When a Leader Lets You Down

Gavin Ortlund | May 1, 2015


It is godly and appropriate to have heroes in the faith—mentors, examples, leaders who go out in front of us and help us see what it looks like to follow Christ. Paul said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). That's an amazing statement. He could have simply said, “Follow Christ with me.” But insofar as Paul was following Christ, it was appropriate for him to say, “Follow me.”

But sometimes our leaders let us down. Whether it’s a moral failing, a leadership blind spot, a deficiency of wisdom, or some other weakness—at some point and in some way we will be disappointed by even our heroes. In fact, because we are all fallen and flawed human beings, it’s not a matter of whether our leaders will disappoint us—it’s a matter of when and how much.

When a leader lets down, it can be a profoundly disillusioning experience. Anyone who has been there knows that darkness, that pain. Especially when one of your ministry heroes hurts you personally or stumbles into a grievous sin, it can feel like your world is turned upside down, and it can make you question everything you are working toward.

How can…


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