It’s Called Life and There Are No Exceptions
Ministers and leaders experience issues like divorce, kids being in rebellion, and grieving the loss of loved ones just like anyone else—it’s called life. But they experience these things on a well-lit stage in the midst of being leaders to others. Who do they go to in order to deal with their issues? Better yet, who does the doctor go to when he needs to be healed? The answer is rather simple: they must develop “behind the veil” relationships to get different perspectives on the matter. The Bible says there is safety in a multitude of wisdom, so we must become accountable to one another—no silos and no isolation.
Relationships are critical because everything in our lives grows and blooms at the speed of relationship. Now, that’s wisdom that will preach! We are relational beings created after God’s image. No man can be an island out there by himself and expect all to be perfectly well. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve had thoughts in my head that seemed right, only for me to bounce it off my wife or a trusted friend and find that I was way off and wrong. It was the RELATIONSHIP that caused me to open my eyes and see it from a different perspective.
Many times preachers may have a pulpit-to-pulpit or even a business relationship with each other, but God wants us to have friendships that eventually require vulnerability. Many avoid vulnerability as if it were a plague because of past brokenness or disappointment that came about as a result of misplacing people in the wrong “relationship bin.” You see, there are three relationship bins: outer court relationships, inner court relationships, and behind the veil, in the holy-of-holies relationships. We have to use wisdom as leaders to be able to discern the character and heart of a person in order to wisely choose the right bin for our relationship with them. A ministry leader whose weaknesses or character flaws are displayed to folks in the inner or outer courts will have their business spread throughout the community. These matters should be dealt with behind the veil, in the holy-of-holies type relationships.
What happens if a pastor’s flaws or deeds become exposed for the world to see? Unfortunately, many churches tend to reject what they view as fractured, broken, or simply just messed up. Sometimes, those who’ve built “status” don’t want to be seen relating to those in disgrace because they are afraid it may affect their own image AND their money. However, ministry leaders that have fallen from grace need to be restored and rebuilt. We shouldn’t throw them away. Their ministry actually stands to become strengthened either as a result of humility brought on by shame and guilt, or because they can now identify with the weaknesses and infirmities of other folks without being judgmental.
At the end of the day, pastors need friendships and relationships—not isolation. Remember, there is no room for self-righteousness in this thing we call life. Ministers and leaders are HUMAN, first, so let he that is without sin cast the first stone.