Wednesday, May 23, 2007


It's All About Trust

MMI is looking at the issue of trust of church leadership. It is a heck of a question, but I am saddened that he only attacked it amongst staff. What about congregational trust? I think he might find a different result. While it is encouraging that trust levels seems to be higher in the church than in general business, one has to wonder why.

As a former ministry professional, I live in a world of disillusioned people. Some will never trust the church, any church, again. Most know that church is necessary but are very cynical. Almost all feel trust MUST BE FIRST EARNED, it is not granted by virtue of position or office. Frankly, I think this is the state of the general public and most congregations when it comes to ministry professionals.

I also think much of the results Todd saw in his little survey were because he was dealing primarily with younger staff members. Of course, there is no data to back this up, I'm just guessing. Most young people enter professional ministry with a set of rose colored glasses, and eventually they get broken.

No longer does the title "Reverend," or "Pastor," or "Father" grant automatic credence and deference to an individual. Why? It is too easy to blame it on the continued secularization of society. Until recently, even the secular granted some deference to the ordained. Nope, trust in general has slipped because trust in general has been abused. In fact, I think that single fact contributes more to the secularization of society than any other factor.

Of course, there are the big violations of trust, financial scandal, sex scandal, etc. But let us consider some others.

I could go on and on. These are all, by the way, incidents with which I have personal experience - I am not making them up.

So what is the point? The point dear frineds is that professional ministry staff has no greater calling than to be increasingly Christ like. Everything done builds trust and trust reflects the gospel. Each offense, major or minor, each sin, seen or unseen, robs the gospel message of its power. we are the Holy Spirit's insturments for His ministry - if we allow ourselves to be dull and in ill-repair, His effectivenss is greatly compromised.

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