We all know that churches – or shall we say more directly HUMANS make mistakes. It happens, because we all have screwed up royally at times. Church leadership isn’t immune. For me its how they handle their mistakes that show their fruit. Then you have times in which tragedy hits, and if they make mistakes hiding the tragedy instead of facing it? It’s hard to wrap you head around WHY they refuse to face the truth. The more they bounce around? The more trust they break along the way.
We have a saying that goes, ‘The larger they are the harder they fall’.
Today when we look at large congregations in trouble? It also depends on how they handle that fall, because if they handle it badly? They don’t just fall hard…they tend to bounce.
The more they bounce along they are also asking others to endure one hard fall after another.
I think we have all experienced that in life. We blew it in some way, and when the time came to face our error….we hid it instead. We may have been scared of the consequences, or just wanted to get away with it. We may have told just part of the story, and were hesitate to share the entire circumstance.
Then before we know it we get nailed with a full out wrath that tends to be worse than if we had just LAID out our sin the way we were suppose to in the beginning. Most individuals tend to give all up at that point, because its clear to them the truth is out. There is no denying it. Its scary, and its hard but its time to let it all go.
It seems lately we have very LARGE organizations within the faith bouncing all over the place by choice. Now realize I’m not saying ‘literally’ by choice, and I guess the better way to phase that is bouncing due to ‘choices’. Okay, YES I guess I was right the first time….they bounce by choice.
They have some ugly, awful thing happen within their congregation. They wait until they HAVE to say something, and then they choose to say as little as possible. They fall hard, and then BOUNCE up with business as usual.
Then another piece comes out, and they fall hard once again and BOUNCE up once again. The circumstances tends to settle in, and more comes to light. BOUNCE! BOUNCE! BOUNCE!
Keep in mind its not different types of sin that surfaced, but the same one that they attempted to silence to begin with. What’s even harder to understand is the people that back up their decision to go down this silly path to begin with.
You normally hear all these excuses about how they had to weight what was appropriate to share, and when they needed share it. You would think the first or second time they BOUNCED they would have realized its time to lay it all out there.
They have a hard time admitting that they break that bond of trust they have within their congregation each and every time they decide to bounce instead of just falling…and then slowly getting up to learn from their mistake.
It’s rather scary for me to realize that these leaders are really true cowards at heart. They are quick to preach what the bible says, and refuse to learn a darn thing themselves. Yes, that is part of the reason they are called Pharisees.
When you read the bible during those times in which Jesus got truly upset with the sin of others? It was normally directed towards the religious leaders at the time.
They got so consumed with their power, prestige, and role within the community. They had all the answers, and they expected people to fall into line when it came to what they had to say. All that power in a sense went to their heads, and not their hearts.
They lost the essence of their position, because they wanted to LEAD not GUIDE. They got more out of sin sniffing, because they knew they were almost immune from it themselves. If people questioned that part? They had their own personal thugs (they call supporters) waiting for their time to tear you apart for not doing as you were told.
I have known many truly decent pastors in my lifetime. They also had some hard circumstances come their way, and they were the first to admit how agonizing it was. Hiding these things just wasn’t within their character. They looked to themselves, their church policies, and everything else under the sun to see HOW this failure could have happened. They wanted to be sure it could never happen again. They wanted everyone else to watch for it as well!
They were the ones that were quick to take the blame, and really own it. They knew their position, and they felt the responsibility. They mourned with those that mourned, and along with that asked for forgiveness. I think most of us realize unless they did the sin themselves it wasn’t ultimately their responsibility, but none the less they owned it. They will be the first to admit they dropped the ball somewhere, and they will point it out…and take their lumps that comes along with it. Notice they aren’t the ones that need the thugs – errrr ‘supporters’ either! At least not in the same way the bouncing ball pastors do!
I would say that most people respond to that type of leadership, because we have all lived similar circumstances yet in different ways. We can empathize with it if nothing else. That is the firm foundation of being able to grow past it. The foundation was firm because there was no bombshell waiting to be the next earthquake to smash it to pieces.
We always struggle with HOW on earth these men in leadership can allow themselves to keep bouncing like a ball, instead of just facing things that God would have them face. I look at the attitude that we clearly see today that was spoken of in scripture so long ago: 42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.
Here is the entire passage:
37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”[a]
39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
40 “He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn—and I would heal them.”[b]
41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.
42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.
Tragedy will always hit churches at one time or another. Its how we handle this that shows our true faith in God. The truth will help the survival of the church, and hiding things just tears at the organization’s foundation. No doubt everywhere you go you will find the ‘yes men’, and they will hide things even knowing the truth. A leader with integrity will not allow the errors the church made be hidden, because they know God will find a way to heal them.
Yes, that is the harder road to travel. Isn’t that what we hear preached all the time anyway?
When they hide things, and allow their churches to bounce, bounce and bounce again? To me it shows they just don’t get it, and honestly shouldn’t be in the position within the church. It’s bad enough having the deal with the sin all by itself, but breaking the bond of trust towards the position by hiding things? It makes things worse. The eyes are blind, their hearts are hardened.
Then you have those that know better, and would rather play the supporters for these cowards then speak for truth themselves. Both the leadership and their thugs will be the first to attack anyone that questions their way of doing business. They also encourage others to do the same.
What the church doesn’t see is with each bounce they ask members to endure they lose trust, and members leave silently. Secrets kill churches, and individuals faith.
It’s not an easy place to stand up against that type of force, but it is God’s way. At times you lose your place of worship, friends, family, and even your own position.
Truth isn’t always a very easy place to stand with. Gods asks us to anyway. He has a plan, and we must have faith enough to wait on him. He has a plan even when we may not see one. Truth is what sets us free, and a church that plays a bouncing ball just isn’t.