Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Humility & Henry

I have just finished reading a good book on Patrick Henry by David Vaughan. In this book Vaughan recounts Henry’s life and seeks to draw lessons in leadership. In a chapter entitled “Humility” Vaughan gives a powerful warning.

“Fame is dangerous, of course, because it is deceptive. At the heels of popularity there lurks pride and all of its attendant evils: arrogance, egotism, and selfishness. With every successive victory, or every promotion in public esteem, there is the danger of secretly congratulating oneself, thus edging closer to a fall from the pinnacle of pride. Once a leader succumbs to pride, he disqualifies himself from holding a position of power because he can no longer fulfill one of leadership’s most important tasks: to guard and guide those under his authority. Self centered leadership is an oxymoron.” (165-66)

Too true! Examples of this failure are all too easy to find. Let us beware, guard our hearts, and open ourselves to those who are willing to rebuke our conceit when (not if) it begins to rise.


Anonymous said...

I think this is a great observation and claim. How can you lead others when you are only concerned for yourself?

You should read Carl Trueman's most recent blog post on the Reformation 21 site called Pride the True Heresy. It is somewhat related to this topic of humility in leadership. He exhorts us to remember that becoming a "big shot" is not the purpose in what we do and that this mentality can potentially lead to error in doctrine.

Ray Van Neste said...

Thanks for pointing otu that article Jeff! Carl is a great friend and one who is particularly keen on this topic.

Anonymous said...

Can you recommend some books related to this topic? I know I can always use the reminder and it would be great to have some resources on hand to encourage other brothers.

Ray Van Neste said...

The best thing I have read on this is C J Mahaney's book that I mentioned on this blog prevously.

Anonymous said...

Ya...I've heard Mahaney's book is really good.

On another note...I am wondering if you might do a series of posts on the role of women in ministry. It is an issue I have been pondering as I am working through the Pastoral Epistles. One specific question would be this...can a woman lead music for the worship service? Now...I don't think the idea is to be legalistic or to micromanage women in what they can and can't do. Some might say that leading music is teaching and so a woman is disqualified from such a position. I'm not totally convinced by that argument. I think it might depend on the description of the position. Anyhow...I would love to hear more on this topic just to help my own understanding.

Ray Van Neste said...

Hey Jeff,
Thanks for the suggestion. At the moment I would refer you to cbmw.org. I seem to remember a good article several years back in their journal (their archives are online) on the issue of what roles would be prohibited to women, where are the lines drawn, etc.
In brief, I would agree that in your question it would depend on how the role was defined. This is particularly the case for roles not mentioned n scripture- like worship leader.