Like it or not President Obama is the President of the United States and the Commander-In-Chief of our armed forces. He was voted in by democratic elections and will serve in those roles for at least four years. Many years ago General Stanley McChrystal took an oath to defend this nation…and to honor the chain of command. That chain includes answering to, following the direction of and remaining publicly loyal to the Command-In-Chief…and his staff. With the recent Rolling Stone Magazine interview General McChrystal failed miserably as a leader, as an example and as a member of the armed forces. More than likely he will be fired or forced to resign…a high price to pay for disloyalty.
Following the leader in any organization is not an option…it is an expectation. Whether the leader is voted in or called by God…they are the leader. You may disagree behind the scenes…you may disagree in a disagreeable way in private…but in public…loyalty is a must. If you can’t remain loyal…walk away…quietly. I realize that in the church world that sometimes leaders fail morally…and that…and that alone…is the one time to not remain silent. But to disagree with policy, tactics, strategy, procedure or structure is never a reason to become disloyal…to spout off your opinion to those you are trying to lead…to illicit support against the leader…or to cut the legs out from under the leader.
Rarely is a month that goes by when I don’t have someone come to me after church and tell me how much they want to be a lay leader at Compass Point. They then proceed to tell me all of the bad things about their previous church, pastor or staff. Most months I also get calls from guys that want to be on staff. They tell me how awesome they are and how lousy their previous pastor was. Trust me when I tell you this…those people will NEVER serve in leadership at Compass Point. If I put them in a leadership role…I will NEVER be able to trust them or have confidence in their leadership abilities. Mainly I know that there will come a time when they will be talking to another pastor…about me.
There will be times when people disagree with the leader…and that is natural. There are Compass Point leaders that disagree with me at times. Some times those disagreements are God’s way of telling me I’m heading down the wrong path. Sometimes those disagreements serve to tell the leader it’s time for them to move on. Sometimes those disagreements are because the leader has little faith in what God can do. Sometimes those disagreements are because we are taking great risks with the possibility of great loss….or great success. Whatever the reason…they all know that I will remain loyal to them when dealing with the congregation as a whole…and I know they will remain loyal to me when talking to others. It’s a mutual respect, understanding and culture that is A MUST if we are going to reach people for Christ.