Sunday, 21 July 2013

On Leadership

Following various Christian organisations on social media, I have noticed a disturbing trend towards judgementalism amongst a certain cohort of people. These 'trolls' seem to expect everyone to agree with them, as well as being perfect - especially if they are leaders. We have seen this with Steve Chalke and Rob Bell this year.

We put our leaders in an impossible situation sometimes, and I would say that the way in which we treat them is sometimes bordering on idolatry. Let me explain what I mean:
  1. a leader rises;
  2. we put them on a pedestal;
  3. since they are human, they fail;
  4. we lash out, and condemn them;
  5. we discount their entire ministry, past, present and future.
One of the key concepts of our faith is forgiveness. We even out to extend forgiveness to our leaders when they fail. None of us are perfect, we all sin. We therefore all need the forgiveness of others, and should extend forgiveness to all who need it. Jesus even commands us to do so in the Lord's Prayer, and in fact commands us to forgive before we are forgiven. No caveats - no 'if they ask for forgiveness' or 'if they deserve forgiveness' - just forgive them - no strings attached.

So next time a leader lets us down, let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Extend forgiveness and help people rebuild themselves after they fall. After all, we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us.