We’re hearing more and more about leaders having moral failings. None of this is new. Leaders have struggled, like the rest of people, with doing the right thing.
However, leaders are often held to a higher standard. The Bible even talks about the price a person will pay to be a teacher. They’re more closely watched. They’re judged. And they may even have to face harsh consequences if they lead people astray.
As I recently cracked open a new book, my spirit was stirred. Something didn’t feel right, especially after I read his introduction, where he talked about his love for his children and wife. A quick Google search showed me why.
This author had an affair, left his wife, and married the woman. His affair is why my heart was pricked as I read the book’s first few pages. I felt I had to put the book down because of what I felt.
What To Do With A Fallen Leader’s Work
There’s an abundance of leaders who have fallen that have created long-standing work. Leaders and pastors are constantly falling. The internet age has made this more apparent with the quick-to-publish news cycle. It’s sad as their failings are published almost as soon as they’re found out and constantly pushed for weeks, months, and even years.
I think my recent experience in putting down a book of a fallen leader was a first for me. Usually, I can push through reading something from someone who has done something wrong. However, this experience was different.
The book focused on knowing God’s will for your life. The author called for readers to learn how to seek after God with their whole hearts.
There seemed to be a disconnect between the author and his actions. I had to put the book down.
I don’t believe you have to do this with every leader’s work. You may not have to get rid of a book, sermon series, or conference message because a leader messed up. But you have to do something.
I believe you will have to do the following with a leader’s work who has fallen:
Pray about it:
Prayer changes things. Prayer also opens us to see what God is doing and has done through the leader.
Pray that God gives you an ear to hear, a heart to discern, and a willingness to obey.
You have a still, small voice within you. He’s speaking to you and trying to make you understand what has happened.
Hear what this voice has to say. Then listen.
Decide what to do:
You’re going to have to decide what to do. You may put away this author’s books or realize that you can still learn from this leader. Whatever you do, you have to take the following steps.
Read the book, or set it aside. Delete the conference talk, or watch it and learn.
Your decision will be up to you. You will have to figure out if it is right or wrong. Then you have to decide your next steps.
Leaders Will Fail
All leaders will fail at some point. They will tell a lie (no matter how big or small), make a wrong decision, or do something worse. These are all failures of leadership.
Knowing that leaders will fail, we all have a decision to make. We get to choose whether or not we continue to listen to the input they have shared with the world.
Some leaders it will be okay to continue to have them pour into your life. Others, you will have to cut out of your life.
Pray, listen, and decide what your steps will be when a leader fails.