Storm after storm is crashing down upon pastors and leaders in the Body of Christ at tsunami levels.

Leadership is more demanding than ever. The last 24 months have stretched us beyond belief. We are in trying times, and leaders need more than an umbrella to survive this storm. This leaves many people asking – Can Pastors & Leaders Survive the Current Leadership Storm?

Pastors are resigning in record numbers, and churches are closing at an alarming rate. In times like these, our foundations must be strong. 

We need leaders with a foundation that can withstand a storm in tsunami measures.

Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24–27, ESV).

Leaders are falling

Leaders are falling like flies in the Christian world. We have witnessed the fall of 4–5 mega-pastors in the past 15 months. A few days ago, we lost a pastor from Houston, Texas, and this church was once one of the fastest-growing churches in America. What happened? Well, we know the obvious things that snare us – gold, glory, and girls. To interpret these, it means money, pride, and sexual sin. 

But let’s go deeper than the symptoms of failure, and let’s dive into the fruit. 

At some point, these gifted leaders lose sight of their God-given identity. Success is often the setup to fail.

Success and failure are both journeys.

Some leaders get intoxicated with success and lose sight of their need for God. Popularity is intoxicating, and leaders believe they are invincible. They also believe that popularity can deliver them from poor judgment and sinful choices-it’s a lie of the enemy. 

The enemy is both the tempter and the teller. The devil will tempt you to do something and then tell someone you did it. The enemy chooses to single out leaders because they take others down with them. But temptation is never about the devil alone. The enemy tempts us by using our inner desires against ourself.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone, but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their evil desire and enticed. (James 1:13–14, NIV)

This is why leaders cannot walk alone and integrity and accountability must be mixed in the foundation.  A strong foundation can withstand the storm of temptation. Knowing our identity in Christ is a hack against the storms of life. A lack of identity is equal to double-mindedness.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let, not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5–8, NKJV)

The current calamity has shaken the identity of many leaders and pastors.

Pastors are asking:

  • What is going to happen to my church?
  • Will I survive COVID19–22?
  • Will I survive the added stress?
  • Should I resign? 
  • Is ministry my God calling or my choice?
  • Who am I in all this mess? 
  • Where do I find comfort? 

Yes, there are multiple questions and multiplied struggles. Where should leaders find comfort in this season?  For the Christian leader, the Lord is our comfort and our hiding place. There are alternative comforts and sadly, some reach for those. Alternative comforts include alcohol, porn, food, drugs, shopping, and entertainment. The list goes on and on and the leader gets snared and falls.

Fallen leaders say things like:

  • I lost my way
  • I took my eyes off the Lord
  • I stopped my quiet times and stopped reading my Bible
  • I only studied to preach
  • I forgot who I was
  • I got caught in a web that started in innocence
  • I lost my hunger for spiritual things

 Can you be tempted? Yes. The Prodigal’s son was tempted to leave his Father’s oversight and he did. He lost his way but eventually came to his senses. Why? Because he realized he did not belong in a pigpen.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” (Luke 15:17–19, NKJV)

The identity in the heart of the prodigal son did not match his pigpen experience. He remembered the identity his father had built in him.

Leaders that run to the heavenly Father will survive the current leadership tsunami.

I know this sounds trite. But it is far from that. God is our hiding place, and prayer is the place we pour out our pain, hurt, and temptation. 

Those who spend time with God and His word forge their identity through spending time in the presence of Father God. Those who fail to enforce their identity through the word fall to temptation.

Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which can save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror, for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:21-25, NKJV)

My heart breaks for those who fell into temptation, depression, disease, or mental illness.

To the silent suffering leader, I suggest: 

  • Tell somebody
  • Confess honestly and hide nothing
  • Find a therapist, mentor, or friend
  • Refresh your daily relationship with God
  • Be accountable to others for your progress.

Faithful Pastors

Some pastors and leaders have weathered brutal storms. They stand firm in temptation and defeat the enemy within and without. 

We rarely hear about the faithful pastors and those with impeccable character. Thousands of pastors and Christian leaders have served for decades without a scandal or blemish. These leaders preach their hearts out to small, medium, and large churches without fame or fortune.

Allow me to give a big shout-out to those pastors and leaders who have weathered the numerous leadership tsunamis and remained faithful. 

We thank you!!

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