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Finding Safe Accountability as a Christian Leader

Finding Safe Accountability as a Christian Leader

Part 1

by MT Wilson—LPC, BCC Christian leaders live and minister inside a fishbowl where all their professional work and personal choices are constantly on public display. To function effectively, the Christian leader often operates from behind a "pastor mask". It's not that the mask is a ruse or fake, but it does have some necessary inauthenticity built-in when it comes to interacting with non-intimate relationships.

But Christian leaders aren't given a free pass from the need for community and intimate relationships with others. Genesis teaches it's not good for man to be alone. While this is rightly applied to newlywed marriages, it has a more fundamental truth when taken more literally: it's not good for a human being to be isolated from supportive relationships.

This places us as Christian leaders in a precarious place. We need authentic human relationships where we can be deeply known for the imperfect person we are behind our pastor mask. Yet the majority of "relationships" a Christian leader has are more one-way in nature. That is, one in which the Christian leader gives and the other person receives. A two-way give-and-take relationship remains elusive for most in leadership.

This is especially true between us and those under our leadership. These individuals have a difficult time not looking up to us as an authority. It's true for both pastor-congregant and director-employee relationships alike. To seek vulnerability and accountability in such a relationship would likely distort the nature of the relationship itself. In addition, the other person will struggle with having a strong enough voice to speak into our lives with any sort of authority. For that matter, we would likely have difficult allowing them to speak into our lives, anyway.

If this is true, where can a Christian leader go to find mature Christians with whom to do vulnerable accountability? We'll explore this idea in my next article.


Michael Todd Wilson is a licensed mental health counselor, certified sex therapist and board certified coach. He currently provides leader coaching and sexual integrity coaching through intentionalhearts.com.

MT is also the author of: Unburdened Preventing Ministry Failure Soul Virgins
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Posted: Jan 25, 2016,
Categories: Men, Women,
Comments: 0,
Author: MT WIlson
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