Thots in the aftermath of Mark Driscoll

I get it!   Leadership is not for everyone. There are many who hold the positional role of ‘leader’ in their organization they have been called to serve but refuse to LEAD or don’t know how to LEAD.

For any visionary leader that has the capacity to move an organization and implement its dreams and goals, the journey is long, hard and heavy.   It is rewarding at times and it is unbearable at times.

I propose that if you have ever gone to church then you have been hurt by the church. It is full of sinners. Get off your high horse. YOU are a sinner.   People in the church are GUILTY as charged by the words of Jesus, ‘before you point out the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye, make sure you pull the LOG out of your own.

In leadership the stakes are even higher yet those who sit and condemn do not use an even weight scale. Lost people come to Christ. People are baptized. The church is growing and healthy. People are serving. People are giving and the budget is overflowing. The church is missional locally and globally.   …and yet there are a few naysayers who point out the flaws in their leader. I might add…HUMAN…not yet GLORIFIED leader.

Without thinking they shoot! They wound.   Apparently that is not enough. They shoot again. This time the intent to kill. It sounds so much like Christ doesn’t it?

There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. A good leader has to balance that line nearly everyday.   His desire is not to be arrogant. It is to leverage his influence and use his God given authority to propel the Kingdom of God forward.

Learning to discern is critical.   We NEED leaders in the Body of Christ.   When a leader is confronted, listens and repents we should rejoice.   We DON’T.   We want their head.   He hurt us.   Hurt people hurt people.   We feel better when we get a piece of flesh.   That turns into a personality issue or a style issue and rather than being the Body of Christ, we alienate and we isolate and we encourage truth WITHOUT love. We cast the first, second and third stone, when Jesus clearly said, let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

I am specifically referring to the Mark Driscoll story.   This is not directed at or about Mark. This is about the Body of Christ wounding its own army and then aiming to take out their leaders.   This MUST stop.

In the study done by Mark’s local church Elders, they concluded “Driscoll had been guilty of arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner,” but had “never been charged with any immorality, illegality or heresy. Most of the charges involved attitudes and behaviors reflected by a domineering style of leadership.”  This charge led to the resignation of a pastor that was deeply committed to the Word of God and seeing lives changed.

Was his style harsh? Was his speech laced with arrogance? Perhaps. I don’t know the man. I do know myself and have talked to countless other senior leaders about this topic.   This is sensitive to me for sure.   The same sentence could have been and often does apply to me.   In that light I penned these words:

I pray that you will not allow me to boast in the praise that is directed to me or to be discouraged by the criticism that often seems so overwhelming. May I be released from the desire of having those who journey with me love me, of having my friends esteem me, of having my co-workers respect me, of having other leaders prefer me.

Deliver me from the desire of being, loved, honored, praised, preferred, consulted, approved and popular. Allow me to be fully satisfied in the embrace of You my Savior and Friend.

Deliver me from the fear of being humiliated, despised, rebuked, overlooked, forgotten, wronged and ridiculed. Allow me to fully rest in knowing that I am a child of Almighty God.

That is my prayer. That is the prayer of Godly men who are called to lead. God forgives. People?…not so much.

Hey Church. You are the Body of Christ.   We need a reminder that the ONE who truly LEADS is CHRIST, the head of the Church. The Board and the Congregation are NOT the head. God established Biblical authority for purposes of accountability AND support. Accountability is not condemnation.

We are a family. We are on the same team. We are on the same side. CHURCH….let’s QUIT shooting our wounded.   Let’s look a little more like our Savior, who looks into our closet and knows our deepest secrets and offers all of us Grace upon Grace and unconditional love.

…but God demonstrated his love to us, in that WHILE we were in the middle of our worst sinful moments, HE died for us. Romans 5:8.

Mark…Wounded Soldiers, wherever you are. You are a brother or sister. I love you.   You are a son or daughter to a loving heavenly Father. He loves you.

Faith without Action is DEAD!

Love without Action is DAMAGING!

WE are the Body.   When one part hurts the whole hurts. One Body, One Head.

This is the hard truth.   Those who have been hurt by the church, don’t give up. God loves the church, he died for it. He loves you and He died for you.  Stay the course.   Honor Him and love the church. When you do, you look a lot like Jesus.