In an age of evangelicalism that is fraught with scandals we must continually remind and ground ourselves in the biblical criteria for leadership. Otherwise, we will lose all of our credibility within our churches and before the world. In addition, every church’s board of trustees should insist their pastor be accountable to a higher body of leadership or presbytery. This can aid in steering clear of unnecessary challenges related to ministerial integrity.
I. Senior executive leaders see the whole picture; Secondary leaders and staff see the picture in fragments
Often people don’t understand why executive leaders make certain decisions, because they are viewing the situation from their own narrow perspective and realm of influence while the senior leader sees everything from “30.000 feet.” Often, people are looking out only for their department or ministry (Sunday school, youth ministry, family ministry, or the workers in the assembly line in a factory, etc.) because doing so protects their interests. Meanwhile, the senior leader has to exercise leadership based on the whole picture of the puzzle, not just the individual pieces.
One of the greatest needs in the Body of Christ is to release the spirit of sonship (Read Romans 8:15) Since both the nation of Israel and the church were modeled after the biblical family structure it’s leaders were supposed to function more as spiritual parents than corporate executives. The apostle Paul said that we only have few fathers even though we have numerous teachers (1 Cor. 4) those who have not been properly “fathered” in the natural can tend to walk with an “orphan spirit”. Unfortunately, many leaders in the church and marketplace still function emotionally with an orphan spirit even though they have been adopted as sons into the family of Father/God. Leaders with orphan spirits are limited in their capacity to make disciples and maximize their Kingdom purpose.
I write this article to shed light on this vital subject so leaders can become more self aware, and go to the Lord and others to be healed;
The following are 10 traits of Orphan spirit leaders:
1-They are hyper sensitive
Those with an orphan spirit walk around with a spirit of rejection. Hence, they are hyper sensitive and have an unconscious assumption that people are against them. Consequently, they are easily offended and overreact to minor infractions and or experience continual misunderstandings when inter-facing with others.
2-They don’t know how to be a spiritual parent
Pastors and all mature leaders in the body of Christ should first and foremost function as spiritual fathers that can nurture younger believers (I John 2:12-14). When new people come into the church, they intuitively yearn for spiritual parents who will care for them. Many people are hurt because there is no opportunity presented to them in the church for personal nurture and development.First and foremost, the body of Christ needs their leaders to function as spiritual parents, secondarily preachers and leaders.
3-They are always in competition with other leaders
Those with an orphan spirit have never been affirmed by a father; thus, they are always striving to prove themselves to others. Consequently, in their striving, they find themselves in competition with other gifted leaders (including peers not within their organization).
4-They are driven by a search for significance
Due to the lack of affirmation from a father growing up, those with an orphan spirit are constantly striving to succeed. Hence, they rarely rest but are on a quest to elevate themselves amongst others so they can feel good about themselves. Orphan spirit leaders are driven more by personal ambition than by the Holy Spirit. Hence, it can leave much destruction in their wake as their ambition rather than the Holy Spirit is motivating and directing their work.
5-They don’t know how to emotionally connect
Orphan spirit leaders may be very capable at dispensing tasks out to their followers but may by handicapped when it comes to emotional intelligence. Affirmed sons are better able to connect emotionally with other people since they have already experienced (and developed) an intimate relationship with both their heavenly and spiritual father.
6-They do not feel good about themselves
I have observed that even highly accomplished leaders may have low self-esteem. They desperately try to compensate for this self-disdain by their achievements. Some of the most successful people I have ever met were laden with self-hatred. All this is hidden behind looking good physically with a great public persona but it comes out in one or more of the traits mentioned in this article
7-They do not know how to treat others
Leaders with an orphan spirit often mistreat and or abuse those under their leadership. This comes out sometimes because of the deep subconscious resentment and anger (from being abandoned by their father) embedded in their soul
8-They do not interpret reality correctly
I have found that those who carry an orphan spirit interpret everything through the lenses of their abandonment, rejection and disappointment. Consequently, they interpret reality differently than other people which causes others they hurt to think these leaders are either liars or delusional.
