Leaders, Image, Mythology

No doubt there are certain pitfalls in leadership- and one of them is
portraying image.

All of us want to be liked, accepted and of course, need to work in
order to pay the bills. The Book itself says unless we take care of
the needs of our own household we’re worse than an infidel. I suppose
that’s not a good thing?!!

I’m in an online leadership forum, and we have chewed all sorts of raw
meat for some 10 years now, often strongly disagreeing but most of the
time quite in agreement on many issues of Christian leadership.
Different folks post stuff form the Web, and a recent post got a
discussion going about leadership and the fact some get fired or
otherwise hammered for being genuine, honest, confessional.

One bro. used the excellent (and I think key word) in his post on the
subject. Here was what I added to the conversation, and as I thought
it through, perhaps worth re-posting here:

“M.J., your one word here- “image” is the thing that we need to bust
up most of all. It’s the tragedy mask of the Church. The mythology of
it all… and myths are not facts- while as all here know, the Word
itself says “the church… the pillar and ground of the truth”…
“speaking the truth one to another”, “truthing one another in love”
and so on.

The church is of course merely and wonderfully the family of God, not
a building or organized structure- nor is it only this or that small
group of Christ-followers. We all ultimately know this. Sadly, image
often wins the day. It’s what we fall back on when integrity is
jettisoned for the sake of getting or keeping the gig.

Ahhh the beauty of bad hair, crooked teeth and honest, even public
confession of struggle, weakness and yes, sin!

When one is not willing to pay the price of integrity, mythology
rises… sort of like scum to the surface I’d say. And again, it is
first of all MY responsibility, not this or that group’s
responsibility to “walk in the light as He is in the light”.

Room for “Alice Cooper”? I think so. As long as we don’t confuse
reality with the act. But in general and before the Throne there is
only reality, no acting as such. This part of the journey here… on
this planet- is about being embraced by it and embracing it.

Lord have mercy!


  1. My past experiences in leadership positions, there has a been a few, have not been difficult. I don’t fit into programs or images very well. The only thing I know is that relationships change lives with the Holy Spirit working through us (Redpath & Tozer taught this from sun up to sun down). For doing the right thing, I have been nailed to the "cross" so many times by "christian" bothers and sisters. Can we be persecuted by Christians? I know it happens, but it seems more like an oxymoron and not so much calling it persecution. The Church of Christ lacks integrity too much-I know I do. James says confess your sins one to another-but don’t do that if your a leader (that’s a taboo). Sad, it’s a taboo to be authentic if you are a pastor or leader. Seems to me that only compromises my integrity….Dale talked after a concert in Roseburg Oregon on the the "Lament" tour. I believe it started out with, "…we are not honest with ourselves, let alone our children..". You could have heard a pin drop in that place for 42 minutes! Authenticity is lacking and not may are seeing the true Light (Holy Spirit working through us). I am an elder is a small cell group church. We encourage repentance and accountability. We hold each other accountable. We love each other enough to say something when it needs said and shut our mouths when the Lord says it time for a little grace. The power of the Spirit has been at work in our lives very visibly. Integrity is valued, as well as each member and what they have to bring to the Body. Leadership is just not easy in a small group either. We have had some sin issues to deal with and personality conflicts along the way. The only difference between this leadership position and past ones is that problems are deal with-prayerfully. If God does not confirm a solid answer between more than 3 elders, we keep praying. It not us doing the work-it’s the Lord!Glenn’s comment about the second largest mission field is the Church of Jesus Christ has echoed in the back of my head for years. In our little town on the Oregon Coast, a missionary from South Africa has arrived to be a missionary here. A sad, but welcome turnaround for years past. Our churches here are hurting and so are they on the outside! Harvest time is ripe! I spend at least 2 nights a month in Bible studies with other Christians don’t always get prepared on Sunday for Monday through Saturday. God has arranged this to maybe encourage my brothers and sisters into a deeper knowledge and conviction of the Holy Spirit (praise the Lord for there is fruit coming out of all this).Forget the image, people pleasing and programs, time is far too short to messing around when so many people are hurting. God forgive us all. We all fall short of the Glory of God….

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