How to Keep Your Insecurity From Hurting Your Church



Photo by Aaron Burden.

One of the major challenges that prevent many churches from being focused on their mission can be summarized in one word: insecurity. It eliminates opportunities for evangelism, planting churches, ministry expansion, and making disciples because it creates conflict in the church. I have even seen insecurity ruin ministries.

A Testimony: I will never forget talking with a leader who served with his Pastor for decades in one of the strongest ministries in America. I asked him about the challenges of adjusting from leading church staff leaders from people in the world. He remarked, “I have found that ministers are the most insecure people I have ever met in my life.”

Since insecurity can hurt ministers, churches, and ministries, we need to consider ways to overcome this problem. Here are some helpful tips for identifying the signs of and solutions to insecurity.

Signs of Insecurity

  • Competitiveness – One of the biggest problems insecurity carries with it is overt competition. Churches try to “out-do” one another. Pastors find themselves competing with other pastors. This competitiveness results occurs because of insecurity and further results in jealousy and a critical spirit.
    • Solution: Remember that as a Christ-follower your only competition is the world, the flesh, and the devil; not other pastors or churches. Remember who you are in Christ and abide in this spiritual reality.
  • Combativeness – I have seen many pastors or other church leaders ruin their ministry by the incessant need to have their way all the time. God has not called ministers to always “be right”, but to “be godly.” In my book, “Ten Things Every Minister Needs to Know” I talk about this issue in detail. I am convinced we can do the right thing in the wrong way. We need to operate with the Spirit of Christ at all times.
    • Solution: Recognize that not every hill is worth dying on. Sometimes the best, most Christ-like way is to humble yourself and see that the best idea is not always your own. Listen to others. Learn from others. Learn from your own mistakes. Do not let a word, a sentence, or a spirit take away from your main message. Your goal is always be like Christ, not to always be right in the eyes of others or even in your own eyes.  
  • Complaining – Some of the whiniest people I know are ministers. It also happens that pastors are some of the most insecure people I know. The two often go together. Complaining is a serious obstacle for many ministers of the Gospel. How can we expect others to be attracted to our message and our leadership if we are complainers? This does not magnetize people to the message but it distracts them from the message.
    • Solution: Return to the reason you are in ministry. Church leadership roles are often very hard. When all the bad stuff starts coming your way instead of complaining about it keep your heart in the Word of God and keep your eyes on Jesus and the lost-ness of the world. Most of all, return to your call from God to go into the ministry . . . this is why you are doing what you are doing.

What We Do Not Have Time For

We don’t have time to play games and be insecure. We are not competing against the pastor across town. We are not competing against a church across America. While every church is called to make disciples of all the nations, we have to carry out this commission in the different contexts God has called us to serve. We are not entitled to getting everything our way because we’re in a church leadership role.

Insecure Pastors and Churches

Insecure pastors create insecure churches. Insecure churches are ineffective churches.Competitiveness, combativeness, and complaining do not have a place in the church of Jesus Christ, especially in the life of a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So let’s set aside the competiveness, combativeness, and complaining and focus on taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world and making disciples of all nations.

Why There Is No Need To Be Insecure

Our Lord’s command to go and make disciples is prefaced by the statement, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” and is followed by “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:18, 20). Because we live in and with the authority of the Great Commission there is no need for insecurity. This is why there is no need to be insecure . . . The Lord is with you always!

Daily, I pray for the authority of the Great Commission to operate within and through my life as a leader. Knowing that the One who has all authority is with us, we can face anything in life and ministry.

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Ronnie Floyd About Ronnie Floyd

Dr. Ronnie Floyd has been a pastor for over 36 years. Since 1986, Pastor Floyd has served as the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, Northwest Arkansas, which has baptized over 17,000 people during his tenure. Cross Church was one of the first churches in America to go multi-site. Pastor Floyd has authored 20 books including Our Last Great Hope: Awakening the Great Commission.

  • Mark Barnard

    Who doesn’t have insecurities? You’d be hard pressed to find a biblical character that didn’t experience insecurity at some point in their ministry. The question is are we allowing Christ to minister to us in our insecurity? Are we willing to admit we have insecurities? Some of the patterns of pain we learn in our families of origin follow us into our congregational families, no doubt. And in God’s providence He often leads a pastor with a given insecurity to a church that has the same kind of problem manifested corporately. I’ve learned that God’s desire is to move both the pastor and the church toward greater health – together. Otherwise both the personal and corporate dysfunction continues until someone recognizes the pattern and breaks it. Both the pastor’s and church’s insecurities are usually caused by unhealed wounds or trauma in the personal history of the pastor or the corporate history of the church.

    Mark Barnard

  • Janet Binns

    Great article, totally agree with the damage caused to ministry as a result of wide spread insecurity. It ruins relationship, mission, spiritual growth and causes health issues. So what do we do about it? This article goes some way towards pointing out a few actions we could take, but these are points people should already know. Ministers must develop self awareness through mentoring, coaching, spiritual direction which should lead to accountability to God, ourselves and others.

  • Pingback: What Got Us Here Won’t Get Us There, Part 5 : Pastor For Life | Healthy Life and Ministry for Pastors

  • Dwight

    What I cannot understand is this: There are good people in your church doing good work to advance the Kingdom and most pastors will not publicly celebrate that for some crazy reason (insecurity?).

    Excuses I’ve heard include, “If I do it for this person, then I’d need to do it for everybody.” “We’re a church, not a cooperative.” “If I endorse this and it goes south, then my reputation is ruined.”

    The end result is that good ministries fail to get traction, and good people get discouraged.

  • Koalabear

    Yes, a very interesting article. Yet I also think that the key is seeing where the insecurity comes from. Yes, we need to derive our security from Christ, but he also gives us other people and it is a process that can need to be worked at – growing in being secure in Christ and in ourselves. We can’t simply put a sticking plaster over a wound; that wound may need to be looked at further and any dirt taken out before a degree of healing is reached.

  • Beckyharmon

    Ronnie, EXCELLENT ARTICLE. First thing I thought when I finished reading (and of course this is my passion so excuse me for the laser focus level here:) I find Pastors are not aware of WHERE the insecurity is coming from and how to deal with it in a practical way. For instance, it is has been noted that up to 45% of people called into “ministry” vocations come out of addiction based homes. Pretty high stastic. These types of homes are saturated with poverty mentalities, condemnation and a lack of understanding of their identity in Christ. You can pray all you want for peace, humility and to serve with a whole heart (Been part of 2 church planting teams myself and have seen the carnage) but if leaders are not aware of the characteristics of these types of homes and how to practically move out of this victimization thinking, they will continue to do the work of the ministry under a burdensome yoke and not experience the fruit of their labor. Where to start? Get clear on your identity and then you can be sent with power to transform other people’s lives for Christ. Wonderful article again, Bec:)

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