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IS AMBITION A DIRTY WORD?

I move from the pulpit, and the huge congregation is hushed. Throughout the crowded sanctuary, the people are visibly moved by my sermon . . .

Then I wake up-the dream over-to find I'm still associate pastor of a typical congregation.

Actually, I have a great position; I have plenty of delegated responsibility and the support of the senior pastor. He regularly affirms my ministry. Most of the time I am very content.

But sometimes my position doesn't seem enough. Deep down, I want to be known as an excellent preacher, an effective innovator, a leader doing great things for the kingdom. Sometimes I feel cramped, longing to be used more prominently.

Many pastors, I've found, have that itch to "move up." Our ambitions vary in detail, but whether as trusted counselor or denominational power, famous evangelist or super preacher, we want to exert influence, to make our mark.

We may secretly want recognition, but we are afraid to talk about it. We fear appearing discontent or snobbish or, worst of ...

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