I have had this topic of “living in a glass house” or “living in a fishbowl” on my mind for a while. Now that I write about it, I hope it will help someone!
If there is one issue about being in a leadership role in the ministry that causes me some aggravation, it would be that of living in a “glass house.”
It certainly comes with the territory, and one has to expect people to watch every move you make. It is like you have voyeurs around documenting your every move.
I am by no means a fan of the Hollywood star scene, but I can understand a little of their frustration with the paparazzi that they have to endure in the course of their daily lives. It is very hard to go somewhere and not have any privacy or downtime.
When one is in a leadership role, they tend to always bump into or see someone they know, or someone who knows them.
This probably sounds bad, but face it… sometimes leaders just want to be unnoticed.
The Business World
The business world, as we call it, could learn some lessons in ethical leadership. They too, live in a “glass house.” People watch their every move and many problems in the office have their root in misunderstandings based upon false presumptions. That is, people see certain things at a distance, and make assumptions based upon what they have viewed.
This can be a big problem for those in leadership.
When I was a boy nobody knew me, except for family. As I grew up, more and more people became acquainted with me through school and such. As a child, you never think about those around you. That is, you are not aware that people observe you and form opinions about you. It wasn’t until I was sixteen years old that I began to REALLY understand what it meant to have a testimony.
The difference was this… this is when I was SAVED!
King James Version
(Proverbs 20:11) “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” (KJV)
Soon after I was born again, God began to stir my heart about preaching. Within about six months of my conversion I started helping in the bus ministry at my church. As I started to preach each Sunday, the Holy Ghost began to impress upon my heart the need to of guarding my testimony. If I was to reach others, then I had better practice what I preached. In the years since that time, I have tried to do that very thing. I wished I could say that I have been completely successful, but I cannot.
King James Version
(Ephesians 5:15) “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,” (KJV)
As a child of God, we must be careful to maintain a tasteful testimony before God and other people. Couple with that the leadership role in a church and you really have some responsibility! I am not complaining, but it gets hard sometimes. It is most likely a mental thing with me. I worry about little things that might hinder someone from coming to the Lord Jesus. Maybe it is an obsession of sorts. Who knows? The point is that people need to understand this issue, and do what they can to help ease this type of stress on their pastoral leadership.
The same goes for easing the burden on your boss at work.
King James Version
(1 Timothy 3:1-7) “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” (KJV)
Living the Clean Life
In conclusion, remember that your preacher has to live a life above reproach. The Scripture places some stringent qualifications upon him. It should not be a burden, but because of our old sinful nature, it is. True, ministers have no days off and they can never have a bad day.
He lives in a “glass house” where everyone is watching him AND his family. Yes, God forgives our mistakes, but people usually do not! This can be very tiresome after a while. You can help your man of God by praying for him in this area and helping those who find fault to cut him some slack.
In addition, consider the following when judging those in leadership:
- Put yourself in their shoes.
- How would you respond to how you are approaching them?
- They have feelings too.
- Do what you can to help them, not hurt them or provide occasion for their further demise.
- “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”
Pastor Andrew Schank is Church Planter with Macedonia World Baptist Missions, Inc.
He has a servant’s heart for missions and church planting
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On a personal note:
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