Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Handling Disloyalty in the Church

Lucifer demonstrated the FIRST ACT of disloyalty, and his actions led to his EXCOMMUNICATION from heaven.

12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou
cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:12-14 KJV).

Lucifer’s example shows us that any organization born of strife can only produce strife. What is born of God will remain, and what is born of Satan’s work of strife will be destroyed.

In light of this Bible truth and precedent, faultfinders and usurpers of authority should never believe they can take over a ministry or church from its rightful leaders and then start anything else with a pure motive and expect God’s blessings. A ministry born of strife breeds strife. On the other hand, a ministry born of loyalty breeds loyalty, and such a ministry will produce good fruit in its community.

When strife and disloyalty is found, it is critical that it be handled properly – swiftly and with the authority of scripture. Dismissal, expulsion from the church, and excommunication is the proper response. It is never easy to do this, especially if the person is a friend. It is even more difficult if the person in question has been in a high profile role.

Disloyalty in a church, or on a leadership team, comes as a shock. No one likes to believe it can happen to them – but it does. No one is exempt. Even God experienced disloyalty when Lucifer rebelled. Jesus experienced disloyalty from Judas. I’m sure King David was completely taken by surprise when Absalom, his son, Ahithophel, his friend, and his very own people took up arms and marched on his city.

How to Properly Dismiss a Disloyal Leader

1. Deal with the situation in private.

2. Document the person’s inappropriate behaviors and keep records of all meetings, phone calls, and e-mails.

3. Depending on the circumstances, explain it to the church after everything has been resolved. This will prevent the guilty party from later sowing more seeds of dissent.

In a best case scenario, the disloyal person will have a change of heart and expresses genuine remorse. In this case the person could be restored to fellowship. It is best to let the individual seek repentance on his own, after self-examination. Therefore, I do not advise chasing after the person, but rather letting the person return.

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