By Rebekah Montgomery
As guest speaker, I often hear sorry tales about church leadership.
Recently, I spoke at a church where their dynamic pastor suddenly left. Church members were puzzled — until unpaid bills and credit card statements began rolling in.
A deacon at another church confided that his pastor demanded raise after raise until the church was virtually bankrupt. Then he left.
But an embarrassment?
Church sex abuse scandal. Prostitution. Wife abuse. Adultery. Luxurious lifestyles. Exorbitant salaries. Unpaid bills. Malfeasance of church monies.
Something Old, Nothing New
The early Church saw a similar situation and the Apostle Peter, who occasionally embarrassed himself, addressed it:
If those in leadership don’t live faithful lives, God may have to use a donkey like He did to correct Balaam, the errant prophet — or the local secular news media — or worse to clean out the corruption.
1. Pray for your spiritual leaders.
Let them know you are praying. Ask if they have any needs for which you can pray. If God privileges you to see your leaders’ faults and weaknesses, it is so you can pray with knowledge.
Accountability doesn’t mean The Inquisition: It does mean, “… if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1 NIV)
These are common sense measures such as discouraging male pastors from counseling female parishioners, church checks requiring the treasurer’s signature, etc.
It is so easy to see the faults and failings of others. Comfortable, too. When we’re shining the spotlight on another’s blemishes, it leaves our warts in the dark. But God sees in the dark. And we need to daily ask Him to show us ourselves in the strongest light we can bear so we also aren’t tempted.