An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Titus 1:
In my short time in ministry, I have seen a lot of things. I have learned a lot of what to do and a lot of what not to do in leadership. As we all are flawed, it comes out eventually. Does it matter what we do behind closed doors or how we interact with others in ministry? Most would say "YES!" But is that reality?
What is sacrificed on the altar of success? Too much, I'm afraid.
A movement has arisen. A movement of success of systems, procedures and strategies. It is a continual search for the next magic pill that will slingshot the church into growth. Without knowing it we forget that our job as leaders is to communicate God's Word and not our "thoughts" about God's Word. You see, character is what matters most. Why? Because as leaders our goal should be to be the same person 100% of the time. Jesus does not want part of our lives, He wants all of it.
We are all broken and sinful. We make dumb decisions and have the wrong attitudes on a daily basis. So my question is do we simply accept our depravity as believers and quit pursuing holiness because we think it is legalism?
Another movement is all about freedom. Freedom in Christ. Freedom in the sense of indulging in anything you enjoy. Actually when Paul talked about freedom, he always talked about being a bondservant to Christ. Why is it now cool to be as much like the world that we hardly look any different? Am I a legalist? Some might say so. I simply want to ask the question.
In every area of my life am I willing to seek character?
It matters what we say.We will take an account of every word we speak in public and private. Past, present and future. Jesus said, "And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak." Matthew 12:36
The church is bigger than one location. I'm amazed at all the great churches, leaders and missionaries across the world. Why not become an encourager to other people? Why not celebrate when others grow? Why not speak highly of others?
It matters how you lead people you work alongside in ministry. I have seen my Dad in ministry for over 30 years honor others who he has served alongside. He shares his ups and downs with me, but always goes back to the attitude of forgiveness. Too many leaders have unresolved conflict that erodes their hearts. A bitter person is insecure and bashes others who do not agree with their every move. It is a struggle for me and I'm sure if can be for you too. Jesus championed the disciples. Even when they were clueless, Jesus had a long term mindset. He focused upon who they would become and not just who they were at the time. In ministry, we need this attitude.
By the way, Jesus sees our motives so why try to hide it. The truth always comes out in the light eventually.
It matters how we live morally. Am I talking about moralism? No. I'm talking about morality. Too many "successful" ministers have fallen because of a quick decision to slack in their convictions. As leaders, we need to be accountable. We should always strive to be above reproach, or as the scripture above stated - blameless.
Success is being faithful to the call of God.