Brain Activities Now Allowed In Church

by Maike Skwara

We cannot afford to be ignorant in an educated world.

Christianity today is known for its interest in souls, change of life and mind. People come to church when they feel mentally weak, experience hard times or when they simply desire a change from their old lifestyle.

We can reach these people as long as they have severe issues in their lives. In fact, we secretly hope sometimes that people would experience some inconveniences in their so far good life! Not because we want them to be unhappy, but because we find hardship to be a driving force for unbelievers to find Jesus. After all an old saying says, “Necessity teaches us to pray.” But do we have to watch people run into a pit in order to show them the Person who can prevent them from falling into one in the first place?

The church is doing a great job at giving advice about life. We learn to be unselfish, to serve others and to lift up fallen ones. People that are not accepted anywhere else find acceptance and friendship in Christian environments. Church members young and old are always happy to give some wisdom about life’s struggles and circumstances.

We have become masters at contemporary worship music, prayer and intercession, and our sermons are masterpieces. The subjects God’s love, healing of emotional wounds, obedience and how to change your lifestyle are being taught all around the world and have a great influence on society.

However, what do we do with those people that never have any severe problems, do not run out of money and do not ever file for divorce? What do we do with people who have unsentimental personality types? Not everybody is led by emotions; some people are led by logic. For people with this personality type, their heart might not be moved, even in difficult times, by someone who loves them and offers them help. Logical people are led by facts and proven strategies; when such information is provided, trust and faith in other areas will follow.

The good news is, the Bible offers more than just emotional sustainability! Though God cannot be proven, many facts mentioned in the Holy Scripture can. Hundreds of years before science proved it, Isaiah 40:22 told us that the earth is round.

Even neuroscience gives scientific explanations for some content of the Bible. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice” (KJV).

As neuroscientists discovered, it is our decision to be happy or to be sad. According to these studies, a human is born with only positive thoughts. Negative thoughts are developed by a person and can be chosen to be replaced again by positive thinking. Thoughts are not only mental but physical. Thoughts are proteins and they can be detected as good or bad in the brain. When the Bible says that we should rejoice always, it is telling us that we are not bound to circumstances. Science then backs this up when it proves that rejoicing makes us physically healthy and strong.

These are only two examples of explanatory facts in the Word of God; there are many more. But it often seems that the Church has created an environment in which strategic and logical thinking counts as unbiblical; as if questioning and learning from our questions is a sign of unbelief.

John 20:29 says, “Jesus said unto him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’”

Did we take this verse as an excuse to not think about the reasons for God’s commandments and other biblical truths? Has questioning and hunger for knowledge become a taboo? What are we afraid of? That God could not explain the world He created? That He would not be pleased with us for asking why?

Jesus Himself encouraged us to be like children. As we know, their favorite question is “WHY?” We are meant to discover the secrets of life in many ways. God has equipped us with incredible brain functions, and we are more than welcome to use them.

Hosea 4:6 tells us, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (NKJV).

Martin Luther—the German monk— did question. He questioned if it was right that priests made people pay for the sins of deceased ancestors. By asking “why,” he not only discovered this ritual to be unbiblical but also revolutionized the whole church and brought Christians back to the root of the Bible. Christianity is about more than emotions and keeping the laws; it is about science, understanding, logic, knowledge and wisdom. The Bible is supposed to make us smart; the Holy Spirit wants to bring us revelations that the world has been waiting for. This faith is not only for sentimental people it is for people that want to know why. Why am I alive? Why does God allow things to happen? Why is the sky blue, but the sunset red and orange?

shutterstock_181548842Asking why can give us all of these things and more:

Stronger relationship with God

Stronger foundation in faith

Stronger trust in God

Understanding the Bible and the world

Resolved anger towards God

Let us put an end to ignorance and revolutionize the world through the question “why?” God will be glad to give us the answers so many Christians crave! Understanding that occurrences are supposed to be understood will give us the ability to testify to logical, unsentimental people through answers, not feelings. We do not have to wait for unbelievers to become sick or to be stuck in problems in order to bring them the good news. Jesus is more than a problem solver He is the answer to all of life’s questions!

