Perhaps my favorite lab of the day was led by Pete Wilson, pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville. He titled the session: "Temptations in the Dip," and by that he means seasons of life when things aren't going well.
He pointed out that ideas and images are the means Satan most often uses when he wants to tempt us. We are vulnerable to certain ideas when we're in a ministry downturn. Here are some of the tempting ideas that Satan uses against leaders in such times.
1. We are tempted to think that we are in control. We begin to think we can determine outcomes (that actually are beyond my control). Our role is to abide in Christ. To be still and remain in Christ. To confess our radical dependence upon God.
2. We are tempted to pretend we will succeed immediately. Leadership is defining reality. The Stockdale Paradox (from Collins's Good to Great) means combining truth about the brutal facts of the current reality AND an abiding faith in the ultimate triumph.
3. We are tempted to ditch our ...1