If further instances occur of a similar sin, then perhaps more long-term discipline and correction are needed (see Matt 18:15-17; 1Cor 5:1-8; 2Cor 2:5-11; Gal 6:1; 1Tim 5:1,2). There may even be cause for permanent removal from ministry if no true repentance or change is evident, or failures continue to be repeated.
A church leader must use discernment and wisdom from the Holy Spirit to apply proper and loving correction in each situation. Some failures are grievous sins and must be dealt with strongly. It can take up to several years for full restoration and healing to occur. Others might be less severe, and restoration may be sooner, but they still require confrontation and correction.
All correction and discipline should follow the Biblical instruction to “speak the truth in love” (Eph 4:15).
God understands our human frailty and weakness. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s highest good for us (Rom 3:23). But God’s will is always to redeem our purpose and restore relationship with Him and others. God does this in response to our genuine repentance and full submission to His Lordship in our lives (2Cor 7:1-10).
Therefore, as church leaders, let us bring the truth to bear upon our own lives first. Let us be living examples of those who are humble, devoted to Christ and obedient to God’s Word. Then we can help direct the lives of those we disciple. In this way of gentle and humble confrontation (Gal 6:1; 2Tim 2:24-26) we continue to model the character of Christ to those we are training.
THE BENEFITS OF MULTIPLIED LEADERSHIP
As we raise up leaders and transfer the burden of ministry, there will come much fruit. There will be a multiplication of ministry! More people will be effectively reached with the Gospel and more fruit will be gained for God’s glory. Those you lead will find their gifts and callings, and begin to contribute to the health and growth of Christ’s Body.
God gives Moses three promised benefits of multiplying leaders and sharing with them the burden of ministry (Ex 18:22,23).
First, “…it will be easier for you” (Ex 18:22). Shared responsibilities, mutual encouragement and not being alone in leadership make the burden lighter. We can live in Christ’s promise that, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt 11:30).
Second, Moses is told that raising up leader-laborers will cause him to “be able to endure” (Ex 18:23). Oftentimes, church leaders become weary in the task. They may feel overwhelmed, worn down or discouraged. They may become ill or overcome by temptation. They may even be tempted to quit the ministry. In order to endure to the end, church leaders need help. Moses had Aaron and Hur (Ex 17:8-13), and heeded Jethro’s counsel to raise up even more leadership.
Third, all the people will benefit and “…go to their place in peace” (Ex 18:23). The sheep in the Body of Christ need to be taught, cared for and ministered to. If they are neglected, they may go astray. They may develop problems that the devil will use to lead them into error or sin.