Church Bullies

Read: III John 1

Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. (III John 1:9-10)

It is a sad given that in most churches there are those who assume the position of “church boss.”  Perhaps they do so because of their years of service in the church, or their level of financial support, or they assume their success outside the church translates into authority inside it, or perhaps their talents and spiritual gifts give them more visibility than the average church attendee.

Whatever the reason, they assume a position of power.  They begin to call the shots.  They push for their preferences.  They oppose the direction of the true spiritual leaders of the church.  They are spiritual bullies, making the flock miserable and squeezing the life of the Spirit right out of the fellowship. In far too many churches, “church bosses” (there may be several in one church) prevent the church from being a prevailing force in its community that God intends.  Rather, through a foothold created by their bullying, a controlling spirit attaches itself to the church and Satan gains the upper hand.

The mark of authentic spiritual leadership in a church is not power, but humility.  The one who leads best leads from a position of servanthood and sacrifice.  True leaders deflect praise and acknowledgment back to God rather than grabbing it for themselves.  They care more about the unity of the Spirit rather than having their own way. They willingly lay down their life (their rights, wishes, preferences and position) for the glory of God and the health of the church.

Now here’s the deal:  “Church bosses” only maintain their position of power as they are empowered by the people.  So, my friend,  don’t give them any!  Be very careful to ascribe authority and give “followership” in your fellowship only to those who lead authentically—humbly, sacrificially and for the praise and glory of God alone.

It is not an overstatement to say that the life and health of your church and the reputation of the Kingdom of God in your community depends on it.

Father, may a spirit of humility characterize my fellowship through and through.  Remove any vestiges of pride, control and selfishness.  Make us into a church of servants, for your name’s sake.

“The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.”  ~C.S. Lewis

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