The question was:
"How to Rescue Fallen Church Leaders"
Rescue fallen 'church' 'leaders'? I would start at the very beginning of this Yellow Brick Road. Which to me is to start with the realities of the situation, which my other post touches upon.
So, as for the...well...the leader part...that's a moot point now. He (they) don't need rescuing from something that is threatening
to 'topple them off the 'pedestal' of their 'position' of 'power' - that already happened - they have been toppled. Correct?
The task at hand for him (them) is their need to come to grips with how
they came to the place (the state) they find themselves in; and discern for their present and future wisdom and edification, what
in the first place. Which in his case, in all likelihood was inevitable.
What they need now from others, is for those who would approach him, that they not be what he was; but hopefully (for his sake and theirs) they would be truly spiritual individuals: wise, godly and experienced in how to restore a fallen brother, which is to "restore such an one in the spirit of meekness"
. Hopefully, such an one is ready and willing to be restored. But again, not to 'leadership', let that one go for the duration. If that is in the mind of such an one, trying to figure out how and when they can once again occupy their position and regain the power. And let us not kid ourselves nor allow others to try to kid us either. It is a question of power and position. And if that is even one of their concerns at this point of the game, they had better recognize where that's coming from and why.
[*Not merely alleged to be 'godly', 'wise' and 'spiritual', i.e. in name only]
One question I believe that a truly repentant ex-'leader'
would begin to ponder and take a very serious look into; is to question their current definition and understanding what the actual meaning of the word 'leader' is.
Now that God has their attention...or if the Lord now has this fallen 'leader's' attention - which I tend to doubt He had while this fellow was in hot pursuit of his 'doctorate' (sheepskin) - I would think that such men would be moving in the direction of reevaluating all of their previously cherished notions about the WHOLE PROCESS that they thought, not only was required, but was needed to 'become
' a 'preacher boy'; a minister; a 'Pastor' ('pastor' with a capital 'P').
Questions arise: 'Was I ever a 'leader' to begin with?' They certainly thought they were; and others thought the same thing about them; yet, they did so in vain. Again, this I would hope motivate them to seek out from the Word of God what makes a leader a leader? What is a leader? There are examples from secular life that I find to paint a very good picture as to what truly constitutes and defines the meaning of the word 'leader'. We have though I think, a pretty good glimpse of the actual 'living and breathing' meaning of this word, by examining the meaning of the Greek words for "rule" [proïstēmi
; but in particular hegeomai
] and the Hebrew *root word [*nagad] for the Hebrew word translated as "leader"
My caution here though would be to be careful not to focus on the 'positional' aspects to the meaning of these words. But delve into the aspects that cause others to follow one who is viewed (esteemed - hegeomai
) a leader, what makes him a quote "leader" in the minds of those who follow him. People though will follow men who are both worthy and unworthy to be esteemed as leaders. The worthiness and unworthiness can be somewhat subjective, depending upon what you are looking for in a leader; what is it that he is leading in.
LEADERS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY - AND A COMBINATION OF THEM ALL
A 'good' leader could be a pirate who is successful in his campaigns in capturing other ships without sustaining much damage in the process. His morals are reprehensible in many respects I would venture; but his skills in his line of work cannot be denied - they are very honed. What though makes him a leader as a pirate, and in command of other men; is that he possesses a heightened degree of intellect, competent confidence, adroitness, and skills borne of exercising all these over a period of time. He is a leader, because he is adapt at leading in his particular field of endeavor. And he does so having been successful navigating wisely through whatever situations and circumstances that he has placed himself in and has been placed in.
In my opinion, I consider both ship captains and wagon train 'trail-bosses' as true and excellent examples of what a leader actually is. I could develop this, but too long as it is. So I'll just say that there can be no room - there is no
room for 'leaders', who are leaders in name only
. When it comes to commanding either a ship on the sea or leading a long train of covered-wagons from point 'A' through points 'B' and 'C' (etc) in order to safely arrive at point 'D' (destination), novices not only 'Need Not Apply', they had better not
apply - the stakes are much too great and grave to attempt to do so. No novice ought to ever attempt to take on what is beyond their abilities to handle, especially when the thing that is at stake is human life. And for a man to 'captain' a ship attempting to cross the wide and treacherous seas; or for a man act as a 'trail-master', attempting to cross the wide expanses of wild and yet uncharted country, there is no room or tolerance for error. Hence there is no room or tolerance for 'leaders' 'captains' or 'trail-bosses' in name only. That will get people killed.
Paul warned (commanded) not to ordain a novice for good reason; they cannot help but fail, they cannot, they will not 'make the grade'; they cannot perform what only experienced men can do.
So as far as the word leader goes. Those who are able, who are truly competent to 'lead', they alone own and epitomize the meaning of the word lead and leader. They do so, because they actually are able to lead; they are then leaders - not in name; but in deed.
"YE WHICH ARE SPIRITUAL,
RESTORE SUCH AN ONE IN THE SPIRIT OF MEEKNESS..."
But back to the restoration of 'leaders'.
Let us be sure to do what we can in an all out effort to restore (render aid; mend; strengthen to wholeness) a fellow, yet fallen believer and brother, to soundness...hopefully to a level of soundness they have not previously experienced before - whether they were once thought and called a 'leader'.
If it were me that was being called upon to render this kind of aid to such a fellow. I would do what I hope I am communicating here in this tread (and forum). I would comfort and encourage them to get the very most out of the process God is graciously allowing and even orchestrating, to occur in their lives at the moment. I would when appropriate, attempt to point out whatever I thought was necessary and profitable to encourage and provoke him "unto love and good works"
. Which would include, attempting - as Priscilla and Aquila did with Apollos and Ananias with Saul (Paul) - to present to him, "the way of God more perfectly"
(as much as I am privy to). So that when he is spiritually healthy, he will know better what the will of God is in such things as he once thought to be the right way; with respect to what Christ says and requires in his Ekklesia.
I would hope he would become a better man for the experiences he went through, and in time, be able to comfort other 'fallen' brothers and including fallen so-called 'leaders'; in the same he was comforted and enlightened about God's ways and receive the insight God has for him to gain, as to the whole process that brought him to where he is and how he got there (how it all came about) in the first place. It would be natural then on my part to expect such and one, in turn would indeed become a very great help to others. How could it not act to think, act and speak in a more realistic manner with respect to the meaning of what true leadership consists of.
[Had to go quick. No time to edit or add. Hope it makes some sense and addresses the OP.]