What would an undercover reporter discover with a hidden camera in our churches?
We've seen NBC Dateline stories of investigative reporting at car repair businesses, used car lots and in-home appliance repair services. The hidden camera observes what technicians do behind the scenes to create opportunities to, essentially, rip off the customer.
We watch as people say one thing and do another.
As I think back about hidden camera discoveries, I wonder what a camera would see behind the scenes of a church service. What would the reporter say about:
- How the worship team rehearsed for service?
- How church members gathered to pray prior to service?
- How the greeters treated ALL visitors? What was said behind the backs of people who didn't look or dress quite the same as the regulars?
- How the staff spoke to one another in preparation?
- How the regulars spoke of their pastor when leaving the service?
I don't think I'd want to see the report.
No one will be surprised to learn that we have an assembly of hypocrites. The word hypocrite is difficult to hear but simple to define — "a person who pretends to have beliefs or practices but doesn't actually possess the belief." Life is lived with a mask.
Jesus didn't think very highly of religious pretenders. It's a simple Bible study to find the 20 different times that Jesus lashed out at the great impostors. Here is just one Scripture, "He answered, 'Well has Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written: "These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me"'" (Mark 7:6, MEV).
Counterfeit leadership is a great concern in any organization. We seek leaders who are transparent and overflowing with integrity.
The truth is we all have lapses to some degree. We make mistakes. But the leader's response is to confess, ask forgiveness, and repent. The Lord's grace is sufficient.
I just hope I don't have to repent on camera. Help us Lord to say one thing and live it.
"Meanwhile, when thousands of the crowd were assembled, so as to trample on one another, He began to say to His disciples first, 'Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore what you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light. And what you have whispered in the ear in private rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops'" (Luke 12:1-3).
Platform Tip No. 30
Marketing writer Seth Godin asked a relevant question for all of us to consider.
"Would they miss you if you didn't show up?"
Half of this depends upon how much you've been showing up.
The other half depends upon the felt need of your audience and the quality of your content.
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Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
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