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Mike Cosper: What ‘The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill’ Means for Church Leaders

“I do think there’s something problematic about the way a certain style of leadership has almost been fetishized since the 90s, that sort of corporate CEO model and again, even making that criticism is a cliché, you’ve heard it a thousand times. But I’m not sure I’ve seen somebody pose the alternative that says, ok, here’s a character-driven model in the image of Jesus that can nonetheless lead a healthy, large community.”

“One of the things that was interesting that I heard a number of times was the need for pastors, particularly pastors who were coming in from the outside, to figure out, how do I vet the leader that I’m going to theoretically submit to for the years to come?”

“If you are a church leader, I think one of the most important things that you can do is to go to the people who work under your authority and ask them, ‘Tell me, honestly, how do you experience me negatively?’ And then believe them. Believe what they say.”

“There’s lots of abusive leadership taking place in egalitarian churches all over the place, namely Willow Creek. I mean, Bill Hybels was a champion for egalitarian leadership, you know, throughout his ministry and was a sexual predator.”

“It’s the reality of this sort of power and weakness stuff and the imbalances and the abuses is that it can it’s a chameleon. It can take place inside any structure, any leadership structure.”

“We need to just sort of nakedly address our sin when we recognize it and recognize that it’s interpersonal and go to the person and ask for forgiveness. And that forces you into a position of humility really fast.”

“I think for leaders who’ve been at this for a long time, you recognize this is a serious process, that’s going to be really, really hard and really painful. But I think it’s going to bear fruit in incredible ways if you’re willing to kind of step into that.”

Mentioned in the Show

The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast

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