Let us put an end to ignorance, and revolutionize the world through the question “why?”

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR 

THE LOGICAL THINKER 

Switch on Your Brain (Dr. Caroline Leaf)

Who Switched off My Brain? (Dr. Caroline Leaf)

The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics 

(Ed Hindson, Ergun Caner)

The Creation Answers Book (Dr. David Catchpoole,

Dr. Jonathan Safarti, Dr. Carl Wieland)

Maike Skwara was born and raised in Germany, where she obtained degrees in multi-lingual administration. She wrote for several years for an internal magazine before coming to the States to study in CFNI. Maike loves to translate and write, especially writings that help people understand God and the Bible better, like her children’s book Diego.

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Christ For The Nations Memorial Stones

WHY DO BIBLE COLLEGES DIE?

There are a number of reasons why Bible colleges fail. Some college leaders take their eyes off of God and forget the past. Often, the respectability of a man replaces the fear of God, leading to the pursuit of an influential, degreed faculty, which leads to students learning about God intellectually, but not experientially. As a result, students graduate with a transcript, but no spiritual transformation; a master’s degree, but no understanding of the Master’s decree.

Oberlin College in Ohio was founded in 1833 by Rev. John J. Shipherd and missionary, Philo P. Stewart. These two ministers decided to establish a college on Christian principles, “where they would train Christian ministers and leaders.” It was named in honor of Pastor John Frederick Oberlin, who ministered to the poor in France. Charles Finney, the great revivalist of the 19th century, served as the second president of the college.

Today, Oberlin College has a liberal attitude toward sexuality and gender expression. The school hosts a student-run, Sexual Information Center that sponsors Safer Sex Week and a Drag Ball, which marks Transgender Awareness week.

Most of the U. S. universities that started over 300 years ago were originally Bible-proclaiming schools. Harvard, Yale and Princeton once had rich Christian histories. Harvard was named after a Christian minister. Yale was started by clergymen, and Princeton’s first year of classes was taught by Reverend Jonathan Dickinson. Princeton’s crest still says “Dei sub numine viget,” which is Latin for “Under God she flourishes.” Consider Harvard University’s Original Charter of 1636.

“Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life is . . . to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, (John 17:3) and therefore, to take Christ . . . as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.”

Today, there is almost no Christian heritage left in these liberal universities. In fact, most emphatically teach the origins of the universe from an evolutionary worldview and blatantly reject the possibility that the Bible is true authoritative and teach that we need to adjust our beliefs and actions to their teaching. So what happened to cause so many Bible institutions to abandon their Christian roots?

CHANGING WORLDVIEWS

The change in American universities from the Christian worldview to a naturalistic, evolutionary philosophy led to the collapse of their Christian heritage. Christian universities across the country fell first in their biblical worldview of Genesis 1 and Creation.

Naturalism opposes God’s Word in Genesis, the foundational book of the Bible. Psalm 11:3 states, “When the foundation is destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Cracks in the foundation led to a collapse of the Christian beliefs at these schools. In contrast, CFNI students are required to take a class that presents Creation from a biblical worldview.

LEAVING THE BIBLE BEHIND

Once Christians began adopting a naturalistic view, including evolution or millions of years of earth history, it didn’t take long for their faith to come crumbling down. They had given up the Bible as their starting point, accepting naturalistic science instead. As a result, the miraculous and the supernatural fell by the wayside.

Genesis is written as literal history; so it should be taken as such. The demise of former Christian universities should be a lesson to individuals, churches and colleges alike to stand firm on the Bible’s clear teachings and beware of any doctrine that’s not biblically sound.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3, 4).

