Leaders aren’t perfect, especially at church. Here’s what to do if a key leader has a moral failing and then refuses to repent and deal with it in a godly way.
- Call the leader to repentance. They may have already walked away from your church and closed their heart to repentance, but you have to make it clear that you want them to be restored. You want to let them know that there is no sin that can truly separate them from God. You need to let them know that God and your leadership team will never turn their back on them.
- Support the victims. Sin is not victimless. You need to let the victims of this sin know that they have a support system. Give the victims every opportunity to be embraced by the people in you church. Make sure to be intentional with this. Make a plan to support these victims and let them know that they are loved.
- Inform the insiders. The insiders are the group of people that have been influenced by the leader. The leader may try to spread their perspective without giving all of the facts. You have to protect the integrity of the church. Let these insiders know about the sin so that they can guard themselves from a false perspective.
This situation can be one of the hardest situations you will face as a leadership team. Make sure to approach this situation with love, and above all else, trust in God and his righteous plan.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Are you currently dealing with a situation where a leader has failed? Describe the situation and make sure everyone understands the basic details.
- What are your biggest challenges or fears that might hold you back from dealing with this situation head-on?
- Talk about what it means to call someone to “repentance”. What does this mean specifically in your current situation?
- Make a list of actionable items for dealing with this. Who will meet with this person for the hard conversation? When and where will you do it? How will you prepare yourself for it? How will you prepare the other person for it? (Consider sending a link ahead of time to help everyone get on the same page before the meeting.)
- Who are the victims in this situation? How can your church come alongside them to help them out? Make a clear plan.
- Who are the “insiders” in this situation? Make a list. Make a plan to meet with them to proactively discuss the appropriate details of this situation.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.