The simplest of scriptures can be the hardest to live out.
Take Luke 6:31 for example.
We heard it in Sunday School. Our parents beat it into our heads. We were even taught it in public school.
The “Golden Rule.”
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Can we be honest?
There seems to be a breakdown in the golden rule in our culture. And, honestly, there seems to be a breakdown of the golden rule among many church leaders.
Churches, at their best, can be exactly what Christ made them to be. At worst, they can be unhealthy, manipulative, and degrading.
(Just look at some of the recent headlines of church abuse and leadership failure).
I don’t want to be over-simplistic. But consider this: most unhealthy church scenarios can be healed (or at least made better), even in the short-term, if those in charge followed Luke 6:31.
It’s hard for abusive and sinful behavior to run rampant when Luke 6:31 is in play.
We expect everyone else to invoke Luke 6:31 in their relationships with us. But if we’re not careful, we can easily forget our end of the bargain with them.
As pastors and church leaders, let’s get back to the basics.
Here’s a quick outline of what this might look like for you as a pastor or a church leader this week.
It all starts at home.
Treat your spouse like you would want to be treated. Take out the trash without being asked. Do something nice and unexpected. Love unconditionally.
Treat your kids like you would want to be treated. This may mean holding your tongue at times. (HINT: This most probably means holding your tongue at times.)
It continues at the workplace.
Treat your staff the way you would want to be treated. Be fair. Communicate often. Give honest feedback. Be generous. Show concern.
Treat your board the way you would want to be treated. Work with them rather than against them. Give them the whole story without hold back crucial details. Pray for them. Be proactive rather than reactive.
Treat your members the way you would want to be treated. Pastor them. Connect with them one-on-one, not just from the platform. Make the tough phone call. Love them.