I previously talked about our problem in the pastorate with self-righteousness, and promoting narcissists in ministry. This leads to problems with both small time and celebrity pastors.
Today, I want to talk about Matthew 18:15-18, which I believe provides further solutions to this problem.
1) Matthew 18 implies Pastors should be Correctable.
Matthew 18 teaches us to go to a brother or sister with a problem, and to show them their sin. Sadly, many of us have found that we haven't been successful applying this to pastors. We've tried to share but been given the brush off. Sadly we have too many leaders who will not sit down and hear someone out about how they feel sinned against. So, imagine you're a pastor who never takes correction, how are you going to respond when someone warns you about an inappropriate relationship you're beginning to form? You're not gonna listen, and eventually there will be tremendous damage. Sadly, we're letting too many leaders become bigger names, whilst they leave a wake of people who have been hurt and unable to sit down and do Matthew 18 with them. I'd suggest we don't make people pastors until we've seen them humbly live out Matthew 18.
2) Matthew 18 Implies we shouldn't Promote People under Discipline in another church.
Regularly someone is excommunicated from their church for a serious unrepentant sin. They move onto another church, where the leaders assume the previous church was wrong, and promote them back into ministry. This person goes on to hurt more people in the same way as before. I've seen and heard this happen too many times. I'd suggest we don't make people pastors until they've been trained in how to properly restore people from excommunication.
So who knew? Jesus was onto something when he taught the following:
(Mat 18:15-18 NIV) 15 "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.
16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'
17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
18 "Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
part 3 may follow if I feel led!