5) Really Stupid Decisions – Who thought it was a good idea for a nationally known Christian evangelist and apologist to own a chain of massage parlors? To “be more productive,” one pastor had his female assistant move into his and his wife’s home. Another started picking up women in local bars after preaching at other churches. Really Stupid Decisions (or RSD) can happen to anyone, but they seem to happen more often when a leader has power, money, little-to-no transparency and/or lots of control.
And RSD’s are more prone to happen when…
6) No One Can Question the Boss’s Decisions – Yes, there are actual churches and ministries where the pastor or leader’s decisions are rarely if ever questioned. That pastor has created a culture where it’s his way or the highway, and anyone in meetings who disagrees with the man of God will need to find another job.
More often, I see cultures where no one questions the leader out of genuine respect. Respect is good, but anytime the team feels uncomfortable questioning any leader’s decisions, something is wrong. Either way, these cultures are simply ripe for abuse, whether sexual, financial, spiritual or otherwise.
These are usually the situations you’ve heard about that, when stories of that abuse started leaking out, the leadership team circled the wagons and defended the leader at all costs.
Certainly far more people than pastors and ministry leaders experience personal failures, but my life has been spent working with those inside the church. And in retrospect, it’s remarkable how consistent so many of the cases are with respect to certain patterns of behavior, which means that if we could at least keep these six areas in the back of our mind, we’d be quicker to notice situations that could be averted or avoided – before serious damage is done to both victims and the members of the congregation.
This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.