Narcissism and Church Leadership

Good insights here talking about narcissism among pastors, though nothing surprising. I’m struck and stuck with the reality that church leadership is structured to select for narcissistic leaders, and that is what troubles me a lot about the huge emphasis on “leadership development” in churches, which is often much more emphasized than spiritual or emotional development.

This isn’t unique to church leaders, of course, but churches, of all places should be free of this kind of reality–if they were structured in the pattern of the Holy Spirit’s work of giving gifts and empowerment to all the people. Another troubling reality is that narcissist leaders can be very wise and very astute in ministry and the Bible.

There are a lot of leaders who fall, of course, but there are also a lot who thrive in ministry and are very famous in their ministry, but are still narcissists, leading others into destructive habits. Meanwhile, there are a lot of wonderful, balanced, pastors who are struggling because they are made to feel insufficient compared to those “successful” ministry.

It’s a bad cycle that endures because it’s what our church models continue to develop.

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