The Church Communication Ego: How to Keep It in Check

The Church Communication Ego: How to Keep It in Check

September 17, 2014 by

It’s not easy to keep ego in check. Even in the church. You’ve likely noticed that too. I have those little thoughts of self-importance that subtly slither through my mind looking for a place to call home. It starts with a crack in a door. The next thing I know suitcases are being unpacked, and we are acting like best friends. In reality, when ego unpacks it’s like letting a stray dog move into the living room—life gets messy.

It may not feel all that bad at first, but the more comfortable we become with inflating our importance, the messier life becomes.  Projects and progress get held hostage when we don’t get the credit we think we deserve.  And when others are praised publicly, we whisper criticisms, fully convinced we could have done it better if we had been given the chance.  Messiness spreads when our ego is allowed to run rampant.

The truth is, we don’t have to let the stray dog run rampant. Relationships don’t have to be marred by jealousy, a critical tone or little whispers behind another’s back. With the right perspective, we can foster a work life known for a living room experience where people enjoy working and learning together. That’s how it should be in God’s church.

Three ways to keep our ego in check:

1. Hold Loosely What Has Been Entrusted to Our Care

We have been given a role to steward on behalf of a cause that is greater than you or me.  If we are going to keep our ego in check, we must resist huddling defensively in a corner holding tightly to what we have. Instead, our posture should be outstretched open hands as we seek to give our best with what we have. Those who cling will clash, but those who collaborate find clarity.

The church, of all places, needs to model and embrace humility.

2. Adopt a Growth Mindset

Cultivating an insatiable appetite for learning helps us keep a healthy perspective.  There is so much we don’t know, and that means there is a world of new things to learn. When we adopt a growth mindset, we are choosing to be teachable. You will know when your ego is in check when you are willing to learn from others. If you sense a resistance to learn from those younger than you, why not try reverse mentoring?  Seek out a younger person to teach you something new.  A growth mindset values the learning process and refuses to allow ego to stand in the way.

Church communication is lonely enough as it is. Don’t make it worse by allowing ego to hinder your growth and connection.

3. Submit to the Spirit’s Leading

Our actions and attitude communicates where we are with God.  When his Spirit is leading us, others will see the fruit of the Spirit in our response.  Submitting to him keeps our ego in its proper place and enables us to respond with love, gentleness, goodness and temperance. We all need to self assess regularly to ensure we are submitting to the Spirit rather than suppressing his leading.

This is true for every ministry in the church, but with all our plans, strategies and new technology, communication is perhaps more susceptible to forgetting.

Moving Forward

Fostering a humble disposition is an on-going process of submitting to God’s Spirit. There will still be times when we create a mess because of pride. When we mess up, the fastest way to clean up and restore a damaged relationship is to own the failure and humbly ask for forgiveness. This gets the stray dog out of our living room and into the doghouse where it belongs.

So, I wonder, do you have any strays you need to get out of your living room?

"All this encouragement at #CertLab has me tearing up. It's amazing to finally be among a remarkable tribe of people that understand!"Certification Lab

It’s great to get a shot in the arm (or in this case, an ego deflation) from experienced mentors. That’s what our upcoming event, the Certification Lab, offers. It’s a two-day, intensive workshop event, limited to 50 participants, so you can get small group interactions with expert church communicators, including Gerry True. Register today.


We do important work—sharing the gospel—but that doesn’t mean we can work ourselves to death. Learn more about how to fight church communicator burnout.

Photo by John Chandler.
Post By:

Gerry True

Gerry True serves as the communication arts pastor at Oak Hills Church where he currently leads four teams of artists who use their creativity in communication, production, worship and technical arts. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his beautiful wife Karen and two delightful leaders-in-the-making kids, and you can follow him on Twitter at @GerryTrue.
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