Character Crisis

Among the most visible church leaders today, there seem to be plenty of characters but few people of character.
The last few years have not been good for those who have been looking to leaders to guide them through the turbulent tides of life. We trust leaders to be examples and to help us navigate the uncertain waters of daily living. But we often discover that many of these leaders can't navigate these waters themselves.Whether it is politics, religion, sports or business, the defects in leadership seem to be reoccurring too often.

There is a statue of Queen Victoria in the center of the capital city of my country, Nassau, in the Bahamas. Through hurricanes, hot summers and pigeon attacks, she just sits there smiling. She never yields to temptation. Queen Victoria is the perfect example of the greatest ingredient in leadership: character.

Throughout the pages of recorded history and the Bible are scattered the sad stories of great men and women who rose to impressive positions of leadership influence. They exercised skill, courage, passion, faith and all the other qualities we admire in leaders.

Yet many of them failed in the area of character. Abraham succumbed to the compromise of his wife. David surrendered to his lust. Solomon used his influence to indulge his passions.

I am convinced that the future of leadership will be determined by whether a return to character becomes the priority. Recently, much of the focus of leadership has been on position, power, talent and charisma. It is as if reputation has become more important than personal responsibility and position more important than disposition. We need leaders with character.

"Character" is defined by four principles: fixed, predictable, image and statue. "Fixed" means character is stable and set. "Predictable" means character can be trusted and sustain expectations. "Image" means character's nature is inherent and reflects its essence. The last one, "statue," is the most exciting and graphic to me.

Simply put, character is the inherent, predictable nature and moral fiber of a person. You could also say it like this: integrity.

The root meaning of "integrity" is "integrated" or "to be one." In other words, who you are, what you say, what you do and how you appear are all one. There is no dichotomy or division in your person. You are not one thing in public and another in private. Character is present when what you say is what you do.

Most of our leaders seem to be characters but aren't people of character. The Queen Victoria statue illustrates the difference. Character is who you are when no one is watching. Victoria is the same all night as she is all day.

This example reflects the very essence of God Himself. He boasts that He never changes and is the same always. That is why we can trust Him—He is predictable. He is always there.

Character is the principle that protects your purpose and potential. I want to dedicate myself to helping every leader that enters in my influence to pursue this vital principle of leadership.

Character does not develop in a vacuum; it comes through tests, pressure and challenges. Face the temptations and challenges like a statue, and respond only to the Sculptor.

I challenge and encourage you to commit yourself to making the cultivation and development of your character your major priority, and to be an example of one whose integrity endured to the end.n

Myles Munroe is the founder, president and senior pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries International. He is also author of numerous books, including The Spirit of Leadership. He hosts leadership summits in August and November. For more information, visit

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Order Life in the Spirit to actively grow your ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your congregation will stay saturated in God's Word, learn to hear His voice, understand their purpose and calling and move into an active role in your ministry.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Jentezen Franklin encourages church leaders to encourage their flocks to vote their values.

    Why We Must Count the Cost—and Vote

    There is a propaganda war that is raging in this country, and it is full of manipulation, lies, ...

  • Why did you choose the church you attend?

    7 Key Reasons People Choose a Church

    The real issue is not the intrigue of this research; it is what you and your church will do about ...

  • Have you ever had a cringe moment during your church announcements?

    The 7 Deadly Sins of Church Announcements

    Sometimes they just miss the mark, albeit unintentionally.

  • Some of these reasons for leaving the church are simply not plausible.

    7 Reasons People Leave Their Church During Crisis Times

    Some of the excuses are pretty extreme and, quite frankly, lazy.

  • The Key to True Power

    The Key to True Power

    Jesus overturned every worldly idea about power when He introduced the concept of servant leadership.

  • Praying for leaders

    Failing to Do This Can Spell Disaster for the Church

    And it has the potential to destroy many lives.

  • Many of these issues are self-inflicted.

    10 Poisons That Will Kill Any Church

    Here is why the churches that die from them do so by their own hand.

  • Graveyard

    An Autopsy of a Deceased Pastor

    There are eight common patterns to look for.

  • Do yourself and her a favor. Take the target off your pastor's wife's back.

    Why Pastors' Wives Have a Target on Their Back

    Here are three instances of what we are doing to the wives of God's servants sent to ...

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders