Praise the Lord Saints and Happy New Year All.
I pray you are starting the new year out with joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.
I might as well continue this series because it appears as though we are losing the battle to bring truth to the forefront because many are fighting us at every turn.
Galatians 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)
1 Paul, an apostle (not commissioned and sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ—the Messiah—and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brothers who are with me, 3 Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
4 who gave Himself [as a sacrifice to atone] for our sins [to save and sanctify us] so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, in accordance with the will and purpose and plan of our God and Father—
5 to Him be [ascribed all] the glory through the ages of the ages. Amen. 6 I am astonished and extremely irritated that you are so quickly shifting your allegiance and deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different [even contrary] gospel;
7 which is really not another [gospel]; but there are [obviously] some [people masquerading as teachers] who are disturbing and confusing you [with a misleading, counterfeit teaching] and want to distort the gospel of Christ [twisting it into something which it absolutely is not].
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we [originally] preached to you, let him be condemned to destruction!
9 As we have said before, so I now say again, if anyone is preaching to you a gospel different from that which you received [from us], let him be condemned to destruction!
TOXIC CHURCH LEADERS
- They rarely demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. Paul notes those specific attributes in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. You won’t see them much in toxic leaders.
- They seek a minimalist structure of accountability. Indeed, if they could get away with it, they would operate in a totally autocratic fashion, with heavy, top down leadership.
- They expect behavior of others they don’t expect of themselves. “Do as I say, not as I do.”
- They see almost everyone else as inferior to themselves. You will hear them criticizing other leaders while building themselves up.
- They show favoritism. It is clear that they have a favored few while they marginalize the rest. We call it a “click”.
- They have frequent anger outbursts. This behavior takes place when they don’t get their way. It’s not a pretty sight watching a grown man have a temper tantrum, comical, but not pretty.
- They say one thing to some people, but different things to others. This is a soft way of saying they lie.
- They seek to dismiss or marginalize people before they attempt to develop them. People are means to their ends; they see them as projects, not God’s people who need mentoring and developing.
- They are manipulative. Their most common tactic is using partial truths to get their way.
- They lack transparency. Autocratic leaders are rarely transparent. If they get caught abusing their power, they may have to forfeit it.
- They do not allow for pushback or disagreement. When someone does disagree, he or she becomes the victim of the leader’s anger and marginalization.
- They surround themselves with sycophants. Their inner circle thus often includes close friends and family members, as well as a host of “yes people.”
- They communicate poorly. In essence, any clarity of communication would reveal their autocratic behavior, so they keep their communications unintelligible and obtuse.
- They are self-absorbed. In fact, they would unlikely see themselves in any of these symptoms.
Yes, toxic leaders are the distinct minority of Christian leaders. But they can do harm to the cause of Christ disproportionate to their numbers. And they can get away with their behavior for years because they often have a charismatic and charming personality and let’s not forget the “pretty preaching” or hooping they have made their mark with.
I figure this is a bit much to chew on this week so I’ll leave it at this for the week.
Till next week,
Bishop-Elect Dr. Robert Harrison