How can you stop someone stabbing you in the back one day? How can you stop someone lying about you, slandering you, causing strife and evil in your church, prophesying-lying? How do you stop someone going through the steps of a backstab? Well, the short answer is you cannot stop it all this side of heaven. Even in Heaven, God was stabbed in the back by satan; on earth Jesus was stabbed in the back by Judas – so even the most wonderful of leaders will still get backstabbed from time to time. But you can minimize it! How?
- By Actively Teaching on Loyalty. When was the last time you taught on loyalty? Faithfulness is part of the reborn spirit, causing divisions is the flesh. You are not doing your people a favour by not teaching them on how to walk in the spirit! Teach your people all the time, on all the Word, and specifically on loyalty, and you will prevent a lot of crises! Good teaching is the truth, and truth exposes lies. Satan lies to people to make them betray you – and copy Absalom or Judas, so teach the truth.
- By building a culture that hates disloyalty. In Revelation 2.6, Jesus praises the church in Ephesus because they “hated the deeds of the Nicolaitanes”. It’s a good thing when a church strongly hates certain actions. Build a culture into your church that you do not backstab people, explain to people how bad Absalom’s life went, how bad Judas end was, and so on. There’s actually several dozen examples of disloyalty in the Bible. Build it into your culture, so people hate disloyalty. If someone is talking bad about you, build a culture where people let you know.
- Learn to walk away. David walked away from Eliab. Abraham walked away from Lot. There are some people you should not be working with because you will never be at peace with them. Some people do not believe in you. They do not believe God has called you. Move on! And like Lot, let people go in peace. People will eventually see who is Abraham and Lot, and they will follow Abraham. People will realize who is birthing faith in people and whose life is a total mess.
- Do not be afraid to throw someone out your church. The Bible is very explciit “Cast out the scorner” (Proverbs 22.10). If someone is casting scorn on you, throw them out your church. I’m not talking about a mature, reasonable difference of opinion. We all have differences of opinion, I am talking about a scorner. The Hebrew word is “lus”, and it means an exceptionally arrogant, boastful, mocking person – an ambassador of mocking, someone teaching others to mock. In other words someone infecting the church with a patronizing, critical attitude. You need to cast them out – that is strong language, because you need to be strong. Dismiss them, sack them, stop them coming to your meetings. It is a strong move, but it is like a major surgery, it will hurt but it will save your life. If you do not do this when you have an infectious mocker, you are weak, and your leadership is weak. In the New Testament, Paul says “Mark those who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine you have learned and avoid them” (Romans 16.17). People who cause divisions should be pointed out and avoided. To mark means to brand a sheep. A pastor will from time to time have to let people know – this sheep is dangerous, they are a crazy sheep and they will bite you. If you do not, you are not looking after your people. Do not be afraid to mark someone if necessary, you do not know more about running a church than Paul!