This is a constant plague in church leadership. It typically begins well, when we appoint or elect or volunteer someone to a position within the congregation. We approve of said move because we believe this person to have a good head on their shoulders, and to be a strong person of character and faith. But then, in that fateful moment, when the church leadership makes a decision which we don't understand or with which we don't agree . . . they must be out for control of the church, they have never been gifted for leadership, their faith isn't as strong as mine, they obviously don't pray or else they would see it my way, we can never trust their leadership from this point forward.
In a serious sense: What the hell has happened to ourselves?!?!
If the primary mandate of this community is to love God and love others, to which the gates of hell itself would not overcome such commitment, and we are not capable of doing so within ourselves, then our foundation certainly is missing. It appears that many pockets of Christianity have more in common with the pagan gates of hell than they have with the kingdom of God. I say this because the former is characterized by destruction, the latter with love and edification.
As a pastor, I find myself in this situation quite often. As a young pastor, I find myself in this situation more than many other pastors. As a young pastor in a congregationalist-oriented church, I find myself in this situation all the time. By this I mean to say that some denominational structures and church cultures afford more credence to pastoral authority than others. I'm not saying this is always a good thing, nor am I advocating a more episcopal-looking church structure for myself . . . we are simply not one of those churches.
And so many of us think that anyone who doesn't do everything we think they should in the manner in which we think it should be done is somehow a bad person. I'm certain that in many cases there are many church pastors and leaders who are not good people - and I'm quite certain that I've met some of them - but that doesn't say that love can't overcome them. Living out a kingdom-oriented faith demands that we move beyond such failures and discover a better way.