kevin conner is one of my accountability partners and one of my closest friends. because he buys me stuff.
he recently brought me a set of the dvds from “the elephant room” (described in the promo material as “blunt conversations between seven influential pastors who share a common love for the Gospel but take differing approaches to ministry. No keynotes. No canned messages. These are “the conversations you never thought you’d hear.”). if you’re interested here is a taste.
i’ve not watched them all, but what i have seen has been enthralling and disturbing.
there is one glaring deficiency in the lives of some of the “influential pastors” on this panel: it is the fruit of the spirit, gentleness (KJV: meekness). the greek word is praotēs and it means “gentleness, mildness, meekness.” dictionary.com defines meekness as “humbly patient; not easily provoked.”
granted, i cannot possibly make judgments about their lives/ministries from watching these interviews, but did i mention that the deficiency was glaring? if i may be so bold, it seems to me that gentleness is completely absent in the demeanor of some of these guys. dictionary.com (again) lists antonyms for meekness as “arrogance, egoism, pretentiousness, pride, self-importance.” and those are the characteristics i saw in the lives of these guys that have set themselves up as role models. in abundance.
i guess what i’m trying to say is that i want (and want to be) a humble leader. i get weary of the type-a, quasi-violent, “you can’t tell me how to lead” kind of guy. i don’t want a pansy, either, but jesus described himself as “gentle and humble in heart” (matthew 11:29) and isn’t he supposed to ultimately be our example?
the apostle peter warned against false teachers who would show up in the last days; men he describes as, “bold and arrogant” and who “despise authority.” it just seems to me that as a godly leader, i must choose between gentleness and aggression…between humility and arrogance. i can’t have it both ways. scripture says the Lord “detests” and “resists” and “opposes” the proud of heart. arrogance in a church leader is utterly indefensible.
problem is, an arrogant man is always the last one to recognize arrogance.
(by the way, paul wilkinson over at “thinking out loud” has a great post along these lines. take a moment and check it out!)