I’ve lost track of the number of people I have met who have left congregations because of some sort of flaw – or at least a perceived flaw – in the church leadership. Perhaps the pastor didn’t visit their uncle in the hospital. Maybe the leadership disagreed with their perspective on a particular issue – usually a non-scriptural issue. I’ve even met people who left because the leadership spent too much time with one group in the congregation and not another.
Don’t expect church leadership to be perfect. It won’t happen in this lifetime. In fact, it’s never happened in the history of the Church.
In the very early days of the Church, Peter acted hypocritically at one point, and, consequently, was rebuked by Paul. (see Galatians 2:11-14) Later, Paul, who wrote so much in his letters about the unity of the Body, had such a sharp disagreement with Barnabas that they parted company. Their traveling ministry days together ended because Paul refused to forgive John Mark. (see Acts 15:36-41)
Both Peter and Paul had major blind spots. They were both far from perfect. Yet, if either of those men walked into one of our gatherings today, we would, without question, afford them the highest possible respect.
So, why do we so often not do this with the leaders God has given us today?
Someone somewhere made the decision that October should be clergy appreciation month. As such, maybe this would be a good time to let the leadership of your church know that you are standing with them. And while you’re at it, why don’t you pray for them? I think God would honor that.