Pastoral Narcissism |

A friend recently sent me this Leadership article link  (below) on the topic of pastoral narcissism. He wondered if those two words were oxymoronic. Yes, he’s right…but no, we do often seek out self-promoting leaders. It makes us feel good.

I encourage you to read the essay–but not so you can point your finger at some TV personality pastor. Read the essay and consider how you might be tempted to promote yourself in a conversation this holiday week. Or, check to see if you ever dream about your own “brand.”

Pastoral Narcissism |


Filed under Biblical Reflection, Christianity, Christianity: Leaders and Leadership, Psychology

3 responses to “Pastoral Narcissism |

  1. Carm

    Thanks for the reminder.

    It’s easy, when we think about accomplishing things in research or in contributing to the field, to start to think of building a name for ourselves (or should I say I think of building a name for myself) and equating that with making a difference for people and being a successful contributor to the field. Though I think God can receive glory and honor when followers of his are successful, I need to make sure I’m not seeking personal glory via name recognition. Sigh. Stupid pride reers its ugly head.

  2. We love popular people, makes us feel vicariously special. “I go where XX is the pastor.” We be sinners.

  3. Scott Knapp

    I’ve been a “closet” supporter of the house church movement for awhile now, partly because the leadership out of necessity has more exposure to fellow participants; little room to germinate narcissism.

    I’m acquainted with a pastor in my area who scrupulously insulates himself at “the top” by hand-picking his “community”, a supporting cast of minions. The one time he opened himself to feedback from the community at large became a disastrous free-for-all, and his responses were far from “pastor-ly”, to say the least. His “handlers” pulled him from “public relations” and put him safely back where he could focus on his considerable strengths (public speaking, image PR) and not expose his weaknesses (low frustration tolerance with critics). Sadly, I believe (from my anecdotal observations) he learned nothing about himself from this experience.

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