Thursday, July 25, 2013

Not domineering...

Via Justin Taylor who, after quoting from 1 Peter 5:1,3:
"...I exhort the elders among you...to shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight...not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock."
...links to a post by Sam Storms about what characterizes "Pastoral Bullies." A few of the points:
  • A man can “domineer” or “lord it over” his flock by intimidating them into doing what he wants done by holding over their heads the prospect of loss of stature and position in the church.
  • A pastor domineers whenever he threatens them with stern warnings of the discipline and judgment of God, even though there is no biblical basis for doing so.
  • A pastor domineers whenever he threatens them with public exposure of their sin should they not conform to his will and knuckle under to his plans.
  • A pastor domineers whenever he uses the sheer force of his personality to overwhelm others and coerce their submission.
  • A pastor domineers whenever he presents himself as super-spiritual (his views came about only as the result of extensive prayer and fasting and seeking God. How could anyone then possibly disagree with him?).
  • He domineers by building into people a greater loyalty to himself than to God. Or he makes it appear that not to support him is to work at cross purposes with God.
  • He domineers by short circuiting due process, by shutting down dialogue and discussion prematurely, by not giving all concerned an opportunity to voice their opinion.
  • He domineers by establishing an inviolable barrier between himself and the sheep. He either surrounds himself with staff who insulate him from contact with the people or withdraws from the daily affairs of the church in such a way that he is unavailable and unreachable.
  • Related to the above is the practice of some in creating a governmental structure in which the senior pastor is accountable to no one, or if he is accountable it is only to a small group of very close friends and fellow elders who stand to profit personally from his tenure as pastor.
  • He domineers by making people feel unsafe and insecure should they desire to voice an objection to his proposals and policies. .... [read it all]