Healthy Leaders


Dealing with Leadership Failings

Jonathan MbunaJonathan Mbuna

Most of us are probably a bit shocked by the way Paul dealt with leadership ills: “When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned….” (Galatians 2:11-14). Many of us shy away from confrontation, believing in some way that it’s not appropriate Christian behavior.

But this passage demonstrates a good way to address leadership issues in our churches and Christian organizations. Whether it is a moral lapse, sexual abuse, habitual failings, or simply inadequate leadership skills and closed attitudes, they all need dealing with. Sadly what I have often experienced is that when leaders fail, we:

  1. Transfer the leader or even promote them.
  2. Buy-off the victim, bribing them to keep quiet (especially if it’s immorality).
  3. Intimidate the whistle blowers with threats, “accidents” and seek to destroy the evidence.
  4. Bring in outside speakers to preach about “He who has not sinned cast the first stone” (or choirs to sing the message “touch not the anointed of God….”)
  5. Blame the devil.
  6. Pretend nothing happened.

But very often, something needs to be done that is more direct. Open and honest feedback is a valuable gift – like what Paul provided for Peter. Consequences for misdemeanors are usually appropriate.

Instead of ignoring or neglecting these serious matters, let us prayerfully consider instead:

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