6 Super-Unhealthy Leaders to Avoid

by | Sep 19, 2017 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

A good friend of mine almost suffered spiritual shipwreck recently because he began following a ministry that claimed to be on the “cutting edge” of revival. The leader uses all the popular buzzwords: He is “prophetic,” he sees “healing miracles” in his meetings and he even claims to have face-to-face meetings with Jesus. But in the end, it turns out this self-appointed leader is an immoral man who has left a trail of spiritual abuse behind him.

It breaks my heart that our movement is still struggling with poor leadership. I believe we have made great progress over the past two decades, and the rate of moral failure and scandal seems to be declining. But we have a long way to go.

That’s why one of my passions is to encourage healthy leadership among Christians. When you consider unhealthy leaders, there are mainly six types, which I have listed below. You would be wise not to follow them. You would be even wiser not to become like them:

The arrogant narcissist. The best leaders are those who have been broken by God. Like Jacob, they have wrestled with God and walked away with a limp. Their own ego has been subdued. Leaders will become dangerously self-centered if they skip this process. If a leader views his church or business as a vehicle to advance his own agenda, he will view people as cogs in his machine and they will end up being used and abused. This is why Paul warned Timothy: “Do not lay hands on anyone too hastily” (1 Tim. 5:22, NASB). Leaders who have not gone through the fires of testing always end up hurting others.

The cold professional. Unbroken leaders don’t know how to build healthy relationships. They tend to be aloof, and they are always in “business mode.” They are all work and no play. The organizations they build may seem successful, but there is no warmth. The churches built by these professionals focus on numbers, buildings, fund-raising and big goals, but they lack true fellowship. The focus is always on the performance, while people’s real needs are ignored.

The angry tyrant. There’s a reason Paul warned the early church never to put an angry leader in a top position (see 1 Tim. 3:3). Just as anger disqualified Moses from leading Israel into the Promised Land, the same attitude will remove God’s blessing from a leader today. Angry leaders use fear and manipulation to dominate people. Pastors with this problem can even use spiritual threats, unreasonable demands or even public humiliation to convince their followers to be loyal. Tyrants are driven by fear, so they are suspicious of people in their churches or organizations who are successful. Like Saul, they will feel threatened by younger leaders—and they will throw spears at them.

The insecure know-it-all. A healthy leader will seek out mentors and coaches to help him or her grow. But some leaders are too prideful to ask for help. They will instead use titles to create an aura of importance. Their lack of experience may even lead them to plagiarize or to invent fake credentials. Instead of asking a group of wise counselors to correct them, they will surround themselves with yes men who are equally as insecure as they are. They never seek input from their subordinates. And when things go wrong, the leader will always look for a scapegoat to blame instead of admitting his mistakes.

The indecisive weakling. Real leaders have strong spines. They know how to lead even in tough times. This should always be done prayerfully, of course, but a true leader will not drag out the process. Joshua, for example, was decisive; he swallowed his fears, figured out God’s strategy and motivated the people to march into Canaan. He didn’t let obstacles paralyze him. Some leaders adopt one goal, then six months later they quietly bury that goal and shift the emphasis to something else. They tend to follow public opinions, the latest fads or the success of a competitor rather than their own convictions. After a few years the people feel they have been jerked around by a reckless driver.

The closed-minded risk avoider. Some leaders are scared of change. They love maintenance mode. But the leaders affirmed in Scripture did not play it safe. The apostle Paul, for example, risked his neck to take the gospel into new territory. Even when traditional believers pressured him to “keep it Jewish,” Paul knew the Holy Spirit was directing him to reach the Gentiles. True leaders know you can’t effect change without thinking outside the box. True leaders stay flexible. And true leaders are willing to follow God even when people criticize them for challenging the status quo.

Let’s pray that God will give us leaders who are broken, humble, courageous, loving, faithful and Christlike. And pray that He will give you those same qualities.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era The Lord first began speaking to me about the release of seven abilities...

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

Many years ago, Jesus went up on a mountain, sat down, and spoke to the group he was with: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all...

10 Traits of Effective Churches During the Global Pandemic

10 Traits of Effective Churches During the Global Pandemic

In the past few years, the global pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of many local churches. Friends from around the world have told me that many churches have closed their doors for good. Although most churches have not returned to their pre-pandemic attendance...

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

What does an authentic world-igniting revival look like? And, how are the seeds of revival planted? This we can learn from the life and work of William Joseph Seymour—God’s chosen vessel and apostle of the Azusa Street Revival.  Bishop William Joseph Seymour, was a...

Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Once a year, I go to the doctor and get a check-up. And every time, one of the things they do is check my heart. A good thorough exam will reveal if there are any problems that need to be addressed before a heart condition arises. I believe we need to do the same...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am Releasing My Firebrands’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am Releasing My Firebrands’

Recently while in worship, I was talking to the Lord when this prophetic flow began to come forth. I took out my phone and pressed record. This is the transcription of that word I received: "God, I see the firebrands rising up. God, I see the firebrands rising up. I...

How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

The best way to grow in the prophetic is to look at the past. As backwards as that sounds, Revelation 19:10 tells us, “For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.” In other translations, this is said, “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness...

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

As a professional counselor, I have consoled hundreds of Christians through some of the most horrific life circumstances. Along with experiencing my own trials in life, it has caused me to deeply ponder the words of Scripture that refer to how we must learn to live in...

RECENT ARTICLES

Kingdom Economics: Who Do You Trust?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first of three estimates for second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Second-quarter inflation-adjusted (real) GDP fell at an annual rate of...
Jesus is My Friend, Not Sugar

Jesus is My Friend, Not Sugar

It’s been at least 10 years since I’ve had cake for my birthday, which I celebrated recently. Strawberries with nuts are my favorite treats today. That was definitely not my choice in years past until I made some monumental decisions in about 2009. Not eating sugar...

Protecting the Promises of God for Your Life

Protecting the Promises of God for Your Life

I was walking along one of my favorite beaches, and it was turtle season. Early each morning, park services ride along the beach looking for new sea turtle nests. They record the nest's location, place stakes and rope off the location so that people do not disturb the...

Curt Landry: What Are the Dangers of Soul Ties?

Curt Landry: What Are the Dangers of Soul Ties?

Soul ties form when we act in accordance with the flesh when developing or growing in a relationship with another person. This could be any relationship formed or grown out of shame, guilt, embarrassment, pride, loneliness, doubt and the like. Soul ties can develop...

There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Leave a Church

There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Leave a Church

This pandemic season hasn’t been easy—but pastors have suffered in unique ways. Statistics show that between 20-30% of churchgoers stopped attending in 2020, and the bulk of those people have not returned. In many cases, they never said goodbye. Many of my best...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]