A lot of people are fed up of leaders for one reason – their lack of character. Politicians lie and break the very rules they make. Business CEOs are dishonest and deal without ethics. Sportsmen cheat, paying judges, taking illegal substances, and so on – not to mention their character off the pitch or field! Pastors fall, in the very sins they preach against, manipulating and taking advantage of the people in their churches. When these things happen, it unsettles us, it upsets us. When it hits home to us, and where we work, and our church, and so on, it can really hurt.
Nothing affects your leadership more than your character, and nothing is more important for you as a leader than to work on your character. Large companies can have their stock price plummet if their leader is exposed as untrustworthy, and ministers can lose their entire ministry.
People no longer trust leaders in any sphere of life and we have an uphill battle to ensure we are trusted – and the secret key is character.
The biggest reason that leaders lack character is in my opinion laziness. When peope have a difficult choice, they just pick the easy path, the quickest way, the short-cut. I have seen pastors do things to grow their churches that are unethical but they are unwilling to do the right thing. Never cut a corner if it is wrong, do not tell yourself it is just this once. It’s laziness that undermines our character. We fold under pressure and take the lazy way.
We cheat in exams because it is easier than studying. We steal someone else’s ministry because it is easier than building one ourselves. We lie to get someone to hate someone, because it is easier than telling the truth. We gossip because it is an easy way to make friends and build a power base.
Doing things right is hard work. It takes effort and energy. That’s the way forward.
I know so many pastors have lost their way taking the easy route. I know Bible Colleges who rather than build ministers who plant churches who then have people who need to go to Bible College, just send students to my churches to try and persuade them they need a Bible College when I am planting churches at a far faster rate than they are, and raising leaders more effectively. It’s just laziness. It will never work. It’s the same heart and lack of moral fibre that starts pyramid schemes to get rich rather than doing prosperity God’s way.
Doing what God wants is hard. It takes time and pressure, and there are always short-cuts. Always ways of doing things that are wrong, and the reason why people do is laziness. Rather than shine and earn respect so that people follow you, it is much easier to whisper about another leader behind their back. Rather than start a church in a town where the gospel is not well known, you start a church across the road where you used to go and you contact all your old friends and beg them to come.