Here’s a common but problematic type of magical thinking in Christian ministries and churches:
(I speak from personal experience of succumbing to these problems myself)
Prayer, Bible study, and spiritual feelings are inadequate substitutes for technical competence.
Prayer can attune our hearts to God, but it does not mean we understand cash flow, tax law, or risk management.
Nehemiah can inspire us, but it does not mean we can draw blueprints, maintain HVAC systems, or maintain fire safety.
Titus provides important insights into Christian leadership, but it doesn’t mean we know employment law, benefits administration, or overtime rules.
Even if we sincerely believe our work is “Christian”, “pastoral”, or “spiritual” doesn’t mean that we have acted in a manner that is excellent, ethical, wise, or good.
It’s not enough to “feel led by the Holy Spirit” (though that’s important). To steward their responsibilities well, Christian pastors and ministry leaders need to develop these competencies themselves or rely on experts in these areas.
When we fail to do so, we can harm others in the name of God.
But when we value both faith and technical competence, we are imitating God’s design.
For instance, in Exodus 31:3 we read, “The LORD also spoke to Moses: ‘Look, I have appointed by name Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with God’s Spirit, with wisdom, understanding, and ability in every craft…’”