Ego kills ministry. There, I said it. Pride is a symptom of having ego and that pride can, and often does, kill ministry. Anytime one person begins to think they are more important than others, pride is knocking at the door.
This is important because it takes a team to make ministry happen, even in a small church environment. If that team is being disrupted because of conflict between personalities or because of someone’s ego, the work of spreading the Gospel is going to be handicapped, sometimes to the point of a church dying.
The Bible says that “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall,” in Proverbs 16:18 NIV. Too often, though, it seems that the proud are allowed to flourish while walking all over the meek and mild among us. It can be extremely difficult and down right scary to deal with a proud, egocentric and narcissistic personality when things are going relatively well and what feels like personal danger when that person gets angry.
My personal opinion is that regardless of what position or title a person holds, they are not above reproach nor discipline. We have a model for dealing with persons that live outside of the established boundaries of a Christian lifestyle. See Matthew 18, Galatians 6:1, Titus 3:10-11, and 2 Timothy 4:2 for instruction on how to deal with these situations.
Some examples I have seen in my own experience include singers who enjoy telling sound techs everything they are doing wrong from the front, a sound tech who had been running sound for over 2 decades that is unwilling to learn how to operate new equipment, pastors who consistently complain about technical glitches or malfunctions from the pulpit; the stories go on and on.
If we can maintain the mindset that we are all working towards a common goal in furthering the Kingdom and that we are all broken human beings, meaning we all have faults, then we can work through issues that pride causes, but we have to work through those issues together.
We live in a world of social media that encourages us to put ourselves at the center of our own lives and worse, expect that others do the same. This unrealistic expectation has fueled anger, increased poor communication and atrophied listening skills; it has also contributed to inflated egos, dangerous expectations, ruined relationships and wounded hearts. The world does not revolve around us and despite what you may think, social media has led many of us to become more disconnected, replacing real relationships with an online surrogate that at any moment could blow up in our face.
We must commit to humbling ourselves, as Christ teaches, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first,” and be willing to admit our faults. Seek out people for your tech team that are thirsty to learn, willing to grow, and looking to be part of something larger than themselves.
It is long past time we move past being prideful and ego-centric to become the most effective Christians we can. That can only happen if we make room in our hearts for Christ to reside. I submit that a heart filled with love of self has no room for love of God, and that, truly, will lead to the worst fall any of us can imagine; an eternal separation from God.