With life becoming increasingly complicated and the turmoils of modern society becoming increasingly difficult to navigate, many people are returning to their church and looking for guidance. While there is a strong desire for help, many people hesitate to trust their church because scandals and unfortunate behavior have weakened the moral authority that is desperately craved.
Pastor Jim Bolin was one of these leaders who faced severe challenges. After an accusation of an improper relationship with a member of his congregation, Pastor Bolin found himself trying to rebuild that trust and reestablish his leadership and authority. If you find yourself facing these challenges, you’ll find a guide below to building strong relationships with your flock and increasing your moral authority.
Many church leaders feel pressure to weaken the impact of their sermons or try to strongly relate to their congregations. However, while this temptation may be strong, it should be avoided if you want to rebuild the trust that may be lacking in your relationship with your congregants.
A reliance on a strong, stable message will show the members of your church that you are committed to scripture while also highlighting your credibility as a leader in the faith. Too much weakening of your message will, obviously, make it come out weak, and will leave your church members looking elsewhere for explanations and guidance.
Some church leaders are uncomfortable with the role technology has in today’s daily life, and may be unfamiliar with strategies for connecting with people and spreading information that are increasingly common. Indeed, social media and other communication tools can allow you to connect to your congregation every day and keep your message strong.
This use of technology will also provide the impression that you are a church leader who understands the ins and outs of everyday life. This will allow you to avoid the appearance of being old fashioned or uninformed, and will help church goers trust that your method really does have an application to their trials and tribulations.
The worst thing that a church leader can do while trying to reestablish his or her credibility is appear to be inconsistent. While it may be tempting to carve out exceptions for your own sins and flaws, it’s important that your congregants recognize that you accept blame for your actions. Once this blame is accepted and acknowledged, it will be much easier for you to be trusted, and your message will sink in much more easily.