The Phobias of Unhealthy Church Leaders


phobiasPhobias are persistent fears or dislikes of certain objects or situations.  The sufferer often goes to great lengths to avoid particular circumstances.  His/her responses are often considered irrational or disproportional to the actual danger or dislike posed.  In the event the phobia cannot be avoided entirely, the sufferer might under duress endure the situation or object with marked distress.

Maybe phobia is too strong of a word for the reason why some church leaders continue not doing things that are contributing to the deterioration of their leadership health and the health of their congregation.  Aversion may be a better word but the response to the situation faced is often the same.  How can a leader who is called to associate others with a common vision and purpose accomplish that mission through a wall of relational and connectional distance?

Church leadership is difficult as we attempt to find a balance between serving others and also serving our own needs, fears, aversions, or possibly even phobias.  It doesn’t really matter, however, if the root issue is fear, arrogance, aloofness, or just laziness.  The end result is always the same…

Unhealthy Leaders = Unhealthy Relationships = Unhealthy Churches.

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly. —Jim Rohn


Phobias or Aversions We Must Overcome for Leadership Health

Epistemophobia–  Fear of knowledge.

Allodoxaphobia– Fear of opinions.

Atelophobia– Fear of imperfection.

Atychiphobia– Fear of failure.

Bibliophobia– Fear of books.

Cardiophobia– Fear of the heart.

Cenophobia or Centophobia– Fear of new things or ideas.

Decidophobia– Fear of making decisions.

Deipnophobia– Fear of meaningful conversations.

Didaskaleinophobia– Fear of going to school.

Dikephobia– Fear of justice.

Doxophobia– Fear of receiving praise.

Ecophobia– Fear of home.

Enochlophobia– Fear of being with people or crowds.

Ephebiphobia– Fear of teenagers.

Eremophobia– Fear of being oneself.

Ergophobia– Fear of work.

Geliophobia– Fear of laughter.

Gerontophobia– Fear of old people.

Hedonophobia– Fear of feeling pleasure.

Heresyphobia– Fear of challenges to official doctrine.

Hypengyophobia or Hypegiaphobia– Fear of responsibility.

Ideophobia– Fear of ideas.

Philosophobia– Fear of philosophy.

Phronemophobia– Fear of thinking.

Ponophobia– Fear of overworking.

Prosophobia– Fear of progress.

Sociophobia– Fear of culture or society.

Sophophobia– Fear of learning.

Soteriophobia – Fear of dependence on others.

Symbolophobia– Fear of symbolism.

Technophobia– Fear of technology.

Theologicophobia– Fear of theology.

Tropophobia– Fear of making changes.

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. —Eleanor Roosevelt


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