Tuesday, March 1, 2016


The Pastor as Bully

A leader in the church must not be a striker. (Tit. 1:7)

The word “striker” is an interesting word—one that is not used in today’s English, except in relation to a union worker on strike.

The other translations render it “violent,” “pugnacious,” and “bully.”

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says that it means “a pugnacious, contentious, quarrelsome person.”

Those words probably also need defining due to their lack of use in common, everyday language.

Rather than defining and explaining the nuances of each one, I’ll just go with “one who is always ready to fight.”

In our younger days, that concept was applied to one who was constantly ready to “punch somebody out.” A fist fight is what comes to mind.

As we get older, that type of brawler is not the usual type of character, especially in the ministry.

However, there are plenty of so-called ministers who seem to be ready at the drop of a hat to argue about something.

They are always ready to fight for their need to be right.

A trait that is easily recognized, but often overlooked, is the criticism of others and the way they do things.

This is easy for a leader to do, because he is looked up to by those under him.

It’s called being a bully.
“That’s not the way I would do it.”
“You could have done that differently.”
“You should have done better.”
“You shouldn’t feel that way.”
These and many other similar statements are very common among leaders of churches. But, that is not the way it is supposed to be.

Yet, the people continue to support them with their presence and their finances.

There is a Hindu story of a small village in the Himalayas. In this village lived a man whom we would call the village idiot. The village idiot became tired of always being laughed at and ridiculed, so he went to the wise elder of the village. “What can I do to be wise?” he asked. The elder brushed him off, knowing that wisdom is not possible for a fool. The idiot persisted for many days. The elder resisted for many days. Finally, the elder said, “I will give you the secret that will make you wise in the eyes of all.” “Yes, master. What is the secret that will make me wise in the eyes of all?” “Criticize everything.” And the idiot became known as the wisest man in the village.
May the truth of that story not be lost on the discerning among us.

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