Lord, have mercy!

I often find myself coming to 2 Corinthians 11: 28 where Paul makes mention of his “deep concern for all the churches.” (NKJ)  In a different way I too have a deep concern, but for the leaders of churches; because as the leadership goes, so goes the church in many, if not most, situations.

I have deep concern because I’m seeing more and more leaders (especially those of larger multi-site churches) being declared unfit and being removed, or removing themselves.

In this post I don’t want to go into the whys of the disqualification or removal or the pros and cons of larger mega multi-site churches, but rather want to share what I have started praying for leaders.

I realize that what is happening to far too many larger churches can just as well happen (and probably has happened) to leaders of smaller churches, but these leaders of smaller churches don’t generate the attention that the more well known national and international leaders do.

Here are five things I am praying for a list of leaders I either know or read about:

1.  Humility

It was the late John Stott who said: “Humility is our best friend and pride is our worst enemy.” I am praying that when these leaders are fruitful and looked up to, that it wouldn’t go to their heads, but that they will remain truly humble, teachable and dependent and not fall into the trap of thinking it’s all about them and become part of the celebrity leader culture which is so prevalent today. I love Mark 10:42, 43 (The Message paraphrase) where Jesus says to his disciples:

“You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, he said, and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you.”

I have noted that it’s not just godless rulers (leaders) but Christian leaders as well who throw their weight around when they get a little power (success, acclaim, position, money, hits on blog sites, book deals and conference speaking opportunities). Now I’m not knocking any of these success symbols. It’s not what happens to us, but what’s happening in us that gives rise to pride/arrogance. Unfortunately, it has been that way with too many “successful leaders” in the body of Christ. So I am praying for genuine God-given humility for leaders

2.  Purity

I am praying for sexual purity as well as purity of motive (what is driving or motivating me: God’s glory or my glory? (John 7:18) I am asking the Lord of the harvest to keep leaders faithful to their spouses and their children both in actual behavior as well as in what they choose to listen to, watch and think about. It is clear from what I’ve read that many male Christian leaders (and some female leaders as well) struggle with sexual addictions and, specifically, with pornography. May I recommend an excellent  “Book Note” on Romans 6-8 by John Stott which you can find on my website davekraft.org under the “Writing” tab Titled: John Stott Romans 6-8.

On Monday, March 4th, I will continue with these additional three things I’m praying for leaders

  • Integrity
  • Contentment
  • Balance