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Some of my best friends are Christian leaders. I enjoy being in their company. I thrive in the spiritual environment of men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving Jesus Christ. But now I’ve discovered, unhappily, that both they and I are enmeshed in a tragio-ecclesiastical conundrum. We love Jesus. Our desire is to serve Him with all of our hearts and bring others to the knowledge of this wonderful Savior and Creator. We have preached and taught, laboring over Scripture. We have developed structures and programs and have erected buildings in an effort to accomplish the worthy goals of evangelism and pastoral care. We leaders have, most of us, remained strong spiritually as we have directed these endeavors. We and our staffs pray, read Scripture, strive to obey and follow Jesus and, obviously, attend church. However—and this is the tragedy—we relatively spiritually strong leaders have done these things much outside the aegis of the biblical counsel about leadership and have ignored the examples of not only Paul, but Jesus Himself. One of the results of this is that, in bizarre contradistinction, most of those who attend our churches are in what seems to be a constant state of passivity, spiritual weakness and disrepair.

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