Pushing isn’t the same thing as leading. Some people wrongly sense that ministry is about pushing people. So they pick subjects that seem to always be push-able.

"You should be more committed", for example. It’s true, no matter how committed I am, I could be more committed, and if I could, then I suppose I should, so it would seem to always be the right thing to do, to push me towards more commitment. 

When you hear: you should be giving more, you should be serving more, you should be witnessing more, you should be reading more Bible, you should be praying more… you’re actually inviting someone to do what addicts call “shoulding yourself”.  They also occasionally call it “musterbation”. As in, you must do this, you must do that. Instead of celebrating your successes, you focus on the negative things you haven’t done yet.

It’s a recipe for failure.

Pushing people in this way isn’t ministry, it’s just stating the obvious. Of course I always could be better at everything, but by failing to recognize and address the things that keep me from moving forward, you fail to be of any real help to me.

Pushing in this way isn’t leadership. Leaders blaze the trail. They train and equip. They call us to our higher selves. Leaders show us what we can do. They show us what our strengths are. Leaders don’t obsess over the imperfections of others, they see imperfections as the rocks in the road that need to be cleared away so the wheels can move forward.

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    I need to learn how to be better at this.
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    ooooh. this. this is exactly what i felt about a year ago. it made me feel so unworthy. not the good unworthiness that i...
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