In my opinion, after 50 years of Christian ministry, there are far too many arrogant, prideful leaders in ministry today. I have worked with some of them. It’s not a pretty picture.  The distinguishing mark of a Christian leader should be deep humility, not flagrant arrogance. Chuck Lawless shares 10 ways to fight becoming an arrogant leader.

Originally posted by Chuck Lawless


Previously, I’ve written about indicators that your pride might be getting out of hand. All of us wrestle with ego (and if you say you don’t, well . . . ).  Especially as Christian leaders, we need to take the necessary steps to guard against ego. Consider these:

1.  Read the Word every day. The Bible has a way of pointing out our arrogance. In fact, not reading the Word is a subtle expression that “I don’t need to hear from God regularly.” That’s pride.

2.  Spend 15 minutes daily considering the greatness of God. Use a systematic theology book to study His attributes. Sing your favorite praise chorus. Read Bible stories of His power. Fall on your face each day, and pray humbly to Him.

3.  Know that pride is the sin of the devil. He sought the highest place in heaven (Isa 14:12-14, 1 Tim 3:6), and he seeks to draw all leaders into the trap of ego. He’s subtle enough that he wants us to be arrogant and not recognize it – and certainly not confess it.

4.  Ask your spouse to be honest with you. Nobody knows our issues more than our spouses do. Let your spouse just talk to you – while you only listen. Defensiveness = arrogance.

5.  Enlist an accountability partner. Honesty that unpeels the layers of our sinful heart also uproots our pride. Give somebody permission to point out every ounce of ego in your life.

6.  Ask this question: “If my children walked in my shoes, living exactly like I live, would I be happy with that?” Usually, our answer to that question humbles us. 

7.  Regularly serve somebody who can give you nothing in return. Feed the hungry. Visit the prison. Minister in a nursing home. Even if your ministry has “outgrown” this kind of work, do it anyway. If you consider it beneath you, arrogance is a serious problem.

8.  Take an entire day to confess your sin. When you wake up, ask God to show you every sin of your heart until you lie down again that night. I promise you that He will work over your pride.

9. Invite professional review – and rebuke. If you’re a preacher, ask another preacher to review your sermons. If you’re a small group leader, ask another leader to evaluate your work. If you sing, ask somebody who’s gifted musically to give you an assessment. Again, just listen. 

10.  Every week, honor somebody else. Recognize a staff member. Write a Facebook post about a faithful Christ follower. Take a quiet servant leader to lunch. Send a note to someone who’s made a difference in your life. Do what it takes to get your eyes off self.