Behind Closed Doors Part 2/2
It is heartbreaking to hear time and time again about how men and women in leadership allow the enemy to get the best of them. Sometimes this can lead to distrust, broken relationships, and even cause an entire church community to disband. I’ve heard people describe certain pastors by saying, “I was surprisingly amazed to discover that he actually is the same man behind the pulpit as he is behind closed doors and with his family.” Shouldn’t this be the norm?
Though our hope and trust rests on the finished work of Jesus Christ alone, many people look to leaders in the faith as they follow Christ. And unfortunately because of the lack of integrity among some church leaders, many people turn away from the faith and want nothing to do with the hypocrisy of their leaders.
Recognize those you Influence
“Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1). As microchurch leaders, how do we maintain a posture of humility with those we lead inside our microchurch and outside our group no matter where we go, knowing that our words and actions carry more weight than we may realize?
Have you taken the time to notice that what you may be saying in passing can actually revolutionize someone else’s thinking/response?
We want to live in such a way that people cannot question our motives, morals or lifestyle, as we set apart Christ as Lord, especially when it becomes challenging. This requires vulnerability, humility and transparency. We want everything we do to be in response to the Gospel and point back to Christ and the change He has made in our heart (1 Timothy 3:1-7). Peter urges us to live such good lives that even though some may accuse us, they will see our good deeds and glorify God.
In order to do this well, we desperately need Jesus. We recognize our complete dependence on the Lord as we seek to be more like Him through the Holy Spirit’s conviction, which leads to our repentance, thus continuing the growing process of sanctification and transformation. And the time between His instruction and our obedience demonstrates our level of faith and spiritual maturity.
Everything we do is actually in response to the Good News
If someone were to follow you around all day and night, would your life reflect the Gospel you teach at microchurch, or would they be disappointed/ashamed of some things?
Are you the same servant leader when facilitating microchurch as you are when disciplining your kids, or interacting with a difficult co-worker, stuck in traffic, upon receiving sensitive information, during a critical conversation, or in making business ethical decisions? Are you quick to correct one of your microchurch members when they gossip, but fail to hold a tight rein on your tongue in a “non-church” setting?
Integrity, the consistency of character in response to the Gospel, is a personal choice of not compromising the Word of God. It is doing the right thing all the time, no matter the context. It starts with our thoughts, which then manifests in our actions and in our everyday decisions. How are you responding to the Gospel behind closed doors?
I grew to appreciate the pastor whom I found not only living out what he preached from the pulpit, but actually found to be even more loving to the people around him and behind closed doors than when in the pulpit before an audience. Knowing that we have already captivated the attention and affection of the only opinion that matters gives us the liberating freedom to live a Christ-centered life.
Yet it’s so easy to forget this reality of the Kingdom when we are faced with many distractions, obstacles, and the busyness of life. Paul exhorts us to fight the good fight, and not grow weary in doing good. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. We can only do this by fixing our eyes on Jesus. (1 Timothy 6:12)
Thoughts to Ponder:
- As a leader, people won’t always do what you say, but they will follow what you do. Do your actions align with your words outside of a microchurch setting?
- What is something someone whom you highly esteemed said to you, maybe even in passing, but that you remember, which has either helped or hindered your growth in the Lord?
- Ask the Lord daily to search your heart and to reveal any areas of your life that He would find compromising (Psalm 139:23-24). Seek to repent and ask the Lord for His grace to align your thoughts, actions, and motives with His will.