To develop strong and effective leadership in these challenging times, it is essential to recover the issue of the negative image that the world has of Christians.
Possibly 90 percent of the world’s population believes that there is a Supreme Being who created all things and rules the universe. Even atheists or primitive people in the jungles confess and mostly acknowledge having a metaphysical and spiritual need that they do not fill with their unbelief. I dare to say that the majority of these people, including non-Christians, as revealed by a survey by the Barna group that covers the period 2004 to 2017, do not have major theological problems related to Jesus and the Bible, their problem is with the attitudes they perceive on the part of Christians.
Thirty-eight percent of non-Christians surveyed have a wrong impression of Christians, especially for what they perceive as hypocritical and judgmental attitudes. It should come as no surprise that the number of non-Christians increased by the same study reported as part of David Kinnaman’s book highlights. The Barna group indicates in their study that 23 percent of people over 61 declare themselves non-Christians, 27 percent of people between 42 and 60, and 40 percent between 16-29.
It is a tremendous change if we take into account that those who declare themselves Christians and regular churchgoers ages 16-29 agree that Christianity is hypocritical saying one thing and doing another. In 52 percent of cases, there is a visible image problem with non-Christians and Christians. It is not a theological problem, but it has to do with leadership and followers. It is not a problem of religious knowledge or logos but life with fruits of the spirit or my service as a believer.
In the course of my leadership, I have come across all sorts of non-Christian attitudes among Christians. I accept that newly converted people require a processing time to spiritual maturity. Still, when you meet people, especially in positions of authority and influence over congregations, ministries with more than a decade reconverted using gossip, lies, defamation, slander and even verbal abuse to persecute other believers with whom they can disagree, when they compete and do not try to serve God sincerely, one cannot escape the fact that the perception of hypocrisy by believers and non-believers has a factual hold.
Most of the time, when I have been the target of any of these actions, and we accept that this can happen as a consequence of fulfilling God’s purposes because when we do what God pleases, there will be attack persecution. Still, I have left everything in my hands of my lawyer Jesus Christ, after all, it is His work, and I am just a servant.
Not long ago, the unfounded words and references of a sister in faith who served an influential Ministry in communication with friends and concerts of the denomination led me to raise the matter to the attention of her superior, in accordance with the ministerial ethics, for the immediate act responsibly we can and should show the other cheek to anyone. Still, among believers, there is a discipline that should not be avoided.
No one is perfect as a leader, but that does not exempt us from God when arrogance and lack of compassion lead us out of jealousy and envy to treat the reputation of a servant or a conserve lightly. Let’s understand the damage is not only caused to the reputation of that person but to those who were going to be blessed with their service, that is to say to the body of Christ, this is an example of spiritual abuse.
The Bible has left us a clear procedure to follow when we have significant differences with other believers, mainly because of sin. No servant leader has the right to omit it in Matthew 18, verses 15 to 17. We are instructed to reprimand in private. If he or she listens to you, you have won your brother or a sister. So the first step should always be as Jesus teaches us among the members of the family of faith to speak face to face and without witnesses. But if the person refuses not to listen, we are authorized to bring one or more witnesses, and if he continues to insist on sinning, he can be denounced before the Church.
At the beginning of this year, I faced an authority that, after launching a furious unjustified verbal attack, refused to accept the advice of Jesus and replied that this was for spiritual babies. I could write an anecdote with the many similar experiences that I have lived as a believer and servant in the last 30+ years of my Christian life. I understand what the statistics show that it is based on a real problem of testimony that we do not always live what we teach, and this is called spiritual and emotional immaturity.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271371968_UNCHRISTIAN_WHAT_A_NEW_GENERATION_REALLY_THINKS_ABOUT_CHRISTIANITYAND_WHY_IT_MATTERS access 4/13/2020