MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Coming up next, an excerpt from tomorrow’s episode of Listening In.
This week host Warren Smith talks with husband and wife team Jeff and Terra Mattson. They are Christian counselors, authors, and podcasters.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Their latest project is titled: Shrinking the Integrity Gap. In it, they consider why some Christian leaders fail, and how to close the gap between what they preach and who they really are.
WARREN SMITH: We live in an era where we have a lot of celebrity pastors that often, they’re in non-denominational churches so there’s not there’s not a structure of accountability around them that’s kind of a new historical phenomenon. Ravi Zacharias, Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill church, James McDonald in the Chicagoland area Bill Hybels…I’m sure they didn’t say “I want to dishonor the gospel or, or you know dishonor God,” and that’s what happened. How can we guard against that? What can we do to build hedges of protection around both these leaders, and the people in our churches?
TERRA MATTSON: I think that you’re saying it spot on and that most people never start out thinking they’re going to end their race this way. But honestly, it seems so simple, we would say, “do I have a small group of people that really know everything about me? Does my spouse and my children, am I allowing them to give me feedback and do I hear them?”
These are the things that are smaller markers in the life of a leader that’s really loved you know globally. But who’s in your inner circle is really going to give you probably the most honest feedback on who you are and who you’re becoming. And I think that’s God’s heart and desire and grace to give us feedback in our inner circles.
JEFF MATTSON: It’s very disheartening to see one leader after another, especially after decades of preaching the gospel and having such tremendous influence over so many lives in the next headline. And that’s really the angst behind this book to make a dent in that.
Leaders are vulnerable to isolation, hiding the negative coping strategies that leaders use to get their needs met in unhealthy ways. After just reading yesterday about Ravi he describes how it said to those that he perpetrated sexual abuse on that he needed this, and he reframed and justified and even said that God was okay with his sexual appetite.
That’s just a lie, and that’s not okay. And I’m happy that we as Christians can look at that and say yes there was wonderful things that he did and others did. But that’s not okay and there is no biblical reframe for that kind of behavior. Abuse has no home in Christianity.
BASHAM: That’s Jeff and Terra Mattson talking to Warren Smith. To hear the complete conversation, look for Listening In tomorrow wherever you get your podcasts.