by Doug Nichols
My late father-in-law, who was a missionary in China for 13 years in the 1940s and 50s, said the Chinese had a saying, “You can smell pride and it is not a pleasant smell.”
On one occasion, I participated in three mission conferences in Dallas, Texas, with many ministry and mission leaders worldwide. It was great to fellowship with God’s people from Kuwait, Bhutan, Egypt, India, Libya, Puerto Rico, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the US, Canada and the Philippines. One brother from Asia, who planted a church among his people in Texas, said one of the biggest problems he had in his church planting ministry was pride especially among some who had become leaders.
During the conferences I met with two major ministry leaders, both of whom lead multi-million dollar ministries in Asia. It was so sad because the whole meeting was totally about them, their work, and the success of their ministry. The smell of pride seemed to penetrate the entire time together. In our conversation, I mentioned the thoughts of a brother in Asia and was told that his opinion did not hold any weight as he was basically an insignificant nobody.
Previously I asked a leader to meet with me for lunch with his staff and with a shocked look that I would suggest such a thing said, “I’m the Director, I don’t eat with the staff.”
However, there are godly humble leaders! Between the Dallas conference sessions, I was also able to visit the home of a missionary friend and leader, the godly statesman, John Richard. He is in his 90's, East Indian, and has served the Lord faithfully in servant leadership worldwide for over 70 years. God has mightily used him, and yet he is so humble, gracious and kind!