Egomaniacs—the church is full of them.  Egomaniacal leaders are always on the look-out for a new “mini-me” to serve as their #2.  Why?  Because they are sure God made them to be #1.  Besides, if Jesus is willing to serve as the “right-hand man” to the Father, it should be good enough for you too… you see that is how theology is shaped in the mind of a narcissist.  Like the Mother of James (Matt 20:20-21), egomaniacs see leadership in terms of “power” and “control” rather than “service” and “sacrifice.” so they are very comfortable using militaristic phrases like “second in command” to describe their “christian” leadership.

In case you were wondering how to spot this kind of leader, here are the Top 20 Signs your leader is an egomaniac.

  1. He wants you to pray for him and his family every day… but never reciprocates in love.
  2. He wants you to love him and make sure he succeeds because your ministry is always about his mission.
  3. He wants you to do “his thing” and does not care about “your thing.”
  4. He wants you to always go where he goes… teaching a class or in a meeting, he only cares that you are there to serve his needs and promote his “Divine-vision”.
  5. He makes you call him “pastor” in public so that others know that you are his servant under his authority.
  6. He only wants to hear the truth in private… that way his ego does not get bruised when he makes a public mistake.
  7. He only cares that your abilities complement his needs and that you compensate for his weaknesses (not that he has any, of course).
  8. He wants you to do all the crappy jobs he does not like so he can dream all day about his big vision and then take public credit for your hard work.
  9. He wants all the important information in an organized and condensed package so that as the #1 leader he does not have to bother himself with the “little people” or “little things” that are too insignificant for his big ministry.
  10. Humility is a one way street… he wants you to run his errands, bring him coffee, go for donuts, and generally do all the stuff that distract the “common man” from being great.
  11. He does not want you to get any benefit from being connected to his “power”.  Remember, you are #2 and there to serve him, if you expect anything in return it is because you are a selfish jerk.
  12. He will ask you to pray for him a ton, but don’t expect he will pray for you a ton.
  13. He says all the right “words” about putting God first but his daily actions consistently remind you of your low-place in his big-organization.
  14. He wants you to get stuff done, and if at any time you can’t meet his demands then be warned… it may be time for you to find a new job.
  15. It is important for the #1 leader to have his time off, but the #2 better be accessible all day and every day.  Even on your day off with your family, you had better be willing to drop everything to answer his call.
  16. He wants you to bring him joy, make him laugh and entertain him but he does not care if there is a genuine friendship.
  17. He expects that you will work hard, long, and without reserve to get his work done. Getting his job done is all that matters, so don’t expect him to respect your personal boundaries.
  18. For him, relationships are about power, and so he is always concerned you want his job! The minute he feels you are trying to better yourself to “move-up” from #2, he will replace you for a new lackey.
  19. You better not be greedy or expect too much.  Like Oliver Twist, be satisfied with what he offers and never dare to ask for more.
  20. He expects you will be faithful to him at the end—even if he is not faithful to you.  When he decides it is time to fire you, you better not complain or cry “foul”. Take his abuse like a man!  Put your tail between your legs and crawl off to a new job or he will eviscerate you in public and private.

Remember, egocentric leaders don’t like to share “their” power.  Their goal is not “Generational Leadership” it is to find a “Right-Hand Man” who will serve as a personnel assistant to follow their commands.

Look for the signs of spiritual abuse. If someone claiming the mantle of “Christian-leader” does not value your life above his or her own, run far away!

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ YouTube 

Related Post

Pin It on Pinterest