I had my peer group today in Mandurah, and we had a ‘newbie’ join us. It was great. Wayne shared some insights from his MA program on leadership. One key passage was this one from
Luke 4. 40 As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one. 41 Many were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But because they knew he was the Messiah, he rebuked them and refused to let them speak.
Jesus Continues to Preach 42 Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. 43 But he replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.”
How do you think the people felt when Jesus said….no…I am not hanging around here to do more healing, even though they needed it? I mean there were sick people there…. That is the difference between leadership and ministry. Jesus ministered, loved them. But there was also a time he needed to move onto leadership. He saw the bigger picture. This would have upset the people, why did Jesus not minister in the way they wanted Him too? Because He had to lead.
One accusation Pastors who lead can get is that we don’t listen. It may be that the Pastor is listening, but he cant agree, or aquiese, even if it is something worthwhile. Sometimes he has to make a leadership decision to actually not minister. That is the pain, but the necessity of leadership.
After the public failure of Todd Bentley, the last thing the church needed was another high profile failure.
Many who read this blog may not have heard of Mike Gugliemucci. But you would have heard of Hillsong. If you listen to the song “Healer” you will see it is written by someone who presumably has needed to experience the Lords healing. In fact when the dvd was released, the main singer was Mike, who wrote the song, and who in the video has visible air tubes stuck into his face. Furthermore, the story he has been sharing with everyone for two years is that he has aggresive cancer. Unfortunatly it is just a story. Mike has confessed that for two years he has lied to his wife, his children, his father (Danny a prominent minister) and to the hundreds of thousands of people who he has ministered to. To give you some context, Mike is like Australia’s Chris Tomlin….and this news is all over the secular media. It is so sad. Story
Here are some key thoughts I have about how to respond when leaders fail.
The failure does not negate the ministry….but it may disqualify or hinder the minister. The true ministry is done by the Spirit, carried out through frail vessels, who commit adultery, look at women in lustful ways, and lie to thousands of people about imaginary cancers. This does not mean the Spirit has not done great work in peoples lives throught their messages, song writing or even healing gifts.
People and the media only notice when the Minister crashes Whens the last time Channel Seven reported on a 747 taking off succesfully and everyone getting their complimetary peanuts on time? The bigger your ministry, the greater the intensity, and the greater the responsibility. Accountability and witness is important. None of us might not fail. Someone I know told me about his former pastor, who in his words ‘had an affair, but I dont know how, he was a short ugly fat guy”
Grace is needed, but niavety is stupid Yes we need to forgive, and offer grace, and when appropriate offer restoration. But lets not be stupid….sometimes a person is not being attacked by Satan, it is a simple case of lust, pride or escapism. Our pastors and leaders are just human. We are all priests before God, lets respect and support our leaders, but lets not make them into something they are not.