From Relevant Magazine – Sarah Abby
Confessions of a Ministry Snob
4 signs that you need to get a life outside church.
Hello. My name is Sarah, and I’m a recovering ministry snob.
I grew up in a strong Christian family, the daughter of a pastor, where the Gospel was part of daily life. My parents were, and are, a blessing. At a young age, I recognized my need for the salvation Christ offered and put my trust in Him. This began my journey of knowing and serving God.
From the beginning, God planted in my heart a deep love for Him. I cannot remember a time when I did not want to walk with and serve the Lord. Unfortunately, like many on the journey, I have struggled with pride, and it showed up in ministry snobbery. Like a recurring cold which isn’t always there but refuses to fully go away, the symptoms of ministry snobbery surfaced in my life, indicating that I wasn’t always as healthy as I thought I was.
This is my story.
Symptom #1: Equating spiritual maturity with ministry success
I’ve learned the first symptom of ministry snobbery is associating spiritual maturity with ministry success. I believed that if I loved Jesus—and I did—and was having an impact in ministry, then all my endeavors for Him would be successful. People would notice. Lives would be changed. I would have value and matter.
I thought that if God was blessing the ministries where I served, if I was having an impact, that meant my walk with the Lord was healthy. So I sought opportunities that would bring success. The more I did, the more mature I thought I was. The danger was in becoming more concerned with being godly than with God Himself.
Symptom #2: Godliness by association
Because I believed my ministry success indicated my spiritual maturity, the next symptom to surface was assuming godliness by association. I thought maybe the godliness of other successful and influential Christians would rub off on me. And while it is right and biblical to imitate godly men and women and learn from their wisdom, there were times I imposed my perceptions of their success on myself and God. I was tempted to assume that learning from those humble people meant I was humble, too, and that God should—and would—use me in similar ways. I found a false sense of piety in being associated with those who were godly. To my great shame, there have been times when I was the person James describes, who ignores the ministry “poor” and favors the ministry “rich” (see James 2).