The Failure of Religious Figures in Leaders – Nu Leadership Series

”Wealth in the new regime flows directly from innovation, not optimization; that is, wealth is not gained by perfecting the known, but by imperfectly seizing the unknown.”
Kevin Kelly

The world laughs. The church weeps. Today’s youth are cynical of Christian leaders. Haggard, pastor of a mega church in Colorado, resigned because a gay man came forth saying they had a sexual relationship. Haggard has denied any sexual relationship. However, the church investigation has shown the contrary.

Haggard explained, “The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar.” As a Christian activist, Haggard had aggressively attacked homosexual living. Clearly, only God can judge. However, how do leaders learn from these scandals?

Modern leaders are under immense scrutiny. As more religious leaders are found living a hypocritical lifestyle, the issues of values will be challenged by postmodernists. There are no absolutes (rights or wrongs). We must say to these hypocritical leaders that a person’s credibility does count. Although the credibility-building process begins with a leader’s personal values, only by being follower-focused can any leader become ultimately trustworthy. Simons argues that the divergence between a leader’s words and his actions has a profound impact on followers. This inconsistency renders a leader
untrustworthy. Therefore, most of today’s scandals by leaders are rooted in this divergence theory.

References: (November 5, 2006). Fired Evangelical Leader Admits Sexual Immorality. Received on November 8, 2006, from

Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2003). Credibility. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Simons, T. (1999). Behavioral integrity as a critical ingredient for transformational leadership. Journal of Organizational Change Management. 12(2), pp. 89-104.

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green