PERMANENT REMINDER: MEMORIAL STONES 

Scripture reminds us of the standard for maintaining a biblically‑based ministry, school and life in general.

“Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people: ‘Keep all these commands that I give you today. When you have crossed the Jordan into the land the LORD your God is giving you, set up some large stones . . . Write on them all the words of this law . . . to enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, . . . promised you’” (Deuteronomy 27:1-3).

“So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, ‘Go over before the ark of the LORD your God . . . Each of you take up a stone . . . write to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD . . . These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever’” (Joshua 4:4-7).

CFN’S ROOTS: 12 MEMORIAL STONES 

The DNA of CFN’s foundation is represented by 12 core values. They are the pillars of the ministry the glue of the Bible Institute. These divine declarations serve to maintain the standards on doctrine, morals and conduct. This is essential for discovering CFN’s vision and future.

Often in Scripture, we read how God refers to the past in order to confirm where He is going. He backs into the future. That which is behind us is connected to where God wants us to go. It’s like when a person rows a boat, facing backwards, looking at where they’ve come from, instead of where they are going. For CFN’s future direction, we must connect with yesterday.

“Then the Lord answered me and said, ‘record the vision and inscribe it on tablets that one who reads it may run’” (Habakkuk 2:2). Our vision needs to be written, so not only we know what we’re doing, but others will, too. This provides a consistent sense of direction, assists in measuring our success, and motivates us to action.

In 1948, Dad and Mom Lindsay founded Christ For The Nations to fulfill the Great Commission. Our goal is to see “the earth full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). However, while we are waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises, we must be faithful to do our part then pass the baton.

CFN’S 12 MEMORIAL STONES 

IMG_0311 edited
Dennis Lindsay, President & CEO of Christ For The Nations

1. WORD (Discipleship, Character Building)

2. PRAYER (Intercession/Warfare)

3. SUPERNATURAL (The Miraculous and Gifts of the Spirit)

4. ISRAEL (God’s Plan of the Ages)

5. FAITH (Water Walkers People of Faith)

6. GIVING (Learning to “Live to Give”)

7. MISSIONS (Everyone is a Missionary or Mission Field)

8. TRAINING (Transformational Education)

9. WORSHIP (Intimacy with God)

10. RELATIONSHIPS (Unity/Communication/Networking)

11. INTEGRITY (No Compromise)

12. LEGACY (Passing the Baton to the Next Generation)

 

 

For more about the ministry of Christ For The Nations, visit us online at www.CFN.org.

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Postured for Victory

 “Go Anywhere, Do Anything, Pay Any Price.”

by Bob Long

Recently I was hunting the clearance section of one of my favorite bookstores, searching in the religion section, when an employee began placing books into the various categories all around “my” section.

As I began to zero in, the young man began to comment that philosophy and religion had never worked for him, but he remained, nevertheless, a seeker of knowledge. I muttered a generic answer without ever taking my eyes from their assigned task, but the young man seemed determined to engage me. Of course, by now the Spirit of God inside of me was stirring my heart to listen, look and ready myself, in spite of how unexpected this occasion was. Immediately and deeply we were sharing our hearts, with him literally pulling my testimony out of me. He was on the verge of deciding that truth and any reason to live simply didn’t exist. I was graced supernaturally to pour into him the truth about who Jesus is, all He has done and how to be saved. It was one of the most powerful times of sharing the gospel I’ve ever had!

Out of that powerful experience, the Lord began to clearly speak to me about three heart issues we must submit to the Lord to be postured for real victory in our daily lives, and in the shaking that is obviously coming.

