March 26, 2007

Leadership and Purity

What do the pastor of a "mega-minstry" and the leader of a ministry team in a rural church have in common? There may be many parallels but for today the common factor is personal moral failing co-terminus with great success in their ministry assignment. Does personal integrity really matter when the results are so good? I seem to recall that one of the many reasons the reformation found traction with so many was the moral corruption of much of the church's leadership. Could be a timely lesson for us in the here and now.

In newspapers all over Alabama the news of a prominent pastor's 25 year infidelity has created quite a stir. Do all of his good accomplishments now mean nothing? Churches planted. People led to a life-changing relationship with the Lord. Conferences taught (even marriage enrichment events! Go figure!). A very public man with a very private part of his life now exposed. It certainly casts a shadow over all of his accomplishments. What's next for him? I know he's canceled many speaking engagements and he had already moved from a pastoral role, but does he continue in ministry or is he disqualified? This is one which will necessitate some additional space and thought.

To the local front. A leader of a ministry team in our church family is apparently continuing to make poor decisions in their personal life. Decisions which are not consistent with a walk with the Lord. What to do? Turn the blind eye and hope it goes away? Confront in love knowing that this has produced friction in the past (yes - a repeat offender). Or simply remove with a note about getting their life straight first.

I know the correct answer is confront in love. Just needed to air this out. I would sure welcome any comments on this matter.

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