A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed-without remedy.  (Prov. 29:1) (NIV) 

Why is it so important that ministry leaders develop as worshipers?  To guard against familiarity.  Those of us who have been working in our respective area(s) of ministry for a long time can run the risk of becoming too "familiar" with God, our ministry responsibilities, and our own level of spiritual growth.  When we've crossed that line it isn't about God anymore; it is about us.  It isn't about those we lead anymore; it is about our egos.  We have begun running on auto pilot, so we don't plan, don't seek out regular opportunities to grow spiritually, and we are blinded to the possibility that those we lead are suffering for lack of leadership.  We're not concerned about our own growth anymore, so we are not thinking, either, about the spiritual growth of those we lead.    Familiarity won't stop us from praising so much, but it will stop us from worshiping because often, our praise is tied to emotion.  I am of the mindset that worship carries a much greater level of discipline, than does praise. Worship requires humility and surrender.  There is no hiding in worship - we are laid bare before God; all of our issues are exposed.  There is no room for egos when we worship God.  Our egos can get us out from under God's covering because we only see ourselves at the surface level; we haven't looked deep inside ourselves.   And we don't want God to do it because then we'd have to change.    

I want to encourage all ministry leaders, from the pulpit to the back of the sanctuary to check ourselves.  Is it about us or about those we lead?  Do we do what we do in order that God may be glorified, or that we may be built up?  

If you can admit you've been running on auto pilot, do you need some face time with God?  An humble, surrendered heart will keep us from slipping into the familiarity trap.  The devil has traps set for all of us, whether we are a ministry leader or not.  But especially those who carry the responsibility of leading other people and developing them.  God is much more concerned about the condition of our hearts than He is our talents, gifts, and abilities. 

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