Francis Chan, pastor and author of Crazy Love, admits that he lacks reverent intimacy with God at times and while he can easily blame his hectic schedule, he says that it is his sin and hypocrisy that are at fault.
Chan says that doing ministry work is a form of expressing love for God but it is not a reason to forget to spend time with Him, which many church leaders do, he explains.
"… I know that I love God. When I sit and think about Him, I'm filled with intense feelings of adoration. I'm convinced that He means more to me than my wife, kids or anyone else on the planet. I just forget to love Him," says Chan in a blog post on Church Leaders.
In times when he is occupied with ministry and the busyness of life, Chan admits that he also fakes how passionate he is.
He notes that "leaders make the greatest hypocrites because of their ability to persuade and deceive," but says that a leader's public passion should never exceed their private devotion.
"If your family, friends and congregation have better things to say about you than God, it's because you give them that impression," says Chan. "We do this because we can. God gifted us with an ability to communicate. Too often, we use this ability not to convey who we are, but who we want others to think we are."
Chan adds, "God's desire for all believers, especially leaders, is 'life that is truly life' (I Timothy 6:19 NIV). You've all had times, hopefully, when you experienced this 'life.' But when you aren't experiencing it, you fake it. ... Why? What's the point in faking it when you can haveit?"
Chan also mentions that although he has a conviction to preach the Gospel's truth to people even though they may not like it and leave his church, he can also have a tendency to follow the people he leads.
He notes that he has done this in the past because of his hate for rejection. Chan admits that he knows how to keep people from rejecting him and "what words to say and which actions to take to keep people around." However, he admits that he is no longer leading when he engages in such behavior. Instead, he notes that he is being led by the "right or wrong desires of the people."
"God calls us to give people what they need. Based on His word, regardless of whether they stick around. Jesus led. Few followed, but He kept leading. … Having come to that conclusion, I came back to the church with resolve to call people to the same commitment Christ called them to. I knew that people would leave, and they have," said Chan.
Throughout his years in ministry, Chan says he has wondered if he has been alone in dealing with similar issues but he notes that being fully immersed in Christ and being honest only serves a church leader best than faking passion and not devoting time to God outside of ministry.
"Remember, being obsessed with Jesus is a good thing," says Chan. "Trading the truth for a lie doesn't benefit you or any person you are leading."