We must also remember that the church or ministry we lead does not belong to us. We are simply stewards of a portion of Christ’s Body, the Church He is building! Believing otherwise leads to self-importance and the desire to control “our” ministry. That will become a place where the deadly sin of pride will try to enter in. Humble yourself before God and resist the devil’s trap of pride!
As church leaders, we must adequately train others and lead them by example. We must then give them specific tasks to accomplish or roles to fulfill. We must be available to help them while they are still learning. And we must release them to do the work of ministry!
c. Dealing with Failure
Not one of us is perfect. This is not a new revelation! However, we must remember this as we release new leaders into ministry positions. They will have points of struggle, even failure. They may not properly carry out their ministry assignments. They may even fall into temptation and sin. This does not have to happen; but it might in some cases.
Failure in God’s Kingdom can be of great use in the process of growth and shaping. Jesus sent out His disciples on several occasions, aware that they might fail.
In one instance, they could not cast out a demon (Mark 9:14-29). Jesus did not reject His disciples for their inabilities or failures. Rather, He used those times as teaching opportunities. “…His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ So He said to them, ‘This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting’” (Mark 9:28,29).
The disciples asked Jesus a question. His answer brought them correction and instruction. He taught them that they must be spiritually prepared for encounters with the demonic.
As one who trains others, remember this: In God’s Kingdom, correction is NOT rejection! God corrects us because we are His children (Heb 12:3-11). We must show love and patience with those we are training. We can use their failure as an opportunity for encouragement and further instruction.
A LEADER WHO FALLS
There are unfortunately some failures that require removal from ministry for a season, or even permanently. This is not for failing in a responsibility or improperly fulfilling a ministry assignment. Those type of failures involve correction, teaching and encouragement.
The kind of failure that disqualifies one for ministry involves sin and direct involvement in “works of the flesh” (Gal 5:16-23). This includes adultery, fornication, stealing, lying, divisiveness and other grievous sins.
If this type of behavior occurs in one who is in ministry (or training for ministry), it must be confronted. They must be removed from ministry responsibilities for a goodly season (this can be years) to allow time for deliverance, healing and the restoration of damaged relationships.
The leader must also bring forth fruits of godly repentance (2Cor 7:9-10). They must make sincere confession and accept responsibility for their failure. They should willingly relinquish their ministry responsibilities. They should also be willing to submit to church leadership (or a group of fellow pastors to whom they can be accountable) for a season of restoration and healing. They must exhibit a consistent track-record over time of godly behavior without similar failures before taking up leadership responsibilities can be considered. This is for the protection of the flock, and the true and full deliverance of the person who failed.