A pastor who won’t confront an individual is a dangerous leader. You will address things in a sermon whipping the entire body instead of dealing with the person. (Bishop T.D. Jakes, Pastors & Leaders Conference 2014)
I did not attend Bishop Jakes Pastors & Leaders Conference this year, but my friend, Charity, shared the above quote on Facebook. A pastor who refuses to govern his church is the same as a father (or mother) who refuses to govern his house. Now that’s not to say that your assisting pastors and staff aren’t entitled to their own responsibilities. They are. But there are certain responsibilities that deserve the head honcho’s attention. A leader who won’t confront is the most dangerous because he owns little-to-no responsibility for his actions (or the lack thereof) and thus, delegates his God-given vision to another to see into existence. A leader who refuses to confront is a leader who abdicates his destiny.
Here are three issues surrounding leaders who won’t confront.
1) They Are Insecure.
Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul eyed David from that day forward. (I Samuel 18:8, 9)
Saul had always been an insecure man. So when the newly anointed David came on the scene, that insecurity flared up in a way not previously seen. Saul maintained a double-minded, love-hate relationship with him. He went from relying on David’s musical and military skill to throwing javelins at him. Saul’s insecurity made him a weapon to others under his leadership.
2) They Permit Wickedness
For I have told [Eli] that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. (I Samuel 3:13)
While all non-confronting leaders may not produce natural or spiritual sons as bad as Eli’s, the effect of their “leadership” is that sin goes unchecked under their nose. You’ve seen it: praise teams full of fornicators, pastoral staffs full of homosexuals, child molesters for youth leaders, and more.
If you take a look at that leaders house, you’re almost sure to find a family in chaos. And that chaos is perpetuated even as Eli’s parental habits were passed down to Samuel, resulting in sons nearly as bad as Eli’s.
A leader that won’t confront evil isn’t a leader at all.
3) They Create Absaloms
(See II Samuel 13-I Kings 2)
David was a wonderful a man, but an extremely non-confronting father. David’s kids were a mess! Amnon raped Tamar. Tamar’s full-brother, Absalom, killed Amnon. All the while, David did nothing. And all this nothing, enabled Absalom to swindle the kingdom from his father.
Later in life–due to more of David’s inaction–Absalom’s full-brother, Abijah, tried to usurp Solomon’s throne. Eventually, Solomon had to kill him. And likely, the foolishness that surfaced in Solomon and his son Rehoboam’s reigns were a result of David’s non-confronting leadership style.
Non-confronting leadership is a lot like the power of the One Ring in the Lord of the Rings. One may have taken the ring with the intent to do good, yet the ring bends their will and turns their hearts to evil. It just doesn’t end well. Similarly, abdicating leaders’ [in]actions lead those under them to destruction by forcing them to fill roles they 1) were never intended to fill or 2) are unready to fill. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
The Return of the Fathers
I believe the reason for much of this bad fathering in our leadership circles is due to the lack of 1) fathers and 2) incorrect scriptural teaching on the subject. Malachi prophesied that the Spirit of Elijah would return and it would return the hearts of the fathers to the children, lest a curse strike the earth. We have seen the effects of this curse keenly in the black and Church communities. Thankfully, more fathers are emerging and true apostolic authority is being restored. Yet in the meantime, many have been scarred by the poor leaders of the past. We must do better. And better begins with us each handling our God-given responsibilities. Plain and simple.
Have you ever suffered under the hands of a non-confronting leader before?