In sports we always hear, "Defense wins championships." That is true for sports. Just ask Mike Diantoni (Currently Lakers Coach).
However in your ministry this is not true. Defense doesn't win. Leaders who are defensive find ways to lose.
Being defensive means that we respond to criticism or advice in a critical way. Ministry success is not primarily found in great preaching or outreach techniques but how one decides to respond to criticism. I have been a part of ministries that fell apart at the seams because the senior leader was defensive.
Three Signs to Become Aware of Your Defensive Posture:
1. Can't Handle Criticism:
•Defensive leaders get extremely offended at any sign of criticism and they bite those who give it. All criticism is bad. Even though it may be through a biased lens, you can still learn from it.
Ask, "Why did I respond that way?"
2. Unholy Ownership:
Defensive leaders also call their ministry/organization, leaders or group "my" and "mine." Because of this posture when things don't go 100% correctly they take extreme offense and become defensive. This especially manifests if someone else is seeing success and they are not. Jealousy and isolation are birthed from this one.
Ask, "Why do I call it 'mine?'"
3. Blame Game:
Another defensive mechanism is when one starts blaming external circumstances and other people for their problems. They make comments like, "We need more commitment. These people just don't care." They must first look INTERNALLY to find out if they need to change instead immediately looking to others as the main fault.
Ask, "What do I need to change in my dealing with others that will make it easier to work with me?"
The reason I can write this is because I am extremely defensive. I am praying daily for God to heal my heart of insecurity and bitterness that produces these defense mechanisms. My wife helps me immensely to see when I am operating in this mindset.
Ask God daily to help you heal and ask others to help you guard against the big 3.