Something has happened in the past thirty or so years that has shifted our pastoral ethic from one of faithfulness to one of productivity and success. I believe this has stirred the fires of ambition. Given the nature of our American culture, this doesn't surprise me. It also doesn't surprise me that the battle with ambition will be a ferocious one, for the tendency toward self-absorption plagues every one of us. I just wonder why this is not a front burner item that is being addressed with greater passion in the popular Christian media. It would be so refreshing to hear Christian leaders in some panel discussion copping to the fact that they struggle with it and it often drives their ministry. We all know it's there. If only we could start being honest about it.
In addition, I would like to make it clear, that I would rather follow an ambitious pastor than a lazy one. I would rather follow someone who wants to change the world than one who simply wishes to throw stones. And while many pastors who are leading thriving ministries are passionate, sincere, hungry for God, and brimming with integrity, I must raise the question. Is our ambition godly?
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