It All Starts With God: Lesson #1 of the 7 Most Important Leadership Lessons I’ve Ever Learned

As I begin this series with the first most important leadership lesson I’ve ever learned, it’s only fitting that the most important lesson is that it all starts with God.

Seems like a no brainer for those of us involved in ministry. But, it’s still a lesson I struggle to live out.

I have natural selfish tendencies. It’s part of being human. My selfishness has caused me to struggle with these desires:

  • My desire to look important.
  • My desire to look smart.
  • My desire to have power and influence.
  • My desire to have the best ministry.
  • My desire to look successful.

These struggles are all rooted in one thing: my ego. My favorite understanding of EGO, which I’ve written about before, comes from Ken Blanchard.

Is my EGO…

Edging God Out

Or…

Exalting God Only

Here are 4 strategies I use to keep my ego in check and to remember that it all starts with God.

  1. Pray everyday. I wish I could say that I am really successful at this, but I’m not. My most recent challenge is to spend 15 minutes a day in quiet meditation. I do it a few times a week, but I know I need to do it more. The reason I want to do this is because I know it helps me stay attuned to God’s will for my life and my ministry.
  2. Encourage constructive criticism. I want my team to be open and share their honest thoughts about our ministry and my leadership. There is always room for improvement. Giving my team permission to name the things I could be better at helps me stay humble.
  3. Say a quick prayer before a ministry event. If I am leading a training, a youth night, or any program in my ministry, I try to make it a habit to take just 10 seconds before the event begins to pray these words: “Lord, remind me that this is for Your glory, not mine. Send Your Spirit upon me. Let Your will be done.” It’s amazing how this 10-second prayer changes my posture towards God as the event unfolds. It makes a difference.
  4. Have a spiritual director. I really cannot imagine my life without my spiritual director. The Spirit works through him in tremendous ways. Whenever we meet, he helps provide a different perspective and reveals things about me and my relationship with God that I had no idea were there. Spiritual direction helps me in my discernment of difficult choices and helps me keep my priorities in check.

These are four strategies that work for me. They may or may not work for you. The important thing is for you to find ways that work for you to keep God front and center in your ministry. If not, you’ll discover, as I have, that our natural selfish and human tendencies begin to sneak in and take over our ministry.

Question: What do you do to remind yourself that your ministry always starts with God?

 

Here is a summary of posts for the “The 7 Most Important Leadership Lessons I’ve Learned in Ministry” series:

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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