Principles of Local Church 13: Be a Bit Less Cocky

When God called Moses into his ministry, Moses did not respond “Great choice God. Good move choosing me. I am not really sure how you managed without me the past few years…”

No. He said… Who am I to do this. He wasn’t cocky or arrogant, he was humble. One of my leaders said to me recently “do you mind I struggle to believe I can do this role”, I said a lot less than if you ever struggled to believe you couldn’t do it.

One of the character requirements for an elder is to not be a brawler, the word used means someone who thinks they can handle anything. YOU CANNOT. Not without grace.

It took God four decades to bring Moses to a place where he stopped relying on himself and started trusting God. I see many self reliant Christians today and they cannot bear fruit, because that only comes from God reliance.

I have actually had people say to me that Tree of Life will fail if they leave. They left and we are thriving. They needed to be a bit more humble and a bit less cocky. It’s so important when it comes to the body of Christ you do not think of yourself more highly than you ought. You are not better than others, you don’t get your own set of rules.

When I offer someone a leadership ministry or preaching opportunity I ask them how they feel about this. A cocky, “yeah yeah, I can do that” is rarely confidence in God, it’s mostly self reliance. An arrogance towards church and ministry is deadly. Some people think they are qualified others even think they are over qualified.

We started a leadership course called Qualified, I asked someone to go on it, they said “But I am qualified, do you not think I am qualified?”. What I think doesn’t matter, but it’s a concern to me someone thinks they have already attained it.

The truth is this… When you reach a place where you realize you truly have nothing to offer God or the church and that you are an earthen vessel, then you are ready to be a treasure. Until then, you are the wrong person to be promoted.

Paul, the great apostle, he said that he was a wretched man. Early in his ministry, Isaiah said “I am undone, I am a man of unclean lips”. Peter knelt before Jesus and told him to leave him alone, he was too sinful to have a future.

If you don’t reach that place where you realize you have nothing, and I mean a genuine authentic humility, not play humble, you will never find your place in the body.


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Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at, and

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