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When our denominational leadership, local pastors, and church leaders breach confidentiality, slander, gossip, defame, libel, abuse children, sexually misconduct themselves, invade privacy, use undue influence or do any other forms of abuse of power, there must be concern. When those responsible for holding them accountable for their work and conduct — whether it’s a local church leader, on the classis level, or an employed personnel of the denominational building — fail to do so, abuse of power will continue.

If you as a leader are more concerned about who likes you and who doesn’t, I question your leadership style. In fact, it’s not about being a leader. Your need to have people accept and approve of you is more about getting your personal needs met than it is about leading. Problems with this include your inability to be objective, your manipulation of others, and the side-tracking of being liked instead of sticking with the issue. 

Know that if any of the above abuses of power happen and the church calls it other than what it is (like breaching confidentiality is pastoral care) then civil action is likely to follow. Attorneys are not concerned about who likes who and why, but about what happened and holding those persons accountable to the law.

So leaders, how is your self-esteem doing? Can you stand alone on an issue when you need to? Can you confront and hold accountable — pastors, classis leaders, and denominational personnel — when they have wronged others? Or does needing to be liked and approved of by others come before doing what is right and expected? If you are struggling in this area, I suggest you reevaluate your leadership style and get into some counseling sessions to explore your lack of backbone when it comes to being a leader.

Standing alone and standing strong when the wind of opposition hits you head on is often what a good leader does. 

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