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Good organizational boards & unsafe men

Today the AIM board arrives in Gainesville. They are wonderful people – partners in ministry who help safeguard the ministry.  For example, Liza has been helping lead ministry with us for 14 years.  Mac is one of my best friends from college and the most successful financial manager…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Today the AIM board arrives in Gainesville. They are wonderful people – partners in ministry who help safeguard the ministry. 

For example, Liza has been helping lead ministry with us for 14 years.  Mac is one of my best friends from college and the most successful financial manager at Northwestern.  Roger, Steve and Stu, similarly, are highly successful businessmen who were friends first before they became stewards of the ministry.  And Andrew is the man who, 18 years ago taught me about the kingdom and has done more to spiritually activate me than anybody else. Together we hope to see 100,000 trained leaders going to the nations.

I trust them. They have proven themselves to have the 1 Timothy 3 qualifications of an elder. They know my heart and aren’t going to make decisions that undermine what God has given me to do. If anything happens to me, they will ensure a safe transition to Michael or Clint’s leadership. One of the best things I’ve done at AIM is to identify godly men and women to steward the ministry. 

I remember when I first got into ministry with an organization called OI, a board member wounded me by doing something Machiavellian.  His explanation to me began with the line, “I don’t hate you, Seth.”  His name was Dick.  I always remembered that traumatic encounter and purposed in my heart to never do that to someone.
The office politics in that place were unbelievable.  Later, the board brought in an incompetent leader who made our lives miserable. The coup de grace came when that guy fired me.

Then there was the wonderful experience of the board of directors at another organization called WS.  They left me feeling eviscerated.  I vowed that I would never let a board of directors do that at AIM.  The shepherds should protect, not wound the sheep.

In Swaziland, when nightfall comes, the men prey on the women and children whose husbands have died and who are left unprotected in their homes scattered around the countryside. I’ve heard stories about an inordinate number of sexual predators there.  It’s one reason AIDS stalks the land.

Have you ever been wounded by a board of directors?  Well-meaning people who exercise their authority in inappropriate ways.  A lifetime of someone’s heart and soul flushed down the toilet.  It can be devastating.  I’ve seen happen at so many churches and ministries. Thank God for faithful, godly leaders.

Comments (3)

  • If God had not strengthened my faith in Him during this waiting/resting period I was just in, my faith could have been devastated by a religious leader on Wednesday…the minister employed by our church building.

    These people have no clue what is going on…they have been blinded…and they try to keep you there with them…because real faith scares the crap out of them because they can’t control it nor do they walk in it themselves.

    Thank you, Seth, for being safe and making AIM a safe place!! 🙂

  • Wounded by a large MegaChurch’s desire to have a mission expierence for their church at my expense is a pain and betrayl of unusual kind. Thanks to the BreakThru weekend and the powerful teachings I was able to let go of this pain and grieve my loss and have come out the battle with victory found only in Jesus. And here I was convinced that I was over it and it wasn’t bothering me!

    I can say now that the betrayl and pain felt was worth it. The Lord closed a door on an expiernce that I now know was not His plan for me. He has directed me and brought me under the covering of the AIM community if you will have me!

    I think this is my subtle or not so subtle way of letting you know that I’m in. It will be my pleasure to serve the Lord along side you folks and I am grateful for AIMs board and you Seth and I will cover this meeting in prayer.

  • Too much of this stuff around. The trouble with being a Christian and working with other Christians is that you know what the standards ought to be and are therefore very aware when they are not met. I know God has compassion not just on the sheep without a shepherd but on those under bad shepherds. Good to keep yesterday’s post in mind – the battle isn’t against flesh and blood. It’s okay to get angry in the right direction. People leave doors open sometimes in their lives for the enemy, often unwittingly, and they are used to destructive effect both on the person and those around them.

    I spent 7 years in a “heavy shepherding” kind of church and experienced some awful stuff in there, but forgiveness is a great liberator and God is a great healer. The brokenness and angry indignance I came out with are gone thanks to Him. I tried (not always succeeding) to choose prayer as a better resort than gossip, however justified I may have been and however frustrating and devastating I found what happened. It’s His church, the body of Jesus Himself. The more we listen to Him and let His heart live in us, the better we’ll treat the lambs and sheep He puts near us for our care.

    I agree – thank God for faithful, godly leaders. May God raise up more!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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