Thou Art The Man
Good leadership is a necessary role in any organization and especially so in the Church. It was true in the time of the Apostle Paul as he wrote over and over again to the Churches regarding the necessity of proper leadership. And still, some two thousand years later, poor leadership continues to plague the Church.
Paul strongly admonishes leaders to fulfill their God ordained duties to the Church. We read in Acts 20:28, Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. The Church has a special value as its worth is based upon the crucifixion, the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ, which paid for its formation.
Worthy leaders need to be leaders that will protect the Church! That is their God given responsibility. Sadly, there are congregations that want to have leadership so badly that they appoint unqualified men to hold that office. A quick fix is not a cure; in fact, it is the exact opposite. It causes the men who take that office to sin, and those who worship with them to follow suit.
Bad leadership hinders growth, because the Church ceases to be centered solely on the Scriptures. I have seen it happen many times. A good leader begins to deviate from the Scriptures and the Church follows. A preacher will stand before the congregation and make a statement that is inaccurate to the New Testament, and failing to consider the Scriptures, people will follow. The Church must be about the truth and teach the truth (I John 1:6-7 and I Timothy 3:15).
A way to prevent these things from happening is for the members of each congregation to take it upon themselves to study and note all that is said by Church leadership, as did the Bereans. (Acts 17:10-11) And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. They received the message and then examined it in the light of the scriptures to see that it was the truth.
As a pastor I considered it to be a blessing when someone would come to me after the service and tell me that I had misquoted a particular reference regarding a verse of Scripture. Giving the incorrect chapter and verse for the passage I quoted was an honest mistake on my part, but a good deed on the part of the person who brought it to my attention. What if that had been a serious error and I would have taught false doctrine? I would want to know that I did, and it is the job of any believer to tell me. Pastors, missionaries and evangelists are not the only ones that need to study. (II Timothy 2:15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Why? Congregants can detect bad leaders if they know the Word of God.
How can we identify bad leadership? First of all, leaders are followers just as non-leaders are. We are all subject unto Jesus Christ whom is the head of the Body of the Church (Ephesians 1:22-23 and Matthew 28:18). Therefore, one sure way to identify bad leadership is to know that they are not following the head of the Church. We can know bad leaders, because they do not regard the truth of Scriptures; therefore, they become blind and lead the sheep into the ditch. (Matthew 15:12-14) Certainly Jesus Christ does not want His sheep being led astray. We need to be sure that the leaders of the Church are not hindering spiritual growth. If they are, we need to apply the Scriptures and do that which is right before God.
Christianity has digressed to the point where no longer is truth the standard of the Church; it has been replaced by how well you get your point across, how many followers you have and how far reaching is the ministry you oversee.
Such misguided arrogance has blinded not only bad leaders, but the Church as well. No longer do bad leaders recognize their blatantly sinful lifestyles, foolish behavior or false doctrines, because they have built up such a following that they have become immune to rebuke. Worse yet, many church leaders twist the Scriptures to support some of their lunacy.
So how do we challenge church leaders who believe that they are acting in accordance with the Will of God yet their personal lives are a wreck, their families are in disarray and the Churches they oversee have become mere country clubs?
This is when it becomes necessary to use public exposure in order for these proud and self-righteous leaders to realize or, at the very least, consider the error of their ways. And if it requires satire, mockery, and ridicule to get their attention, then so be it.
I can tell you from personal experience that bad leaders, in any organization, do not deal well with personal confrontation; especially if they have put time and effort into their self-determined ways.
Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart never confessed their bad leadership until they were publicly exposed by the media, but they soon began to repent when the truth was revealed.
That is the power of public exposure and criticism. Think not? Read the story of King David when he was confronted by Nathan the prophet regarding David’s sin with Bathsheba.