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Ethics

8 Confessions of Church Spies

Spying-Churches-smallHave you ever thought that a guest at your church might, in fact, be a spy? My church consulting company uses church “spies” to help us evaluate how churches respond to guests. Our spies are “good” spies, though, since their goal is to help a church face reality and move toward health.

Numerous spies have written us reports for more than a decade. Below are some of the most common findings they have sent us.

To be fair, the churches that invite us to work with them know they need help, so these findings should not be entirely surprising. What concerns me is the number of churches that have not yet recognized these findings characterize them too:

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An Overseer’s Response to Sam Hinn’s Re-Ordination (and the Restoration of Other Fallen Leaders)

ron-johnsonWhether you recognize Sam Hinn’s name or know nothing about the ministry of Benny Hinn’s younger brother, there’s an important issue in the body of Christ that needs to be addressed in light of Sam’s “re-ordination” on Sunday night in Orlando, Fla., only eight months after he stepped down from the pulpit due to a serious moral indiscretion.

This and other recent instances—both in Orlando and around the nation—prove that we, as the church, still struggle with how to restore fallen leaders.

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Pastor, What’s On the Plate You Are Passing?

Steve-Reynolds-Losing-Live-smallThe Apostle Paul said, Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27).

Christians are the most overweight people group in America. Have you wondered why this is true? I believe everything rises and falls on leadership, and I believe the main reason people are overweight in the pews is because so many pastors are overweight behind the pulpit.

Like most pastors, for years I chose to ignore the problem, shift blame elsewhere and not make my congregation aware of the importance of being healthy—but not anymore. Now that I’m doing something about my weight and my lifestyle, I no longer have a difficult time speaking to my congregation about this problem.

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7 Ways to Avoid a Public Scandal in Your Life

j-matteraEvery week it seems there is another scandal breaking out with a high-profile person, whether in politics, sports, media or the church. A person could have done much good their whole life but with one act of passion destroy everything they have built.

Proverbs 22:1 teaches us that a good name is worth more than riches. One of the things I have found out through the years is that a person’s name and reputation are their greatest capital in regard to opening doors and having influence in the world; this is a quality people look for even more than gifts, talents or leading a successful enterprise or ministry. This is because people know success built upon gifts and talents and not on the foundation of character and integrity will not last in the long run. All of us are tempted to fall and have the capacity to fail because of our sin nature.

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Who Wants to End Up Like Ted Haggard?

Persecuting-Pasto-smallRecently, I received a call into my Heal Your Servant conference call line. On the other end of the phone, there was the voice of a broken and frightened man. He was sobbing uncontrollably—so much so that it took over five minutes for him to gain his composure enough for me to understand anything he was saying.

He then began to just systematically break down his sexual sin. He stated that when he was a little boy, his dad was very dominating and abusive toward him, his mom and his sisters. The only time he would receive any accolades from his father would be when he acted out with verbal aggression toward his mother or sisters. His father claimed to be a Christian man and always quoted Scripture that emphasized man’s dominance over women.

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Why Megachurch Pastors Keep Falling Into Sexual Immorality

fallen-pastorAnother megachurch pastor has stepped down after admitting to a long-term affair with a woman who’s not his wife.

David Loveless, former lead pastor of Discovery Church in Orlando, Fla., is the third in the area to resign in the wake of immorality in the past six months. He follows Isaac Hunter, former lead pastor at Summit Church, and Sam Hinn, former pastor of the Gathering Place Worship Center in Sanford, Fla.

If those were the only three pastors to rock their churches with sex scandals, it would be hurtful enough. But sexual immorality and idolatry are growing trends in the church—and I imagine they're more prevalent in the pews than they are in the pulpits. The spirit of Jezebel is usually behind this immoral trend.

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