I play basketball with guys who work for me. In heated moments, guys who work for me have shoved me, yelled, or elbowed. It was part of the game, part of the day when aging men try to grasp a few more years of playing a sport they love. On the basketball court, the org chart goes out the window. As it should. It should in other places too.
When Christian leaders self-destruct because of lapses in integrity or judgment, it is sometimes discovered that no one held the leader accountable. Often a leader who self-destructs has pulled away from people who would have offered wise counsel, but there are times when the leader was surrounded by people who failed to confront, who never said anything as the leader’s behavior did not match the leader’s words.
Those who failed to confront were often in the uncomfortable predicament of not having the organizational authority to confront. Perhaps the self-destructing leader was “higher on the org chart” or “in a different area all together.” Those who did not say anything felt they could not because “it was not their place.”
Tragic because it is their place; it is our place. When it comes to issues of integrity, the family of God must trump an org chart. On issues of character, being a brother must weigh more than being or not being the boss. When it comes to integrity, the commands in Scripture must trump the channels of communication in an organization.
Bosses who are in sin need brothers to confront them.
Yes, it is risky. To initiate the awkward conversation feels like you are putting friendship and even more on the line.
Yes, the brother may (and often does) respond with the “I am the boss” card. And if the boss does, you can lay your head on the pillow at night knowing you were more than an employee. You were a brother.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)