I have always believed that an isolated mind is a dangerous place to be. In Genesis 2:18 it says,”It’s not good for man to be alone…” It was not just speaking of a marriage context. I believe it also means within the context of life or life relationships.
It is impossible to lead without developing healthy relationships and it is impossible to have relationships without coming out of your comfort zone. What does this mean? I have some friends that are typically shy in their personalities. I am more of an extravert in my personality. You can be an extravert and still find yourself isolated in your mind. Your personality or your social skills has probably very little to do with what we are talking about this morning.
There are organizations and ministries that function as a bubble to themselves. We all know people that live in unhealthy circumstances in their relationships, family, marriage, finances, etc…and think its normal. Why? Because they have become isolated to the point where they begin to think this is just the way it is. Too much isolation becomes an open door for the enemy to have a hay day in your mind. When this happens, you begin to create excuses and maybe even doctrines of why you do what you do.
I’ve seen many well and good intentioned believers become isolated in their faith in ministry and in their relationships. This is not a fun place to be. It’s actually a dangerous place to be. I remember many years ago having a relationship with one ministry in the mid-west. This ministry was a great ministry to my family. They helped open lots of doors of ministry for me to speak and minister and as one who was young and new in the ministry, I appreciated any speaking engagement that would invite me. However, there came a time within the relationship I realized there was a lot of isolation in the leadership’s thinking. Of course they would never admit it, but when you began to step back and look at the overall spiritual health of their congregation (aka…their fruit) and watch how they would not open themselves up to other credible ministries for training, insight or ministry and leadership development, their became a lid set on the ministry. It stopped growing, they started having financial struggles and they started losing church attendance because the people wanted to grow further in God. I love what Rick Warren says, ” A growing church requires a growing pastor.” The sad part about this particular ministry is that they did not develop their people to be leaders. So, when the founder passed away there were no strong and developed leaders to lead the ministry for the next generation. Some tried, but failed. Why? Because they were not trained and developed under the previous leader. Today, this ministry does not exist. This is such a sad story to me. Probably because I had direct relationship to this ministry. But, you can’t rework a truth or a Biblical principle for no one. Isolated thinking brings deception and it destroys people’s lives and ministries.
Please, remember this statement. Isolation is the breeding ground for deception.
How do leaders fall into deception? Here are a few ways.
- Wrong relationships
- Spiritual superiority
- Too much time alone and letting your mind wonder
When I hear people say things like the following…Be aware of Isolation in some area of your life.
- We have something special that no one else has
- God is doing something here that He’s not doing anywhere else
- The training and spiritual influence should only come from leaders inside the organization or ministry
- People should seek development and growth from only one source
- I don’t need further development or to see what God is doing in other places…I’m too busy with the ministry He’s called me to do.