On analyzing the now-suspended Ted Cruz campaign, one lesson Ed Stetzer observes was that when the candidate reached the stage where he needed to rally allies, he discovered that he had burned so many relational bridges that there were few allies ready to join him. That offers a lesson to pastors and leaders of Christian organizations.

Ed writes:

“Years ago, I headed up a national ministry. I had a remarkable amount of difficulty working with one leader in what was supposed to be a partnership role. My experience confirmed the reputation he’d gained in such partnerships.

Then, through a twist of fate (providence), he ended up working for me. He came in to my office and said, ‘I hope that we can work together even though I’ve been difficult.’

I assured him it would be possible to work together, but that our relationship needed to change right away. And, to his credit, it did. However, he had burned too many bridges with other people to be effective in the role. Years later, he confided in me that he wished he had been a better partner early on so he had some relationships later. I imagine that Ted Cruz might have had similar thoughts last week….

if you are a pastor or a church leader, let me share some thoughts so we can learn from the Cruz situation.

First, disagreement with you is not always disagreement with the cause.

In the case of the pastor or Christian leader, remember that disagreeing with you is not the same as disagreeing with God.

Second, those who disagree with you need to be dealt with respectfully.

In the case of the pastor or Christian leader, remember that you are on the same team, even if you think there are different ways to get there.

Third, being perceived a jerk catches up with you eventually.

In the case of the pastor or Christian leader, strong leadership does not require you to be a perceived as bully or a jerk.

Fourth, when you need a helping hand, those you’ve alienated will not be around to help.

In the case of the pastor or Christian leader, remember that the model of the scripture is to be at peace with all as far as much as you can (Romans 12:18).” [Read the full article]

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