9-People are objectified to obtain their goals
Leaders with an orphan spirit often use people for their own agenda rather than viewing their leadership assignment as a way to love and empower others.
10-They are always looking for approval and recognition
Those with an orphan spirit have a huge void in their heart that only God can fill. Until and or unless they allow the Lord to heal their woundedness, they will live life seeking the approval of others. Their pain is so great they look for temporary (superficial) relief by getting people to notice them so they can receive their accolades.
11- They do not know how to submit to spiritual authority
Those with an orphan spirit have a very difficult time understanding how to be a son to another father. Hence, they have a difficult time trusting anyone enough to receive correction and truly submit to authority and spiritual leadership. I have found that most “lone rangers” are really people with an orphan spirit.
12- they have a difficult time with their own family
Those with an orphan spirit are so driven they often do not keep boundaries. Consequently, they do not know how to relax and spend quality time with their family. Work and accomplishment are always at the center of their life. Also, because they have never been fathered they do not understand how to be a parent and emotionally connect to their biological and spiritual children. These two issues cause great friction between spouses as well as the alienation of children.
13-They have a difficult time relating to God as their Father
Those with an orphan spirit either view God as a harsh taskmaster or as a distant father who cannot be fully trusted. This is because growing up they experienced abandonment from an authority figure and they transferred this view into their relationship with God.They need to have a spiritual experience with God that permeates their soul and revolutionizes their view of Father God. Also, they need a spiritual father in their life who will represent God to them and restore their soul.
In conclusion, nobody has been fully healed emotionally this side of heaven. Every leader (including me) has deep emotional issues and need continual transformation by God. Hence, there are no perfect marriages, children and leaders. (As well as no perfect churches and or organizations)
May the Lord use teachings like this to open our eyes, help us be self aware, and look for Him to bring people, situations and His word to conform our heart, mind and soul into the image of Jesus the only perfect Son of the Father.
A few years ago, the mainstream media has reported that two high-level conservative Republican leaders, U.S. Senator John Ensign and Governor Mark Sanford, have had ongoing adulterous affairs.However, after that a conservative New York Congressman Vito Fossella was stopped for driving while intoxicated in Virginia and exposed as an adulterer, forcing him out of the political arena. Senator Ensign’s affair was with a member of his own staff whose husband also served on the same staff (at the same time). Governor Sanford had at least a year-and-a-half relationship with an Argentinean woman whom he has called his “soul mate” in spite of being married. During his last liaison, he flew to Argentina without telling anyone where he was, even though he is a standing governor! (Just goes to show how cloudy one’s mind can become when it is engulfed in sin and deception.)
One of the biggest challenges for contemporary leaders arises from the large amount of available information. We not only have the challenge of information overload, but too many options and opportunities to make our organizations, ministries, and lives more effective. Leaders must learn to streamline their focus in order to maximize their lives.
Following are twelve principles regarding streamlining focus.
The Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest motivator and example of living a purposeful life that the world has ever seen! He lived by the scriptures since He is the living Word of God (John 1:1), this is why all the greatest books on leadership and management operate with latent biblical principles whether intentional or not.
We have an unhealthy church culture in which people in ministry and leadership often believe they are above what they sing and preach. For example, many worship team members and leaders habitually go hang out somewhere in the church building after they “perform” and do not sit under the word. Also, many elders and leaders in the typical local church lead small groups and/or preach, but themselves do not have a place in the church for personal ministry and accountability. Also, often lead pastors preach accountability and submission to authority, but themselves have no one outside their local church that speaks into their lives.
As we all know by now, thousands of lead pastors leave full-time church ministry every year. Along those lines, a high percentage of new church plants never make it past three years! One reason is that most potential lead pastors never honestly attempt to ask themselves the following questions:
Unfortunately, in every level and realm of life we have all witnessed serious leadership failure! It is no longer a surprise when we read about a high-level pastor, celebrity, sports figure or politician who is disgraced because of ethical or moral failure.