Pastor Matt Chandler has done evangelical and Reformed leaders a huge service, if they’ll pay attention to what he recently said.
In a recent sermon, Chandler admitted that church discipline had not been handled properly, and he asked forgiveness. As you read the list of things for which he asked forgiveness, consider the implications of each one:
- Will you forgive us where our counsel turned into control?
- Will you forgive us where we failed to recognize the limits and scope of our authority?
- Will you forgive us where we allowed our policies and process to blind us to your pain, confusion and fears?
- Will you forgive us where we acted transactionally rather than tenderly?
- Will you forgive us where we failed to recognize you as the victim and didn’t empathize with your situation?
I haven’t been this encouraged by the words of evangelical and/or Reformed teachers in a long, long time.
Chandler gets it. Even if he and his elders really messed up, Chandler is admitting it, apparently making it right, and showing the way forward.
That is leadership.
I’m sure some people could accuse me of consistently negative comments about Christian leaders.
But I don’t want people to pay for their sins. I want people to make real changes that will prevent many bad situations from happening.
I want good leaders instead of bad leaders. I want humane leaders instead of ideological leaders.
I want leaders who know how to leave bad ideas, policies, and practices behind.
If leaders are too frozen in their dogmatic perspectives or too in love with their reputations to remain humble and open to concerns and warnings, then the second best thing I can do is point out their contradictions, failings, and secrecy in hopes of keeping others away from their ministries.
All humans have failings, and all wolves have fangs.
Sure, I’m just a tiny bit of plankton in the Internet Ocean, but I have to yell when I see people being misled and manipulated.
Matt Chandler’s recent sermon encourages me. He shows us all that he’s willing to place his flock above his ego.
Isn’t that Christ-like? To lay down oneself for others?
Matt Chandler also startles me into realizing that real leadership and insight still exist in some evangelical/Reformed churches.