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When Leadership Fails
December 22, 2016
Our children have been home-schooled for the last two years and we use an online school for our courses. Recently, we were informed that one of the senior leaders of the school, who was also an associate pastor with the church the school was connected with, was removed for reasons that involved fraud.
Initially we were shocked and sickened that someone in a position of leadership, church and school leadership no less, could do something so heinous. I mean this guy was respected in the community. He had been working with families and children for years.
As we read through the heartbreaking email, something more than grief came over me. I started to feel compassion for this man. A compassion that lead me to pray that, while he was rightly removed from a position of leadership in the church, they would also rally around him to restore him.
In Matthew 18, Verses 21-22 we read:
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
All too often, we as Christians are quick to judge and condemn any problems that our leaders have. We feel as though we have this God-given right... duty even, to tear down those others who fall. But isn't this counter productive for Christians? The world already sees us as judgmental and condemning, and when we are quick to point out the flaws of our fellow believers, we absolutely prove the worlds point.
At some point we need to start forgiving and restoring each other.
Galatians 6:1-3 reads:
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
The thing is, this leader didn't necessarily start by stealing and defrauding. I believe that originally his motives were pure and he genuinely wanted to do some good in the world. however, somewhere along the way he lost his perspective and allowed a sinful thought process to enter in. from there it gained traction and eventually became an outward manifestation of sin that ended up hurting himself, his family, his church and the school organization.
Don't get me wrong, I believe he should be held accountable for his crime and should indeed face the consequences; however, I sincerely believe those consequences should be according to the courts and legal system, not in judgement from believers.
Have you been hurt by someone in church leadership? It's all too easy to hold a grudge and be judgmental towards them, but aren't you glad that God doesn't hold your sins against you?
Ask God to help you forgive, even if that other person isn't asking for forgiveness.