Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

Don't Go It Alone

Without transparent friendships, ministers are dangerously vulnerable

Our world values independence. "Making it on your own" is the "highest achievement," and depending on others is viewed as weakness. That's far from a kingdom mentality.

God, the consummate Being who could run the show alone, valued relationship so highly that apart from the Holy Spirit and Jesus, the Father does nothing—and vice versa. The original picture of ideal interdependence is modeled in the Godhead itself.

As a young believer, some of the earliest teachings I heard were about accountability and being "in covenant." Although some believers have shipwrecked on these concepts through wrongful control, these truths, in balance, are vital.

I wonder how the many leaders who have fallen from grace in the last 10 or 15 years would have fared if had they had a close, wise ear to talk to and a kind heart to glean from, or a small group of covenant peers to offer safe counsel.

Christian leaders face closer scrutiny than the average person. The Bible warns that those who teach "shall receive a stricter judgment" (James 3:1). We see such judgment daily in the media. We are often open targets to anyone except a just Savior. That's why I believe those in ministry—perhaps more than any other field—desperately need transparent, effective friendships and means of accountability.

God designed us for relationship—first with Him, and then with each other. Our success is exponentiall when paired with each other: If one can put 1,000 to flight; then two can put 10,000 to flight (see Deut. 32:30).

In contrast, the Bible says that "he who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment" (Prov.18:1). We become dangerously vulnerable without healthy and insightful relationships.

Our busy schedules make it hard to maintain close contact with others. But such shared time is not a luxury; it is a necessity and a protection. Whatever time we spend deepening trusted friendships is an investment more precious than riches.

I encourage you to seek safe and open relationships on two levels. The first is for your personal growth, edification and safety. The second is for that of your ministry. Webster's dictionary defines safe as "free from damage or the risk of damage; giving protection, trustworthy, prudent." We can all use that kind of protection!

On a personal level, my close, covenant friendships are irreplaceable. We are charged to "submit ourselves to one another" (Eph. 5:21, NIV). Doing so provides both safeguards and insights we lack alone. I believe accountability is a part of that submission. It means we are open to being called into account, and we are willing to present or defer to others as appropriate for decisions and counsel in our lives.

On a corporate or ministry level, I believe God created the apostolic realm of the fivefold ministry to provide a safe place of corporate submission to best encourage the growth of His church. There is a very clear blueprint of this plan in the New Testament. I believe apostolic alignment is key to healthy growth, direction and provision. Just like the solo person, a "solo church" is dangerously poised.

If these areas need shoring up in your life, seek God and establish these foundations. I'm confident you'll treasure the results.

 


CHÉ AHN is senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, Calif. He leads an apostolic network in 36 nations around the world and has written numerous books, including Close Encounters of the Divine Kind. For more information, visit cheahn.org.

Leaders are readers! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Ministry Today, Charisma and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - I'm a leader!

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Discouragement can be a serious struggle.

    Guard Your Spirit Against These 4 Crippling Attacks

    Are you struggling this Valentine's Day with one of these discouraging issues?

  • Some of the toughest lessons reap the greatest rewards.

    10 Tough Lessons Every Pastor Should Remember in Ground-Shaking Trials

    One is that your suffering may turn out to be the highest compliment the Father ever gave you.

  • Why Many Christians Misunderstand This Crucial Leadership Trait

    Great leadership doesn't start with a great education, although that is incredibly valuable. ...

  • Worship leaders, keep your team's attitude in check.

    This Can Quickly Erode a Worship Team's Culture

    God has given us talent and He calls for excellence, but excellence with this is not honoring ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • Your Source of Unlimited Kingdom Energy and Power

    Jesus said that we can do greater works than He did and that He will do whatever we ask in His Name.

  • What reasons can you think of that leaders might not choose to delegate authority?

    7 Reasons Some Leaders Dump Delegation

    These could have a lot to do with stalled growth and low team morale.

  • These seven responses can get you on the right track.

    Responding Like Jesus When Your Church Kicks You Out

    It's a pain that many in the ministry have felt at least once and maybe more.

  • A 'What's in it for me?' mentality could bring your church down.

    The Mentality That May Be Killing Your Church

    And we wonder why so many congregations are stagnated, plateaued or declining.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders