HAVE YOU EXHIBITED ANY OF THESE SIGNS LATELY? CHANCES ARE HIGH THAT YOU ARE BUILDING YOUR EMPIRE AND NOT GOD’S KINGDOM, SAYS JOSEPH MATTERA
eaders often speak about “kingdom first”. But if they exhibit the following 17 signs, then they are “empire builders” instead of “kingdom builders”.
YOU REJOICE WHEN OTHER KEY LEADERS IN YOUR REGION ARE STRUGGLING
Although all leaders with their mouth say they are sad when another church, pastor or leader in their area is struggling, I have observed that some leaders seem to privately gloat or compare themselves with other failing leaders in their area. Whether the failing church or leader is right or wrong, it never pleases God when we internally rejoice or gloat when the body of Christ is not advanced in our region.
YOU ARE TERRITORIAL AND ONLY WORK WITH THOSE UNDER YOUR “COVERING”
Some leaders and denominations I know will only do outreaches with churches and leaders who have a ministerial and financial allegiance with them. If we are going to reach our communities, we have to be willing to cross denominations and networks and work with the leaders who are sincerely committed to advancing the kingdom.
YOU ONLY SUPPORT EVENTS THAT CAN GIVE YOU A PLATFORM
I have seen leaders actually pull out of a citywide or community event because their name was not advertised on the program or because they are rivals with a leader who is part of said program. This shows that their concern was not advancing the kingdom baton advancing their own name and empire-building goals.
YOU TEND TO EXAGGERATE YOUR OWN IMPORTANCE AND INFLUENCE TO OUTSIDERS
Empire builders treat their ministry like a sporting event—they are constantly throwing around numbers and stats and comparing their numbers to the numbers of other ministers. They say things like, “We are growing in record numbers” or “This was the most significant event in our city” or “We have the largest network in our city.” Or worse yet, they claim something like “our ministry is the reason why the crime rate went down in our community or region,” and they tend to exaggerate their influence, importance and results in their region or community.