Summary: We look at an 11 step process where leadership can accidentally fall prey.


By Wade Martin Hughes, Sr.


Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love Thy law;


Hebrews 12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which HANG DOWN, and the feeble knees;

13. And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lamed be turned out of the way; BUT RATHER LET IT BE HEALED.

14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

15. Looking diligently LEST THE ROOT OF BITTERNESS SPRINGING UP TROUBLE YOU, and thereby many be defiled.

MATTHEW 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.


When one yields to the high calling of God we become very vulnerable to heartbreaks and distortions.

To pastor is a demanding role, almost like a mother and child.

Then to pastor is easy, if there is JOY, because we see the rewards and fulfillment in being a servant of the Most High.

We see, as we preach the word, and while working with the great JOY, that in leading others in the things of God and in their personal development,

we can find great satisfaction.

This is good, but this is the way the enemy will attack and come against us.

Negative, heart breaking, disappointments in others --- then we question our self and lose our JOY in ministry.

Then we head for the valley of tears, we doubt self, we doubt others, and we doubt God. God designed us to have a full JOY tank, then the enemy comes and puts his water in our tank and we find the PAIN of Ministry.

God designed His ministers to be vulnerable.

God had Moses put down his rod and it turned into a snake.

God said, Pick up the snake by the tail.

Wait, we know any good snake handler picks up a snake from the back of the head. (TV dudes distort this, but they do it for a show, and have people you can’t see near by to rescue them if needed.)

Why God? Why must I pick up the snake? Why pick up a snake in an illogical way?

Does God know the good rules of snake handling.?


God was teaching Moses, you have to lean not to your own understanding but to the ways of God for effective ministry.

God wanted to teach Moses that he would always be vulnerable and that Moses would have to depend on God to be his provider and waymaker and protector.

We do not minister in our own power. Don’t forget this.

We get good in people skills, and love, and then, we think we are doing something. Then some negative stroke fells us, and we are back where we should be, depending on God.

Many have been the negative stroke that hit this preacher, that have put me on my knees.

You don’t have to go to your knees? You can get bitter and strike back and defend your records, or you can trust God.

God wants His leaders totally depended on Him.

Sure, God could have pulled the teeth of the lions before Daniel was dropped by friends into the PIT. Sure, God could have killed the lions with lightning, sure God could have killed Daniel’s opposition, but God had a plan and God’s plan would lift up His Holy Name.

Not only did the friends have a lesson to learn, so did Daniel.

You want to learn without the lions? I do to?

But God says: GROW UP my child.

Once I heard a man attack that God’s children seem like they never grew up and you never hear of God’s adults? Always God’s children?

So, I developed a negative thought pattern to this process, of children?

Then one day God dealt with my heart, God always wanted us, His children, to be totally dependent on Him. We want to be God’s adults and do things our way?

he wants us to trust Him.

God laughs at us and says: YOU WILL ALWAYS NEED ME!

We cannot let unhealthy members dictate an unhealthy mind set in the ministers.

Often we have very unreal expectations for ourselves and for others.

While we need to dream, to dream of a reign of peace and never have problems is stupidity on our expectations.

Where there are people there will be people problems.

Ministers expecting God to move and take away problems are headed back to kindergarten. Kindergarten means Mother Play in German.

We need septic tanks or sewer lines where there are people.

This will help keep the smell down.

Too bad many Christian leaders learn to spread the smell.

Some even learn how to deodorize the problems.

We need wisdom to solve the problem, identify the cause, and go to the root.

We must know that the Christian leaders must set the tone for the congregation.

If the leadership cannot TRUST God for daily menial problems, how can we expect the members to do the same?

Psa. 119:165 Great peace have they ... and NOTHING SHALL OFFEND THEM?

Matthew 24:10 One of the characteristics of the last days shall be MANY WILL BE OFFENDED, and shall betray one another...

This verse is written about actions within the church.


THERE IS A VERY DESTRUCTIVE PATH THAT LEADS MANY AWAY FROM CHURCH. I will show you this path, or the trail that leads to destruction.

Hebrews 12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which HANG DOWN, and the feeble knees;

13. And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lamed be turned out of the way; BUT RATHER LET IT BE HEALED.

14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

15. Looking diligently LEST THE ROOT OF BITTERNESS SPRINGING UP TROUBLE YOU, and thereby many be defiled.


1. ANGER...

we live in a very angry society and it appears everyone is angry with someone.

2. WRATH...

Wrath is long term anger. Grudges, shouting matches, bitterness, all lack of forgiveness.


Control starts as an attitude and grows into controlling spirits.

Where there is anger and it yields to wrath the next phase will grow...

this is controlling, manipulation, coercion.

We find this to be ultimatums and demands.

This is not submission but a demanding of rights.

