Sometimes a difficult season occurs because of someone’s irresponsibility, incompetence, meanness, manipulation, or thoughtlessness. Some ministers and some elders have been guilty of all five.
Ministers and elders will make mistakes. Human beings make mistakes regardless of what role they might find themselves in.
Does a minister or an elder really have to be irresponsible? When church leaders are irresponsible in what they say or in how they act, they are basically wasting the influence and the energy of the church.
Does a minister or an elder really have to be incompetent? Church leaders do not have identical gifts or identical strengths. Yet, if we pretend that we always know what to do, after awhile our incompetencies will become obvious to others. When we are not learning, growing, or developing, we will never move beyond where we are right now.
Does a minister or an elder really have to be mean? Of course not. Yet, so often these people are not held accountable for their meanness. For example, if an elder says something to a minister in an elder’s meeting that is rude and unkind, what do the other elders do? In far too many churches, they simply remain silent. (Yes, an elder close to that minister may call him later and grouse about what his fellow elder said. However, that elder may never be confronted regarding his behavior.)
Does a minister or an elder really have to be manipulative? No. Of course, a minister may have several friends who are also in the elder group. However, this minister has crossed a line when he manipulates several elders behind the scenes to basically do his bidding for him in elders’ meetings. Ministers who refuse to manipulate know how to relate and love without resorting to self-serving manipulation.
Finally, does a minister or an elder really have to be thoughtless? No. However, one will have to yield to the Spirit, submitting not to the flesh but to the Spirit’s desire for our lives, our relationships, and our leadership groups. Otherwise, we will yield to the flesh, saying what is thoughtless and hurtful, and looking for a cheap laugh at someone else’s expense instead of building one another up.