The Issue of the Unexpected – 1 Samuel 17 

Just as my incredible encounter with that young man was unexpected, David’s confrontation with Goliath was totally unexpected. God wants us willing to “run to the battle line,” even when the unexpected takes place. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the next phase of David’s destiny was before him. Something on the inside of him rose up, and he stepped up. And so will you, if you determine in advance that no matter how sudden and unexpected the situation is, you will obey God. I felt off balance because this whole conversation was so unexpected. I didn’t let my feelings sway me, because it has already been settled in my life that when those moments come, by His grace, I will not step back. Grace and supernatural anointing will come. You will take what you have in your hand and deliver a nation if you refuse to let emotion or man’s knowledge lead you in the hour of the unexpected!

The Issue of Being Unprepared – Judges 6 

The questions and opinions that young man expressed in the bookstore were not anything I had recently prepared for. The temptation was strong to not actually engage in meaningful conversation. I felt unprepared, but I did not let that stop me. You don’t have to let it stop you either. Gideon sought for a fleece (uncertainty) and was filled with fear, but he answered the call of God in spite of how fearful and how unprepared he felt mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Miracles come when we obey in spite of ourselves! Gideon tore down the false altars, rebuilt the altars of God, confronted the enemy army and saw the supernatural deliverance of a nation. Determine now that when the day of God’s call comes to you, you will do what Gideon did in spite of the circumstances or how unprepared you may feel in that moment.

The Issue of Being Unwilling – Acts 10 

God’s love for the Gentiles caused Him to visit Peter. Peter fell into a trance where God showed him all sorts of unclean animals, commanding Peter to rise, kill and eat them. Peter refused! Peter was unwilling. The Bible says that three times God showed him the unclean and instructed him to kill and eat, but Peter declared to the Lord that he was unwilling to do so, even though he knew it was indeed God speaking to him. Peter’s motives were pure, but the issue of his unwillingness was about to cause him to miss out on being used of God to make history. As the miracle continued to unfold, Peter overcame his emotions, his lack of ability to understand the word of the Lord logically and his own unwillingness. Peter experienced God in a way that changed the Church and the world forever, but just like you, he had to overcome his own unwilling heart in the moment of the call. He was then used of God to see salvation and the outpouring of the Spirit come to the Gentiles!

For many years the ministry I lead in Austin, Texas (Rally Call Ministries) has had a motto we challenge ourselves with. Our motto is “Go Anywhere, Do Anything, Pay Any Price.” Will you join me in posturing your heart before the Lord with that declaration? As you read this, set your heart with me right now in prayer:

  1. Renounce your own weaknesses; by faith take off every limitation that’s been put upon you.
  2. Release your faith to God for a new generation of over-comers to be raised up in the Church in this hour.
  3. Ask God to reveal to you more of His plan for the Church — the building of a Church that is going to prevail over His enemies.

Let us posture ourselves before the Lord for more victory than ever before. In the days to come, we will storm the gates, defeat the armies and take down the giants as God’s victorious Church arises and brings down the very hierarchy of hell in the earth!

 

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Self-Sacrificial Leadership

by Melissa H. McDermott, PhD 

Leaders, such as Mother Teresa, William Wilberforce, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King are remembered around the world because they laid down their own lives for a vision greater than themselves. They transformed society in the midst of a moral crisis and transformed their community because of their self-sacrifice. They often put aside their own desires, stepped out of their personal comfort zone and became empowered with an overwhelming sense of responsibility and conviction. Self-sacrificial leaders take big risks; they are not tempted by personal gain.

Self-sacrifice is one of the most important characteristics of leadership today and is one that is characteristic of leaders who transcend cultures.

Jim Collins, author of Good To Great and leadership theorist, describes Level 5 leadership, which posits that great leaders combine personal humility and professional will or fierce resolve. These leaders focus their energy away from themselves toward other people. They are interested in serving people and have a vision greater than themselves.

selfsacrificial-leadership

Jesus was the ultimate example of a self-sacrificial leader. Philippians 2:5-11 is known as the kenotic Scripture. Kenosis comes from the Greek word kenao, meaning “to make empty.” It is a Greek word that describes one becoming entirely receptive to God’s Divine will. As Jesus poured Himself out completely and fully surrendered to the will of His Father, He did not remain in that place of death, but was resurrected and exalted to life. Self-sacrificial leaders lay down their lives, but in the midst of that actually experience great gain. This gain isn’t just for themselves, but for an entire community of people.

