It is hard being a leader in a church. You are supposed to put on the perfect face with the perfect life. Or so that’s the lie that Satan wants you to believe. You work long hours. You may not have a good support system. You may not know how to lead well to begin with. According to the Bible, none of that matters.
I often hear people say “well, he/she is human after all, no one is perfect.” I’ve also heard “no church is perfect.” I agree with both of those statements. Where I don’t agree is when that becomes the cop-out for a church or leader acting in an illegal, unethical, or unbiblical manner.
There is a difference between a church leader being a person, and a church leader in their leadership role. No one should ever feel isolated or like they can’t be themselves. That is not the point. The Bible calls leaders in the church to a higher standard. There is great responsibility and tremendous blessings in being a leader. It is this higher standard that seems to be slipping to the wayside and where people are beginning to use the excuse “they are only human.”
Leaders are people, but as a leader in the church, it is clear that God holds you to a higher standard. Here are a few Scriptures that talk about church leaders:
“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”
“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”
“It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, for a throne is established on righteousness.”
The Bible is filled with lots of leadership wisdom. The scripture above is just a glimpse into what God calls each of you to as a leader.
A leader should be trustworthy, authentic, a doer of the word of God, and is indeed held to a higher standard. In the book of 2 Kings, each king’s name is followed by whether they did good or bad in the site of God. Judah was to go into exile due to the atrocities that God had seen in the kings of his people, yet when Josiah found the word of God he called his people to repent. God looked upon this favorably and spared Judah.
So what does this mean for you as a church leader? You are allowed to make mistakes, just like we all are. When you continue to make the same mistake over and over again, and you begin to lead God’s people away from Him, there will be consequences. Sometimes, that consequence is God’s hand of blessing being removed from your church, as he was going to do with Judah before Josiah sought out God on behalf of his people.
You have the amazing responsibility to be true to God’s word, lead others to the Lord, and disciple your own staff. You are held to a higher standard as you communicate God’s word to those you lead.
Are you living your life in such a way that you are living to the standard God has called you? In light of scripture, what are some practical ways you live up to this standard?