10 Demonic Strategies That Destroy Pastors

by | Sep 27, 2017 | Spiritual Warfare

As a full-time church leader since 1980, I have observed and experienced various tests and temptations in both my inner life and public ministry. Often my articles are the results of my musings regarding what I observe or sense from the Lord regarding the state of the church, culture and leadership. Today, my musings have led me to think about 10 of the top demonic strategies employed by Satan to destroy a spiritual leader.

It is well known that the devil and his minions target pastors and churches that are a threat to his kingdom. Ignorance of these strategies is a cause for great harm and even the failure of pastors and leaders.

The following are 10 demonic strategies used to destroy pastors:

1. Sacrificing their family on the altar of ministry

One of the most common ploys the evil one uses against spiritual leaders is to tempt them to neglect the spiritual and emotional well-being of their spouse and children because of ministerial priorities. Many pastors who either leave the ministry, have marital challenges or both point to the demands of their local church for their family stress.

A pastor who is not careful can easily neglect their home while trying to save others. What good is it if you win the whole world but lose your children? The demonic principle here is if you can destroy a spiritual leader’s family, you can destroy his ministry.

2. Being motivated to succeed by American standards

Many pastors want to have a megachurch because the cultural standards of American success have to do a value system that says “bigger is better.” However, by this standard alone, the Apostle Paul was not a huge success, because he usually left a congregation as soon as it had elders who could care for the flock. Hence, he left before the church maximized its growth potential.

When a pastor’s main motivation is to have the largest church, it often breeds competition with other pastors that eats away at the soul and inner life of the leader.

If not repented of, this issue can lead to the destruction of the pastor and their ministry.

3. Adulterous soul-ties 

In the midst of ministry, there arise many opportunities to minister to those you find attractive in the natural. Consequently, the evil one always makes sure there are several alluring candidates in each congregation who are vulnerable enough to fall into an unhealthy relationship with the pastor. Some of these situations go no further than soul ties, which is emotional adultery; however, many result in sexual sin, which is cause for many a great leader to destroy their legacy and ministry.

4. Spiritual and emotional burnout 

Many spiritual leaders attempt to live up to the standards of other pastors and or the expectations of their elder board and congregation. Unfortunately, many spiritual leaders operate outside their grace gifts and function in natural strength resulting in burnout. Even if a leader has a robust prayer and devotional life—they can experience burnout if they attempt to minister in a way not compatible with their internal wiring.

For example, big-picture entrepreneurial leaders cannot function and focus the same as shepherding pastors, whose primary focus is detail in caring for individuals rather than big projects that compel corporate vision. Leaders need to be who they are—not as others want them to be—or they will be miserable and self-destruct.

5. Doing the work instead of equipping others

When pastors attempt to do the work of the ministry instead of equipping others to do the work of the ministry, they lose balance and grow weary (Read Ephesians 4:11,12). This weakened state causes them to be susceptible to various demonic temptations, leading to a potential scandal or to moral failure.

6. Isolation in life and ministry

Many spiritual leaders have no one they can trust or confide in regard to their life and ministry. This isolation detaches them strategically from other capable leaders both within and without their church and produces a vacuum that begets myopic decisions lacking objective counsel. Isolation also breeds loneliness, which opens a door to seducing spirits, pornography and substance abuse—which wreak havoc on leaders.

7. Diffusing their energy and focus 

Many spiritual leaders will not fall for obvious demonic temptations, so the enemy often tempts them with good opportunities that are not “God opportunities.” This lack of focus means they never have the energy and time to accomplish their primary purpose. The old adage “less is more” is a relevant saying in this case. Every time a leader says yes to something, he is saying no to something else that may be even more essential to their mission. This dissipation in focus can subtly destroy the main ministry of a spiritual leader.

8. Pursuing ministry more than pursuing Christ 

One of the most common demonic methods used to destroy church leaders is to tempt them to be so busy with ministerial activities that they become dull spiritually. This results in ministry without true spiritual authority and anointing, which leaves them ineffective.

Many pastors have actually fallen away from their first love—even though they have correct doctrine and work hard in the church. If they do not repent, Jesus will remove their lampstand (Read Rev. 2).

9. Living for the praise of men

As Satan tried to lift himself to attract praise for himself (Isa. 14:2-4), so he tempts spiritual leaders to perform ministry functions for the adulation of men. This egocentric pattern causes leaders to stumble and lose everything they achieved in the flesh because God resists the proud, and pride comes before a fall.

It is no accident that the apostle Peter warns of pride before mentioning that Satan wants to devour believers. Pride leads to destruction because it opens up a door to demonic attacks (see 1 Pet. 5:6-9).

10. Living in self-denial rather than self-awareness

Spiritual leaders often live above the surface of the deep waters of their emotions and inner being. This is because they can often perform ministry function merely with their natural and spiritual gifts while ignoring unresolved issues of the heart.

When leaders live superficial lives, they deny the true condition of their soul and lack self-awareness. They become ticking time bombs, ready to implode and explode. This is why so many people are shocked when their leader falls, since all seemed well on the outside based on ministerial function and preaching.

The enemy is not as naive as church members who gauge the condition of their leader merely on ministry performance rather than discerning the true condition of their souls.

Finally, may the Lord reveal to all His leaders the difference between our true and false self—and what is truly rooted in Him and what is not.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Have We Departed From the  Simplicity of Christ?

Have We Departed From the Simplicity of Christ?

Recently I heard a pastor say the following: "When I was pastoring and saw little fruit, I began to call those with potential to reach others for Christ to our home and to mentor them one on one. That's where massive growth happened in the people." Local pastors and...

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Read Time: 3 Minutes 7 Seconds “When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to the stronghold,” (2 Sam. 5:17). When David heard that he was under...

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Read Time: 3 Minutes 56 Seconds God is good. And He has a good plan for each of our lives. No matter what may be going on right now, God’s plan is unfolding. In the meantime, Romans 12:12 tells us to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,”...

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Read Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds The term "gaslighting" has gone viral across social media this year and Merriam-Webster chose it as their word-of-the-year, saying searches for the word spiked 1,740% in 2022 alone. We're breaking down what the Bible has to say about...

RECENT ARTICLES

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdzLoS3wCM During a recent visit to @HungryGeneration, Pastor Vlad Savchuk asked Bill Wiese to comment on his personal experience applying the Word of God to his own...
Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Read Time: 4 Minutes 2 Seconds When I first became a believer in 1970, my mother was one of my first “converts," giving her heart to Jesus as soon as I shared with her the beauty, the power and the opportunity of making Jesus the Lord of her life. However, my father...

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

Read Time: 1 Minute 32 Seconds The last six years have been the best of times and the worst of times. I’ve seen more death, destruction, disease and devastation than I care to remember. I’ve also seen the hand of God move in extraordinary ways. Indeed, sometimes I...

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 41 Seconds I was remembering a time when my husband and I were praying over friends who had been in a situation for many years that had caused deep trauma to their souls. As we were praying for them, I became aware of an angel standing over them...

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

Read Time: 4 Minutes 50 Seconds Do you believe the Lord is concerned about your emotional and spiritual health? He is. He wants you to know how to improve your emotional and spiritual health to be resilient in turbulent times. One of the most powerful things you can...

Pin It on Pinterest