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5 Reasons Leaders Stumble and Fall

stumble and fall

The Church is a powerful force for good and the hope of the world. That has always been true. Yes, the Church is flawed, but it hasn’t and can’t fail.

The Church is imperfect because people are imperfect, but the living, breathing body of believers focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ ultimately can’t fail because God can’t fail.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:18)

Notice two things:

  • Jesus will build His Church
  • The gates of hell will not overcome the Church

When I take an honest look at the New Testament Church, I see the reality of miraculous life change and community transformation. Yet, at the same time, I also know the reality of daily problems.

The same is true today.

This is in no way an excuse for sin or disingenuous leadership.

It’s a reminder of who we are and who we’re meant to be: The Church. The literal Community of God and the hope of redemption.

The Church is the ordained instrument of redemption designed by God and fulfilled in His Son Jesus.

  • We are called to love and worship God. (Matt 22:37-39)
  • We are commissioned to reach others for redemption in Christ. (Matt 28:19-20)
  • We are challenged to treat others as we would treat ourselves. (Matt 7:12)

So, where does this beautiful plan break down?

Something happens.

Something changes.

There are many factors, but when we consider responsibility, we must at least start with leadership.

The problems that leaders must solve are unending, the demands are unrelenting, and sometimes the line between right and wrong becomes blurred.

I’m writing this post with the assumption that church leaders begin with redemptive intent. I’ve never met a leader who started in ministry intending to hurt anyone or damage the reputation of a church.

Further, the overwhelming majority of those who lead in a local church are working hard and serving well.

But that doesn’t prevent the disheartening situations we encounter.

The key is to catch it early while there is still time to make course corrections.

These five points should help us accomplish that.

When we are aware of what causes us to stumble and fall, we can be watchful, accountable, and make better decisions.

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Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.