Leadership in Context Episode 6 Show Notes
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Guarding Your Testimony, part 2
Several weeks ago, I wrote an article in response to the things that were happening in the Pittsburgh area regarding the Catholic church. (You can read it HERE.) I urged pastors to be very careful. Little did I know that the Brett Kavanaugh situation would erupt shortly after that.
What we can learn from the Brett Kavanaugh situation:
An accuser does not have to have any facts.
The devil is an accuser.
Had Kavanaugh had any bad, or inappropriate, or misinterpreted behavior with the opposite sex in his adult life, it probably would have sunk his boat.
Sexual compromise is rampant in the church. It knocks many out of the race. We tend to think about people who sin sexually falling out of the ministry, as in a ministry position. But in many local churches, I would say that there are not only leaders, but laity that are being knocked out of the race, having compromised their walk with the Lord, because of sexual sin and misconduct.
This is especially rampant with younger people. When we talk about having a generational vision and wanting the next generation to succeed and go beyond where we were, they are not going to do that if they have weak morality and don’t have a clear code of conduct that is biblical regarding their sexuality.
Leadership is not a theory; it’s not a teaching. Leadership is example. To lead, we must compensate regarding the conditions, not compromise regarding the situation. When you are in a big hole, you need a big ladder to get out. Right now, we need to consider the fact that morality is at a critical low point in church right now. Unwed couples living together is common in many evangelical churches today. Over 50% of the babies being born are born to either unmarried couples or single mothers. We have to pull the pendulum back and realize that it’s not just business as usual. We have to be obvious and clear as to what the biblical standards are AND how to walk them out. Simply telling people not to sin is not all that is required of us.
A Clear Code of Conduct
We need to have a clear code of conduct, and we need to write it down. What is your personal code? What is the code of conduct you want your upper-level leaders to have? How do you want that to filter down to the next group of people, especially the next generation? There is a big difference between “Hey, I don’t do that” as opposed to “This is why I don’t do that” or “This is why I do handle myself in a certain way.”
One of the areas in which we can be an inspiring leader, a great pastor, a spiritual father, is this—when our people look at us, they know that we are absolutely serious about sexual purity. This is one of those areas that you make about them. When I would share my personal code of conduct, I made it about them, not about my own fruit and spirituality. I communicated, “I love you so much. I am so committed. The work that God has given us is so great that these areas are critical. I am walking this out, and I want you to inherit this.” That gave them vision. That gave them inspiration. That gave them dedication. It gave them a great esteem for leaders who would not play footloose and fancy free, or even do things that were accepted in the world (or even in the church), but would go the extra mile to guard their testimony.
Code of Conduct Examples
I never put myself in a counseling or a prayer situation with a woman unless I had someone else there with me. I didn’t even do hospital visits alone if it was a woman. Those times became a great opportunity to disciple someone else as I brought them along with me.
I did not conduct business alone with another woman—a lawyer, a banker, a copier saleswoman. If she was alone, I just didn’t do it. At times, I would even call someone and have them come down to the office so that I wasn’t alone. If I was going to their place of business, that was one thing because there were other people there. If I had any inclination that there wouldn’t be other people there, I would take someone with me.
Glass door policy—My office always had glass doors installed so that others in the office could look directly into my office and see me at all times.
I never rode alone in a car with a woman. If I needed to take a woman somewhere, I would take another person with me. I travel a lot, and there was a time when a pastor’s wife called me and said she would be picking me up at the airport. I asked if she had someone else that could come with her. When she replied, “no,” I told her that I could wait at the airport until she could get someone else to come with her. I did explain that obviously it had nothing to do with her, but that I really wanted to guard her testimony and my testimony. (Side note: I’ve never had someone respond that this is a terrible thing.)
Because I taught this and modeled this, my other leaders valued it. This is where you begin to compensate, rather than compromise. This is where there becomes an unwritten rule. People start behaving in a better way, especially towards one another. I want to encourage you to have a policy and share that policy. Some people might observe you and know what you are doing, but you still need to download it to them. Begin to teach that policy.
We are in a deep ditch, but God has given us a ladder. Our moral integrity, our sexual understanding of what is happening in the world, and setting a great example—this is real biblical leadership.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!