Dragons can drive pastors crazy … or out of the church.
—Marshall Shelley

Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord? … His breath kindles coals, And a flame goes forth from his mouth (Job 41:1, 21, NASB).

Dragons, of course, are fictional beasts—monstrous reptiles with lion's claws, a serpent's tail, bat wings, and scaly skin. They originate in the imagination.

But there are dragons of a different sort, decidedly real. In most cases, though not always, they do not intend to be sinister; in fact, they're usually quite friendly. But their charm belies their power to destroy.

Within the church, they are often sincere, well-meaning saints, but they leave ulcers, strained relationships, and hard feelings in their wake. They don't consider themselves difficult people. They don't sit up nights thinking of ways to be nasty. Often they are pillars of the community—talented, strong personalities, deservingly respected—but for some reason, they undermine the ministry ...

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