Summary: Looks at the causes and consequences of bad leadership, and the characteristics of bad leaders.

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Greedership: Ringing False

The Productive Life, part 2

Wildwind Community Church

David K. Flowers

March 19, 2006

Last week we looked at Titus chapter 1, verses 1-8, where we see the qualifications that the Apostle Paul lays out for those who would aspire to spiritual leadership. (Explain quickly who Paul was.) I told you that you could summarize everything in that section by saying that good spiritual leadership requires commitment to:

God’s cause

God’s people

God’s truth

Today I want to talk to you about bad spiritual leadership. There are two reasons I want to discuss this with you. First is that it’s written here in the book of Titus, and we’re covering the book of Titus right now! Second and most important is because this is the way God has set up the church to operate, and as part of the church you can only benefit by understanding it. The church is not a government organization. The church is not just one more “non-profit.” The church is not a business. It’s a completely unique institution with its own approach to culture, leadership, and management. So today I want to look at Titus 1:9-16, and take a look at the causes of bad spiritual leadership, some characteristics of bad spiritual leaders, and the consequences of bad spiritual leadership. And then I want to close by looking at the call of the good leader to oppose and correct those who are leading badly in the church. Let’s begin by reading through our whole passage this morning, would you stand for the reading of God’s Word, please?

Read Titus 1:9-16 directly from the (NIV) Bible.

Father, I know it is your will that we know and understand your Word. Show us the truth today, please, because in seeing the truth better we see you more clearly. Amen.

If the foundation of good spiritual leadership is commitment to God’s cause, God’s people, and God’s truth, then bad spiritual leadership will be found where one or all of these commitments is lacking. If good spiritual leaders are building a Kingdom in which they themselves are not the king, then bad spiritual leadership is what happens when a leader builds his or her own kingdom. For a good spiritual leader, this whole thing is about God and ringing true. For a bad spiritual leader, it is about self – getting all one can get for one’s self. That’s why I have entitled today’s message

Greedership: Ringing False

There are a lot of reasons leaders go bad, aren’t there? Some never intend to be good in the first place. But I believe most start out good and then are corrupted. In the church there are two common causes of leadership corruption, and they are both contained in Titus chapter 1 verses 10 and 11.

I’ll give you the two causes first, then we’ll look at each of them. Two major causes of bad spiritual leadership in the church are the pull of the status quo (tradition), and money. Let’s look at verse 10.

Titus 1:10 (NIV)

10 For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group.

Some of you who aren’t all that familiar with the Bible are freaking out. You’re thinking, “What on earth does circumcision have to do with anything?” Well let me show you.

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