A Miserable, Spiritually Dangerous, and Leader-Destroying Place

A prayer written using quotes from chapter 9 - Identity - 
of Paul Tripp's Lead:12 Gospel Principles for Leadership In the Church

God, full of grace, the one who created us with purpose and identity,

Don't allow my pride to keep me from running to the graces of your gospel 
and the help and protection of the gospel community around me.

Remind me of who I am in you and because of you.
Help me always keep you in the center and
to not look horizontally for what I am designed to find vertically.

I pray that the fruit of my identity in Christ would not tempt me to look elsewhere for identity.
I pray that I would be motivated by faith not fear.

God, you change people.  I am not the change agent in this world.
I am an instrument in the redeemer's hands.


If "pride in position" controlled my heart, I would not run to the graces of the gospel or the help and protection of the gospel community around me.  (162)

Rooting my identity in ministry leadership would cause me to hide important details about myself, control conversations, compete for position, deny weaknesses while projecting strength, and a host of other spiritual dangers.  (162)

None of us, from the most influential leader down to the least influential follower, responds to life-based n the pure facts of our existence.  Rather, all our responses are the result of how we have interpreted those facts.  (163)

The disobedience of Adam and Eve was profoundly more than the eating of forbidden food.  It was a rejection of their identity as creatures of the Most High God and buying into an identity that did not have God at the center.  And with that said rejection, human identity became not only a morass of confusion but the battleground for spiritual war.  (164)

Since the fall, people look horizontally for what they were designed to find vertically.  They ask people, places, and things to do for them what the only identity in the Lord can do.  (164)

It is incredibly ironic that the fruit of a leader's identity in Christ is what tempts him to look elsewhere for identity. (167)

Ministry leadership really is a miserable, spiritually dangerous, and leader-destroying place to look for identity.(167)

Nothing good is produced in a leader who has along the way exchanged identity in Christ for some form of identity in ministry.  (167)

There are too many leaders among us who do too many things out of fear, not faith.  (169)

No leader is a change agent; rather, every ministry leader is a  toolbox of the one who alone holds the power of change in his hands. (170)

A leader whose identity and security is in the Lord is liberated from fear, even in the face of bad news."  (172)


Isolated, Independent, Separated, and Self-hiding Christian Life?

A prayer I wrote using quotes from chapter 8 - Candor - of Paul Tripp's Lead:12 Gospel Principles for Leadership In the Church

Lord, God, Three in One, the one who said it was not good that Adam was alone,

Thank you for making us relational beings.  You want me to be comforted, warned, encouraged, rebuked, and instructed by others.  May my willingness to confess and share struggles not only be a help to me but also an encouragement to others.

God, make me aware of my own heart struggles and areas of weakness.

I pray that
  pride of personal maturity,
  the pursuit for the respect of others,
  functional Gospel doubt,
  ability to minimize sin, and 
  identity in ministry
will not silence me.

Help me and those I lead with to lead and live knowing the dark, despicable, destructive, and dishonoring nature of sin.  May we never attempt to rationalize sin and make it look o.k.

I pray that the fear of a lost leadership position will never be great than the fear of giving sin room to do its evil work in my life.  

God, I want my life and my ministry to be about you and your glory!!!


An isolated, independent, separated, and self-hiding Christian life is alien to the Christianity of the New Testament. (148)

Biblical Christianity is thoroughly and foundational relational.  (148)

No one is so spiritually mature that he is free from a need for the comfort, warnings, encouragement, rebuke, instruction, and insight of others.  (148)

A spiritually healthy leadership community is spiritually healthy when it is a safe place for struggling leaders to speak with candor and hope.  (149)

"The ministry leaders I regularly meet with often share a personal experience, but they leave out how they themselves factor into it.  They talk about what happened and what other people did and said, but they give little sense of their own heart struggle as it was all going on.  (150)

It is quite possible to be committed to leading robust gospel ministries and yet be denying the same gospel in your leadership community.  (152)

A gospel-shaped leadership community will be a confessional community, where leader honesty is not only a constant protection but encourages a deeper and deeper dependency on God.  (152)

It is in the soil of the devastation and humiliation of confession that servant leaders grow.  (153)

What silences us?
1.  Pride of personal maturity
2.  Ability to minimize sin
3.  Must have the respect of others
4.  Identity in ministry
5.  Functional Gospel doubt

Every leadership community needs to pray together for grace to see sin as dark, despicable, destructive, and dishonoring to God as it actually is.  Every leadership community needs to regularly cry out for help, admitting that sin doesn't always look sinful.  (155)

If I have [the leadership community] in the appropriate place in my heart, I will see them as God-given tools of grace and be free to be candid with them about my real issues of heart and life.  (155)

The Gospel promises us that the good things God calls us to will produce good in our lives, even if that good looks different from what we hoped for.  (157)

Do we fear the loss of leadership position more than we fear giving sin room to do its evil work in our hearts and lives?  (157)