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This week we have been reminded about the power and destruction that lies can cause. Early in the week we learned Lance Armstrong was going to confess to lying about his use of performance enhancing drugs and yesterday we learned of a possible lie involving a pretend girlfriend with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. Both stories highlight the power of a lie, what people will do to cover up a lie, and the hurt of a lie when truth is revealed. It’s easy to read about both lies and acknowledge how ridiculous both situations are but the bigger question I think we have to ask is what lies are trapping each of us? Every ministry leader knows that there are ministry lies we choose to embrace as truth. These lies are just as destructive as anything we might find on CNN today. Here are some common ministry lies that next generation need to commit to walk away from…

  1. Never lie about numbers / Numbers matter because the represent people and people matter to God. Numbers many times draw us to trust in them and push us to lie in order to validate our ministry. Never lie about numbers because at some point you will have to be accountable to that number or someone else who follows you will be evaluated by them. Be honest about numbers so God can trust you down to road to serve with honor no matter the crowd.
  2. Never lie to yourself / Many times we try to convince ourselves that we are someone we are not. When we lie to ourselves we can convince our souls to trust our wisdom over God’s ways and God’s truth found in Scripture. You will carry the consequence of the sin you choose not matter what lies you tell yourself.
  3. Never lie to your volunteers / Even if it means saying nothing in a difficult situation never lie to volunteers. One lie to a volunteer leads to a web of other lies to make sure you are protected. Be a truth teller with your team so your team can trust you. Protect the people you lead by often saying nothing and speaking when it is the right time when you can be truthful.
  4. Never lie to buy time / When you are late with a project or assignment just own up to the situation and tell the truth instead of embracing lies of blame. Tell the truth, ask for mercy, work hard next time to deliver what you promise. People need your honesty more than your perfection in the work environment.
  5. Never lie to impress / If you have to lie in order to impress another leader then that’s a relationship you don’t need anyway. When you are connecting with people in your ministry and other leaders just be real about who you are and what you are passionate about. Never lie to create a false commotion.
  6. Never lie in order to affirm others / In ministry never lie when giving people feedback on talent or ability. Why do we have so many poor worship leaders, preachers, leaders, and teachers in church circles? Poor leadership exists in the church because we have a culture that is willing to lie in order to affirm. False affirmation leads people down ministry tracks they are not gifted for.

Why these six lies? I listed these because I have been trapped by each one of them in the name of trying to lead in ministry. I know these lies exist and trap leaders everyday. Stopping ministry lies begins when we personally strive to become leaders who are truth tellers not matter the cost. What ministry lies have you seen trap next generation leaders?