Church Scandals & Fears

Shyju Mathew

"Experience the Word of God, in the power of the Spirit."

November 3, 2010

I had two pastors call me on the same day with couple of other reports of falling Christian leaders. They were concerned about the Christian leadership as a whole. And quite interestingly, sometime earlier, I overheard a loud conversation at the coffee shop of a boy telling his girlfriend about how everyone seemed to be involved in a scandal these days.

After talking with some young leaders, I felt the same concern echo through their questions. What is my destiny if these great leaders are falling? How can I survive when these mighty leaders have failed? What are our lessons? How should we react?

Here are few things that we should keep in mind:

Do not fear
To begin with, guard your heart from fear. Just because they fell does not mean that we too will fall. Fear freezes faith. Before every battle, God reminded the Israelites to be strong and not to be dismayed. If you are going to go on in ministry thinking that you are going to fall, you are probably opening doors for the enemy by allowing that fear. Remember what the Word of God says, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:25, 26

Greater standards of holiness
Do you know what every single leader that fell had in common? They did not start their ministry planning, “I’ll break my ministry someday”. Their fall is a result of millions of little compromises. Take greater desire and seek greater levels of purity. If you desire and pursue it, the Holy Spirit will enable you to live it. Be quick to repent of your shortcomings. And do not get complacent or passive with the life of holiness.

Greater levels of transparency
Let us persevere for complete transparency in all areas of our life and ministry; from finance to any other area that the Lord has made you a steward of. With everything in you, pursue transparency with even the levels of government. Find elders that can watch over your life. Meet with them from time to time and seek counsel. Open your life to spiritual guidance and accountability to the right people that stand with your vision. Have people around you that know the difference between you and the ministry and are not afraid to love and correct you.

Greater levels of humility
This is an area that we need to constantly keep in check. Seek God to receive a humble heart. There are times when our achievements can blind us from the truth that it was only His grace that helped us. The more God lifts us and honours us; we should pursue character and become more humble.

Greater levels of prayer
At the end of the day, it is only at the throne room that we are best moulded. Much is said about prayer, but it is in the persistent walk with God that history-makers and God-pleasers are created.

Greater honour for the Word of God
We lose it when we take our eyes off the word of God. There is no greater counsellor or counsel above His written word. The word of God is our standard. If you remain true and passionate about the Word of God, the Word of God will be a lamp unto your feet

Psalm 119: 105. And a lamp does not show a long way ahead which is why it is required of us to go daily to the lamp of God for everyday directions.

Greater Renewal
One of the greatest examples of human fragility transformed by the great mercy of God because of genuine love toward God is the life of King David. His secret was that he loved God more than anything else. And loving God is to be honest about the state of our own heart, and our need to depend on God. Since the human heart is the most desperately wicked thing in the body Jeremiah 17:9 and in the words of Paul, “In me, in my flesh there is no good thing.” Romans 7:18. We should all the more constantly examine our hearts, be willing to admit our spiritual poverty, so we can depend on the riches of His grace. Read more here, 5 Reminders to Finish Well

Greater levels of purpose
Do not join the gossip gang. Pray that we do not fall to temptation. Keep out of slander. Be carrier of good news not bad news. Be forgiving. Fight the issue not the person. If the scandal is true then pray for the person’s restoration; if not, pray that the person rises above the situation. Be careful not to be quick to judge. The greater Judge is watching us all from above.

Let us remember, when we are faithful in the few, God will then make us stewards of many. Like my friend Jason James said, “living honestly and having a tender heart to God is the only way we will ever make it.”

Sincerely your fellow worker for Christ,