Self-sacrificial leaders yield their own status, privileges and power for other people. And above all, they serve the greater good, doing what is morally and ethically right, regardless of their own personal sacrifice or reputation.

The Characteristics Of a Self-Sacrificial Leader:

1. Voluntary self-limitation

2. Vulnerability

3. Being present to others

4. Voluntary powerlessness

5. Continual purification from self-centeredness

6. Humility

7. Openness to others

It is a focus on a covenantal relationship that paves the way for the formation of relationships that go beyond the confines of traditional leader/follower relationships. Self-sacrificial leaders unite people together to work for a common good, and they usually arise in the midst of crisis.

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 3.20.16 PMThe world today is in a moral, ethical, physical and spiritual crisis. Wars are waging across the globe as many injustices are taking place. The weak, poor and innocent are being exploited. Innocent babies are killed, young children are trafficked, and the poor are enslaved.

People are looking for leaders who will lead the charge and pave the way through a ferocious Red Sea of moral muck. When we follow Jesus’ example of self-sacrificial leadership, He will raise us up and give full life and new hope. It is similar to the Greek mythological metaphor of the Phoenix bird that rises from the ashes. When we humble ourselves and die to all presuppositions and expectations, people can be changed, lives are saved, communities are transformed, and hope is restored and renewed.

 

 

Melissa McDermott finds great joy in writing and helping and encouraging people to reach their full potential. She attended Christ For The Nations in Dallas and did Youth With A Mission in Sweden and South Africa where her heart grew for people from different cultures.She has a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and an MBA in Non-Profit Management from Regent University and a BA in English from Dallas Baptist University. She has been married to her husband, Paul, for 13 years. They have 2 young children who are a dream come true.

 

 

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Leadership: Seeking a Title or a Towel?

The greatest king of Israel, David, did not seek the throne. God simply gave it to him. The same is true with Moses, Gideon, Isaiah, Esther and Paul; all became powerful leaders with great authority because God empowered them. What authority means from a biblical perspective is radically different from that of the world. Authority must be leadership embodying service. Jesus never spoke directly on leadership, but He did teach it by example. He was a servant leader in every sense. He led by serving those He recruited to carry out His mission, which is also why He was highly effective and respected as a leader.

 

> BY INVITATION ONLY 

The most basic principle for co-workers to accept a leader is when the leader humbles himself and waits on God to exalt him (Luke 14). As it was in Jesus’ day, many religious leaders still seek places of power and prominence among their peers. Jesus taught that “head table” seats are given “by invitation only.” Such honor must be accepted and recognized by co-laborers, even if the position was granted by the Board.

 

To earn authority and respect, one must be credited by individuals who recognize a spirit of servanthood coming from the leader. A humble spirit leads to being honored by others. What is amazing about servanthood is that those who may not even have a title or position of authority will be highly honored and respected by followers because of a sincere heart.

 

Philippians 2:3, 4, states, “In humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” How do we do this? By having the same attitude as Christ (verse 5)—dying to self and taking up our cross.

 

> POWER DOESN’T MEAN 

AUTHORITY 

Power is not a measure of authority, but a release of authority. The more you release, the more you gain. Jesus never sought earthly power or recognition. He simply came to do His Father’s will. He accomplished this through humility. The key phrase in Philippians 2 is “God exalted Him” (verse 9). This is so contrary to the world’s view of leadership and success, because humility and patience can be perceived as weakness. Yet we know, “humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 15:33), and we are to “humble ourselves, and He will lift us up” (James 4:10).

