Challenging Leaders

by | Mar 31, 2004 | Blogs, The Strang Report

I am not alone in my desire to see the church return to biblical standards.

Jack Hayford called it a “watershed moment.” The occasion was a meeting of 50 to 60 key charismatic leaders who came together in Orlando in January to discuss tough integrity issues facing the church (see the report on page 20). In an age when it seems nearly anything goes–even in the church–and when confrontations about conduct, doctrine and morality are often greeted with charges of “judgmentalism” or “legalism,” the symposium convened to determine what can be done to set a standard.


Hayford and I both had felt for a while that we had to do something. We saw that too many leaders who are endeavoring to walk in integrity are hurt by extremists–those who, by their erroneous teaching or extravagant lifestyles, create negative stereotypes for all charismatics. So last fall Hayford wrote an article in Ministries Today magazine calling for accountability.


Then we decided to host an invitation-only meeting of ministers who are concerned about the same integrity issues that concern us. The group included charismatic leaders from several major denominations as well as various independent “streams.” Our common denominator was a commitment to God’s Word in the power of the Spirit.


Hayford set the tone for the meeting by declaring that charismatics must shed the image that our convictions regarding basic, Christ-like values are foggy. “By reason of an absence of a collective voice to address this,” he said, “the silence seems to be approval, or, at the very least, an indifference to righteous standards.”


A longer analysis of the meeting by Hayford appears in the March/April issue of Ministries Today, along with a copy of a statement, dubbed the “Orlando Statement,” that was drafted by the group. “I was impressed how quickly common acknowledgment was made that a reasonably practical, solidly biblical statement be set forth,” Hayford wrote in Ministries Today. “All expressed concern that a tidal drift from the stream of the Spirit’s purity and from leadership accountability be stemmed.”


I was encouraged by the strong affirmations made by other leaders. As a Christian journalist for the last 28 years, I have seen ministries rise and fall and some increasingly disturbing trends develop. A decade ago, leaders of a widely known charismatic church were accused by more than two dozen women of gross sexual wrongdoing by the leadership. When we appealed to leaders to investigate the charges, the response was to sweep the issue under the rug. Recent experience has shown that a similar attitude on the part of Roman Catholic leaders created one of the greatest crises that denomination has faced in 50 years.


Unquestionably, there are wonderful things happening. But it seems that not a month goes by that another scandal doesn’t develop. This month Lee Grady reports in his column that in at least one city charismatics are saying churches should condone homosexuality.


The leadership symposium was an encouragement to me that, like the prophet Elijah who believed he was the only one serving God but found out there were 7,000 other prophets that had not bent their knee to Baal, I am not alone in my desire to see the church return to biblical standards of life and ministry.


The symposium and its resulting statement was Step No. 1 in a process that must continue. I hope the statement will be widely accepted, and I’m urging all ministry leaders to affirm it.


Please read it on our Web site, www.ministriestoday.com, and then post your comments. I believe a tidal wave of response will make a statement not only to the church but also to the world. It will show that we are committed to focusing on the church’s greatest calling, emphasized at the symposium by evangelist Reinhard Bonnke: winning souls.


Our hope, as Rod Parsley so aptly expressed it, is that “a paradigm shift can take place in the leadership and the body of Christ at large, where souls, once again, truly become our focus.”


Stephen Strang, founder of Charisma, hosted the symposium in Orlando in January. Go to www.ministriestoday.com to access the Orlando Statement.

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

Can Sin Send You to Hell?

Can Sin Send You to Hell?

There is no individual sin that sends a person to hell. We have all sinned and therefore need a Savior. John 3:18 (NKJV) says, "He who does not believe is condemned already." Jesus is the only One who could take our sins upon Himself and pay the penalty of death that...

Maps, GPS and Your Journey With God

Maps, GPS and Your Journey With God

When you go for a drive, do you like the process of planning using a map, or do you grab your GPS and hit the road? I have a friend who refuses to use her GPS. She loves planning and dreaming with a map in hand. She charts the mileage, looks at the route and maybe...

Prophetic Word: Don’t Hold On to Your Unbelief

Prophetic Word: Don’t Hold On to Your Unbelief

Look within your heart and honestly assess the state of your trust in the Word of the Lord. This hour of history is too important. God is speaking clearly! Are you taking Him at His Word or believing in what your circumstances are telling you? Hebrews 3:16-19 (NLT)...

5 Reasons Prayers Are Not Answered

5 Reasons Prayers Are Not Answered

Many Christians struggle with consistency in their prayer life, or they simply don’t pray because they were discouraged when they did and nothing happened. By going to God only when we need something, we devalue prayer. Prayer is a means by which we get to know God....

Is the False Prophet Alive and Well on Planet Earth?

Is the False Prophet Alive and Well on Planet Earth?

Note: As the World Economic Forum rolls out the "Great Reset’"—and a new poll shows 77% of the public is concerned "microchip implants will be used to usher in a never-before-seen level of totalitarian control"—an Israeli professor and New York Times bestselling...

Knowing the Character of God When It Matters Most

Knowing the Character of God When It Matters Most

If you have found yourself in the direct path of a searing fire in life, your bravest choice is to recognize who God is and then glorify Him as Lord. If you refuse to recognize the character and goodness of God when the temperature of life is uncomfortably high, you...

RECENT ARTICLES

Don’t Make ‘Parties’ as an Excuse for Over-Indulging

I love a party or any get together where there is food. How about you? However, it is a big excuse many use for not losing weight. I had this excuse. It went something like this, “I can’t lose...
Relax and Let the Holy Spirit Work in You

Relax and Let the Holy Spirit Work in You

Here’s an honest confession: I struggle to rest in the Lord. Maybe I’m a bit compulsive, but I find it difficult to be still and know that God is working when I can’t see what He’s doing. When I need the Lord to do something in my life, I tend to “help Him” do it. But...

3 Qualities of Successful Kingdom Leaders

3 Qualities of Successful Kingdom Leaders

If you grew up in the 1990s, you knew Mike. Michael Jordan, that is. It was spectacular to watch him play basketball. He’d make “impossible” shots with only three seconds left on the clock and win the game, It happened … for years! What you might not know is that he...

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the apostles in Acts 1:8 (NLT), “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Jesus promises a gift that would give them comfort, power, strength and encouragement. That gift is the Holy Spirit, and that...

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

One of the wonderful things about reading through the Bible is that the more you read it, the more things you find within its pages. No matter how many times you read a verse or a series of verses, because the Bible is a living document, there will always be more to...

Pin It on Pinterest