God would like to be in control, but man pushes his way.


With controlling attitudes yielding to controlling spirits we see a shift into a focus on performance and professionalism. Within this will come a demand for perfection, and since none can be perfect, and you cannot live up to your standards, this demand will lead to disappointment in people. Be real.


Seems no one will meet my criteria for acceptance and the trail has a spiral downward, that I am hurt and offended.

An offended spirit is a bad cancer and if not removed will grow and kill the host.

Some people are carrying a chip on their shoulder and anyone that looks at them strangely will offend them.

Again read Psa.119:165

Psa. 119: 165 Great PEACE have they which LOVE Thy LAW: AND NOTHING SHALL OFFEND THEM.

The spirit of offense is counter productive to building people and building churches.

We must grow above this offensive plane.

Just when we grow above being offended, hurt, and dying, we get hurt and fall backward into the quicksand.

This trap is deadly.


Bitterness is a terrible cancer.

Bitterness and disappointment can hide in many dark places.

But sooner or later the light will shine and the hidden bitterness will thrive.

Bitterness is a root, it can grow unseen.

You can cut the seen part of the plant down, leave the root, and growth of bitterness will return.


This is the next logical step.

Because of the pain and bitterness one gets where they will refuse to accept any sound doctrine.

In this stage the ears are closed, they refuse to hear and accept what the Holy Spirit warns, or the advise of others. I don’t care becomes the call.

I call this stage spiritual vomit.

I am sorry your performance level does not meet my criteria, I reject you.

Many babies have been aborted, or thrown out with the dirty bath water.

Rejection ... is naturally the next logical step in this destructive trail.

I often see this as an excuse for the "STRONGER" crowd to leave the "WEAKER" crowd


When one cannot gain control and keep it and there grows a disappointment that people are people and people will not always perform to your standards and demands, --- there will grow a spirit of alienation.

This spirit might grow in to CLIQUES, small exclusive groups with demands to be in my group: you must perform to my standard, if you don’t cut my standard, you are inferior and not qualified to be WITH US.

God loves small groups, but small groups can tend to become gossip meeting places. If you say this, the small group will be angry and resist you.

As the group divides, isolation becomes easy.

A divided house cannot stand, the enemy knows this.

So the enemy will use spiritual reason to divide the house and make it weaker and easier to conquer.


Many times hatred and hostility are driven by jealousy, fear, anger, and a sense of injury.

So we see the progressiveness of this trail we are now studying.

How can hatred grow among God’s people in God’s camp?

It grows because we hide it under many different files.

We know better than to call hatred hatred.

We know better than to call hostility hostility.

we will not admit we are jealous.

We will not even use the word dislike, how about righteous indignation?

I have seen many religious leaders stating a truth but stating it in a vicious way.

JOY and HATRED do not grow together.


It is strange how values shift in leadership.

God accepted David the adulterer and murderer,

and rejected Saul the rebellious student.

Today must churches would reverse this order?

Churches accept rebellious groups running in rebellion from other churches.

You are courting danger.

We so count numbers and budgets.

The leader with the biggest toys will always win?

Rebels are glorious?

Rebellion is resisting authority and is a sin.

How many pastors are in direct rebellion of the leadership over them, and expect God’s blessings and submission from those under them?

I don’t like your rules, I will undermine you.

How many leaders are resistant and defiant of the authority over them?

Is this spiritual mutiny?

You better search your heart.

1 Sam. 15:23 For REBELLION is as the sin of WITCHCRAFT, and stubbornness

is iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he rejected thee from King.

Rebellion is an automatic withdrawal from God’s leadership training.

Whispering in the corners? Come out.

God will blame the ears that hear, as much as the mouth that speaks.

We must submit to authority! It is not optional.

But know that rebellion is part of a downward journey,

you don’t start rebellious, you grow into rebellion!


The logical end of the trail is I DON’T NEED YOU ANY MORE....

I call this a RUN AWAY SPIRIT.

I will not submit to your control or leadership, I will just LEAVE.

I am free, free indeed, I don’t need your guidance.

I know so many spiritual people that can’t find a spiritual church that they

just don’t go anywhere faithfully?

Note this trail is progressive.

Yes, one can jump a step and come back.

But following this trail in leadership will always lead to destruction unless you can break the cycle.

We must know God turns messes into messages.

God turns great tests into great testimonies.


Chaos can take on great meaning.

We must trust God and break the cycle and leave the trail.

People are looking for Godly leadership that refuse to react to problems,

but rather ACT IN FAITH.

Your low self esteem and lack of faith and trust in the God of the Harvest can backfire.

Correct any bad attitude today, cut the trail that leads downward and cut the cord of sin.

Life is often has mirror effect! You see what you are looking for?

His servant,

Wade Martin Hughes, Sr.

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