 

> RESPECT AND TRUST 

How does one learn humility? By staying close to Jesus. Humility is seen when one is totally dependent upon God and has learned to release their right of respect, power, authority and position. In order for relationships to flow effectively in an organization, there must be trust. Without trust there will be no respect, and without respect there will not be true authority of position established or sustained. Trustworthiness begins on a personal level. It must be earned. It is earned when co-workers feel they are respected for their own ideas, thoughts and opinions, even during moments of conflict. Without trust, a leader will never be fully empowered.

 

> RULE-OVER OR SERVE 

In the Kingdom of God, there is no place for anyone who uses their position alone as a means of authority. You can be firm in your role, but the key is to treat others respectfully.

 

Co-workers don’t want someone to just rule over them. They are looking for the leader to be more concerned about their feelings and opinions, rather than being manipulated and used as a means to an end. When co-workers sense true humility, they will follow the leader, and it will be God Who exalts the person. A servant leader will give in, even if it means giving up personal rights.

 

The world’s view of power stems from leadership positions from around the top of the flowchart. This is the way it was in Jesus’ day, both among the Romans and the Jews. However, this breeds competition, rather than cooperation. Love, service and openness are key concepts. Without relationship, followers will not follow, they will rebel. Jesus introduced servanthood by example, not by force, which means there is no place for one’s ego. Jesus corrected the disciples’ faulty view and laid out a principle for kingdom leaders in Mark 10:42-45. “…whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

 

> TITLE OR TOWEL 

In John 13, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. Once again, He teaches his disciples by doing something that dumbfounds them, as well as leadership in the world. Throughout His ministry Jesus continually resisted the outward status that accompanies leadership. Although clearly a leader, He refused to pull rank as a leader often does. No matter what we feel we deserve from others, we can’t bend too low in caring for them. Our service doesn’t demean our dignity, but as Jesus shows us, it defines it.

 

Do followers and co-workers see the title or the towel? It is easy for leaders to misuse their authority in order to get people to do what they want. Jesus attacked the misuse of authority by the religious leaders of His day. They didn’t practice what they preached (Matthew 23:3).

 

The bottom line is that servant leaders are not afraid of surrendering their rights. In serving others, they fully trust God to be the source and controller of their lives. Jesus knew that His authority came from God. He didn’t worry about challenges to His position. It should be the same for us. Every challenge of authority gives us another opportunity to learn and practice a lesson in servanthood.

 

1. Jesus humbled Himself and allowed God to exalt Him. 

2. Jesus followed His Father’s will, rather than His own. 

3. Jesus never used His title or position to influence people. 

4. Jesus defined greatness as being a servant. 

5. Jesus served others, regardless of title or position, because He knew where His authority came from. 

6. Jesus left the head of the table to serve the needs of others. 

7. Jesus shared authority with those He called to lead and work with Him. 

 

How Jesus led is foundational for servant leadership. Service—not status or position—is the goal of servant leadership. 

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When Leaders Fail Us

As the saying goes, “If you’ve been in ministry or the Church for any length of time, you’ve probably been hurt.”

Like many believers, I’ve suffered some “battle wounds” during my life and ministry. There have been numerous times when a leader in ministry betrayed me or members of my family. Other times, moral failings of trusted leaders affected us in very hurtful ways. For example, a close friend of mine, who was married and an incredible worship leader, fell into homosexuality. My children attended a Christian school where the pastor and president of the school were caught in homosexuality. My son attended an “on fire” summer outreach, only to be deeply hurt when the anointed leader got divorced and left the ministry. None of this is ever easy to navigate through, but perhaps the most difficult is when the wounds come from “friends.” Three times, as President of Christ For The Nations, close friends attempted to remove me from office.

I share a few of my painful experiences to warn believers that the enemy is looking to remove whomever he can from the Kingdom of God. If he can’t do it through tempting us with something from outside the ministry, he will do it from within through a “friend.”

