There is a quote from Mike Yaconelli that has been resonating in my mind over the past 48 hours, so I thought I would share it with you. It is worth reading and letting the impact of these statements truly sink into your mind.
Mix a good dose of ego addiction with Jesus, and the consequences are frightening. It causes ministers to build huge churches as a monument to their own ego, it causes people to go on television with their “unique ministry”, which is another term for “my ministry”. It causes people to write books, speak all over the world, abandon their families, their friends, and their neighborhoods so they can respond to the “great need”… which is really the need to be needed.
Think of all the churches in America right now that are supporting the egos of their ministers. Think of all the supporters of para-church organizations that are supporting the ego of their “founder and president.” Think of all the churches and organizations that are supporting the egos of their “internationally known speakers.”
The result is that the evangelical church is known more for its “big” churches and famous people than it is known for its Jesus. (The Door Magazine, #125, October 1992)
I wish I had written that, but I didn’t so the best I can do is share it with you. Read this one line again, Think of all the churches in America right now that are supporting the egos of their ministers. Do you find yourself shaking your head at the truth of that statement like I do? I have been on both sides of this equation and know it to be true.
It is happening not only in “big” churches, but also in churches of all sizes. We can’t just point to the Saddlebacks and WillowCreeks of the world and shake a finger. No need to look at the Osteens, the Warrens and the Hybels of the church world to search for the ego-addicts…simply look in the mirror. If pastors and church leaders are honest they will admit it is true in their lives and churches as well.