Leadership in the Church
If we are going to be leaders in the Church (Priest and Laity), we have to have courage. There is nothing worse than a wishy-washy leader. There is nothing worse than a leader who makes a decision and then at the slightest sign of discontent they change their mind. It is impossible to please everyone. A priest once said if you don’t have half the people mad at you at any given time, you are not doing your job well.
Those of us who are in leadership need to do what is right, not just what is popular. Hopefully what is right and popular is the same thing. Just because it is popular does not make it right. Whatever we do in the church, if it does not further the message of the Gospel, we should not be doing it. That is the bottom line. We have to have the courage to say that. Every single thing that we do is an evangelistic opportunity, especially for brothers and sisters that have fallen out of faith or weak in the faith. That is vitally important for us. In order to do that, we have to have the courage of our convictions. We have to have a high standard.
Leaders that do not have high standards are another thing that is bad. If we are going to be who we say we are then we have to act that way. If we are going to say we are Orthodox then we have to be a model Orthodox. We have to have compassion. We have to be servant-leaders. The prime example is Jesus Himself. He never put Himself above anyone else. That is the example we have to follow.
Finally, there is the need for commitment in leaders. Let your Yes be Yes and No be No. There are no maybes. We are either going to do it or not. If we are not, we need to say it. No, we can’t do it and that is fine. There is nothing wrong with that. The church is not an organization. Orthodoxy is not a denomination. It is not a faith group. It is a life style. The church is an organism. It lives, it breeds and it exists because it is all of us. We need each other and hopefully we hold each other accountable. That keeps us on the road. We have to be willing to be held accountable.
Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.
This is how the Fathers of the Church interpret the above verse.
Because such universal applause is not to be gained without sinful compliances. He that will be pleasing to all must speak things grateful to all, and do what they like. Now that cannot be good which is grateful to bad men: thus the false prophets, whom the Jews commended, spoke to them smooth things, and prophesied lies, because the people loved to have it so; they prophesied of peace, when war was at hand.