At the same time, we don’t have to look far in Scripture to see betrayal at work. When Judas approached Jesus on the night of His betrayal, Jesus called Judas “friend” (Matthew 26:50). How could He, knowing Judas’ intentions? This is a warning to all of us that even our closest, most intimate confidants can fail us.

Scripture warns us—challenges will come. The question is, how will we respond? Through my life and ministry, especially the trying times, I’ve learned that there is truth to help us to stand strong in our faith and guard our hearts in the midst of difficult seasons.

when-leaders-fail-us--seven-lessons

1. Express Grief

The wages of sin are costly. It is good to be real with God about our feelings of hurt, betrayal and doubt. We read, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” It all right to feel sadness over the results of sin and what Satan tries to do. If you put this off, you’ll only become bitter. Deal with it, and cast it into the sea of forgiveness.

2. Know The Church Belongs To Jesus

Jesus is the Senior Pastor; the Church belongs to Him. The Church is founded upon Jesus—He can grow it, or He can close it. So when things go from bad to ugly, Jesus is not surprised. Nothing Satan does can destroy the Church (Matthew 16:18).

3. Guard Yourself Against Judging

“Be careful not to judge, lest you be judged also. Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged … (Matthew 7:1-2, NIV). Enough said.

4. Realize Not Everything The Leader Did Was Wrong

God speaks through imperfect individuals. When we are hurt, it’s easy to think ‘“The minister was living a lie; everything he said was tainted.”’ God was working something out in the individual that failed, while at the same time, He was working something out in His Church. God knew what was going on, and even though the minister was not perfect, he still reached His children with the Word.

Ministers should not have any moral failures, and even if they have a failure of some kind, God still works through them. God can even use Satan—consider Job. Look at Jonah; God was working his plan out with a nation, while he worked something bad out of Jonah. Then there is Peter, who became a leader of the Early Church, but still had problems with his leadership (Galatians 2). Ask the Holy Spirit to help you hold onto the things that are true, removing what was from man.

5. Examine Yourself Rather Than Others

When sin is exposed and a person is humbled before God and man, it is not God’s will for us to continue to condemn them. They are in God’s hands, and God will deal with them in bringing about repentance and restoration. At this point, it’s crucial to examine our own personal lives for anything hidden there. The bad news is that when sin is kept hidden, it flourishes, entangles and blinds as it grows in strength. The good news is that once it’s exposed, confessed and ready to be dealt with, sin loses its power and the prisoner goes free.

“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away … For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; … Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’— and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:3 5, NIV).

6. Pray For Fallen Leaders

We all fall short and are capable of failing. Leaders are targets for the devil’s schemes—the greater the leader’s influence, the greater the fall. The overwhelming consequences of the fall create greater destructive power for the enemy. So leaders in the ministry need prayer support. I’m always blessed when someone tells me they’re praying for me.

When a Christian leader falls, pray that God will wholly restore, heal and rebuild the leader, the family and every person affected by the fall. Pray that through the devastation, God’s purpose will be completely accomplished, God will receive greater glory in the end, and that God’s people will be strengthened. The blood of Christ covers and cleanses all our sins, so extend forgiveness to fallen leaders.

7. Extend Grace To Fallen Leaders

The Bible teaches that love covers sins and offenses (Proverbs 10:12; Proverbs 17:9; 1 Peter 4:8). Both love and grace will help you remain quiet, instead of speculating about the circumstances or maliciously gossiping about the situation. Think about them as you would want others to consider you. You will prevent the devil from wreaking further havoc by keeping quiet and covering that person with love and grace.

“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19, NIV).

FALLEN LEADERS THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE

All of God’s chosen leaders were imperfect, just like we are. Moses and David committed murder. Jacob was a deceiver/con artist. Solomon and Samson had problems with women. Amazingly, God used prostitutes, thieves and every kind of sinner to reveal that mankind’s sinful condition is not His focus. His focus is love—His power to forgive and restore. God sees us all as valuable, no matter what. “All things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

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