I was once asked, “What are you trying to prove?”. My immediate response was, “Nothing.” and then I paused. Was that true? Was I trying to prove a point? Was I protecting my ego? Or, was I justified in my actions. I was not sure my heart was communicating clearly with my mind.
When someone challenges your intentions it can make you second guess yourself. Even if you original intentions were innocent you might wonder, “What am I really doing?”
It’s easy to inflate your ego in youth ministry. You have people looking to you, following your lead and giving you attention. All the attention can feel like a drug and impact the way you run your ministry. To make sure you keep your ego in check and follow the Spirit:
- Discern Your Decisions: Ego will drive you to make decisions that only benefit you. Take the time to reflect on how your decision impacts others and whether or not it fulfills your vision. Discerning your decisions means letting God lead you, doing the research and making sure your ego or pride doesn’t get in the way.
- Build Accountability: If you do not have people who are speaking the hard truth in your life you’ll suffer from tunnel vision. You need people calling you out when you are acting out of pride. You need them to know how to affirm you so that your ego does not get out of control. Find these people and schedule time to check-in with them.
- Disown Your Ego: If you make a mistake the worst thing you can do is hide from it. Hide behind your ego and people will see right through you. If you admit that some of your decisions were made out of pride your releasing it to God. People will trust you more because they’ll see that you know when you can get the best of yourself.
Pride can be the downfall to even the greatest youth ministers. What might start out as humble leadership could eventually become a power trip. Stay on top of your ego, by admitting we’re all susceptible. Make sure you are constantly checking it.
How do you check your ego?