The Jealous Pastor
I was away for a seminary course recently. On my long drive home I had a bunch of Andy Stanley leadership talks from Catalyst. I figured I'd listen to have 5 or 6 of them on my 6 hour car ride. Well... the first one I put in just gripped me... and I listened to it 6 times straight! In fact, I'm still praying and trying to process everything that I heard from Andy on the CD and what God was saying to my heart.
His talk was called "State of the Heart Leadership: Four Habits of a Healthy Leader". He based this message around what Jesus told the religious Pharisees in Mark 7 "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him unclean by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'" Andy then talks about how four types of leaders come out of our hearts: The Guilty Leader, The Angry Leader, The Jealous Leader, and The Greedy Leader.
These really hit me and challenged me... and made me look deep into my heart.
I talk a lot about the importance of guarding our hearts... because it's so important to watch what gets in there. It's also very important to understand our hearts because we can be quite shocked about what comes out of there. I don't know how it got there... but without guarding my heart I can so quickly become The Jealous Leader.
It's weird how that comes out... it's usually when I'm tired... or when I start to have a little pity party about something. Like while I was away at seminary... I was exhausted from the classes and in the middle of the night I suddenly found myself angry at my high school. Why you might ask? Well... because there must have been some Christian kids in there... and why didn't they invite me to their youth group??? If they would have done what they were supposed to do and reach the other kids then I could have because a Christian 20 years sooner! That would have meant that I would have gone to Bible college and then to seminary and now I would find myself with 20 or more years of ministry experience.
And in the middle of the night when this just comes out of nowhere... I pray to God "What is in my heart that makes me think that way???? God forgive me!" I'm so grateful for my entire life and every part of it! I wouldn't have changed a thing! Yet... somewhere deep down is this jealous thought... if only... then maybe I'd be something bigger or better or whatever.
That's why I SO love where I'm serving now. We put such a big push on celebrating all that God is doing in other churches! We pray regularly for the other churches in the area. We pray for their pastors. We pray for the people there. We celebrate with them and we pray with them in their struggles. We are so excited when we hear all that God is doing all over the city. I love working with other leaders and people who think that way. I love the big picture of God's work.
So being away at seminary for a week was great to get into some deep Bible learning... but probably the best thing I learned was in the car ride home. To be reminded to watch my heart.
Andy ended the talk with this question so I'll end with it too - How's your heart?