The Dangers of ‘Faking It’ in Ministry

Kathy Keller | February 14, 2013


When Tim and I first went into the ministry, a wise person said something shocking to us about the dangers we would be facing: "Being in ministry will either make you a much better Christian, or a much worse Christian." I could easily understand how it could make you a better Christian—think of all the Bible study and prayer we would be doing, and all the Christian books we would be reading. Surely discussing and using the means of grace every day would only help us to become wise, mature, and godly!

Since this was a person we respected, I felt compelled to consider the possibility he might know something I didn't about how ministering to others could make you a worse Christian. In the nearly 40 years since hearing those words, I've come to believe very strongly that the pull to becoming a worse Christian—cold, distant from God, hypocritical, and even involved in burn-down-your-life scandals—is far stronger when you're ministering to others than are the benefits that may accrue by daily association with spiritual things.

One explanation that's almost always suggested is that the Devil takes a greater interest in attacking those who speak for Christ (and I'm including…


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