Serving Jesus by serving His church is no easy task, yet it can be one of the most powerful things a person can do to affect eternity! You and I were created to serve Him and this world.
There are good leaders and bad leaders. Yes, unfortunately there are bad spiritual leaders, bad shepherds in the Church of Jesus Christ. It’s been an ongoing problem since the fall of man. There are many ‘walking wounded’ among us who have been hurt purposely by men and women in positions of oversight in the Church, by bad leaders, bad pastors, bad people. (If that’s you, if you’re a ‘walking wounded’, I’m sorry you’re in such pain. I share a little of your limp. What was done to you is wrong and not the heart of God. Don’t turn your back on God. He loves you. Don’t give up on the Church. There are good leaders, pastors, and people that will help you grow in grace.)
Now, we know no leader is perfect and no leader leads perfectly. Mistakes happen and can be easily overcome by humble repentance and the healing power of the Spirit. I’m not speaking about the human mistakes made by leaders today because we all stumble from time to time. I’m speaking about the wholesale disregard of God’s people by those who are entrusted with their care. Jesus is neither pleased nor approves of bad leadership in His Church.
God spoke a strong word of rebuke through the prophet Ezekiel against the shepherds of Israel. In it there are at least 10 points of failure we are to avoid when caring for the flock.
And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? “You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. “The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. “So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.” Ezek 34:1-6 (NKJV)
10 signs of a bad spiritual leader:
- SELFISH – They feed themselves. – Don’t care about other’s needs.
- USE PEOPLE – They eat the fat & clothe themselves – take advantage.
- TAKE THE BEST – You Slaughter the fatlings – Don’t feed the flocks.
- IGNORE NEEDS – The weak are not strengthened.
- DISREGARD PAINS – The sick are not healed.
- CLOSE THEIR EYES TO HURTING – The broken not bound up
- PAY NO ATTENTION – Those driven away are not brought back.
- REFUSE TO HELP – The lost were not sought after
- HARSH/ANGRY – You rule with force and cruelty
- CARELESS – You allowed the sheep to be scattered.
Serving alongside of our Pastor & Shepherd Jesus, it’s vital that we have His heart, His Pastor’s Heart. Start to pray for it now.
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. ‘ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:18-21 (NKJV)