Monday, May 25, 2009

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Those of us in leadership have incredible responsibilities to the people we lead and serve. The manner in which we lead will encourage others to see more of Jesus or more of us.  We need to be constantly reminded to extend grace, forgiveness and love.

I am sad to let you know that the title of this post, Guilty Until Proven Innocent, began many years ago from conversations and watching leadership respond to problems in the church or community.  The pastors and "leaders" who were suppose to look most like Jesus and reflect His love, patience, mercy, kindness and grace began to look more like Judge Wapner casting a verdict on anything that was contrary to what the Church believed.

The simple fact is that the church will experience problems and will need to deal with them, but seldom will we ever have all the facts and an unbiased group to determine what is the correct course of action.  We are so often reactive to problems that we feel the urgency to respond, more from necessity rather than restoration.   However, to be proactive would mean actually taking the time to brainstorm problems along with worse case scenarios and then prayerfully draft a Biblical action plan to allow forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration.  Leadership that deals with problems "on the fly" usually will receive a great deal of criticism or potentially lose people because of the case-by-case way of dealing with issues that arise.  Children, youth and adults like to know what is expected and what the consequences are to actions that are inappropriate or harmful to others.

I understand that not every issue can be covered with policies or procedures due to the severity. It is during these situations that we need to gather as much information as possible, ask the Lord for guidance, and proceed with the goal of moving all involved closer to Christ.

Discipline is always difficult, but necessary for growth and development.


Pastor Mike said...

I can't wait to have my staff read this one. Good thoughts Todd.

Lisa Standish said...

My church struggles with this all the time and I am tired of it. Could you give me some additional information on how I can help our church and staff? Please keep posting, I like what you have to say and how you say it.