us falling for the temptation of sexual sin when we do not find our all in all in Christ; It also can lead to a cynical attitude when we do not trust the Lord of the Church to manage the church and try to carry it all ourselves. When we lose sight of the Lord, we also forget that he is a God of restoration and forgiveness and can work to resolve conflict if we only allow him the chance.