A pitfall is:
A concealed hole in the ground that serves as a trap. [a]
Sometimes we allow those traps to deviate us from the road we are traveling on. When pitfalls define our direction that become's a real problem. That is something that will destory a church plant and cause havoc in an established church.
I have run into my fair share of pitfalls, whether concealed by evil intent or by my own stupidity. Most times my natural reaction is to double back and take a different path, but that is not always the right thing to do.
Pitfalls do not determine our path. The vision determines our path. Where God is taking us is the direction. Pitfalls are, unfortunately, as common as pot holes are on Christchurch roads. They are the embodiment our brokeness, of the brokeness of people, of the brokeness of the world we live in. We can learn to avoid them, but when we hit them, we still press forward.
As leaders we need to learn to keep our eyes focused on the prize (Philippians 3:14) not the pitfalls.