By Dan Crain, South Atlanta Community Facilitator/Trainer
There’s an underbelly of Christian ministry and service that we need to talk about. This underbelly is that sometimes we are doing things for the wrong motives. We are helping people, running organizations, ministries, or churches because we are hiding something. We are hiding the fact that we don’t think we are loved, good enough, or worthy unless we do something.
It’s an epidemic. Many of us are living disingenuous lives that are rooted in the false self.
This is why Pete and Geri Scazzero started an organization called, Emotionally Health Spirituality. http://www.emotionallyhealthy.org
This has been a struggle of mine ever since I have been in ministry. For the past few years I can now name what I was struggling with; codependent relationships in ministry. For me I needed people to change or a ministry to be successful because if they didn’t or if my ministry wasn’t successful then I am a failure. It’s all rooted in my own selfishness, family of origin and sinful family patterns.
A question that a good friend of mine, Andrej asked a few years ago when talking about Christian ministry is,
“What am I getting out of this?” Am I getting a sense of being a hero, to be in control or seeking power?
Those in leadership all struggle with it, in different capacities of course. Some of us are hugely codependent and crumble when someone speaks negatively about us. Some of us are narcissistic and thing that the ministry world revolves around us.
This is why a lot of people burn out in Christian ministry is because we have never gone backwards to go forwards. We have never visited our family of origin and wrestle with how the past continues to play out in the present and affects so much of our lives.
I have seen it with my, in my own heart, but also in the most successful men. Lawyers, engineers, director of operations in large companies and pastors. They hide and they do things because they are living out of the false self. They are doing it to prove something to themselves and to others that has hidden sin in their family of origin.
So what do we do? We name it. We stop wearing masks. We begin to allow other people to help us and speak into our lives. We begin to slow our lives down to be with Christ.
Ultimately we begin to live into that reality that life is not about us and is about God’s glory.