The Healthy Church Staff Podcast

Only 32% of Your Community Think You're Above Reproach as a Pastor

February 06, 2024 Todd Rhoades Season 1 Episode 22
The Healthy Church Staff Podcast
Only 32% of Your Community Think You're Above Reproach as a Pastor
Show Notes Transcript

Do people trust pastors and church staff? A shocking Gallup poll suggests many can't, and on the Healthy Church Staff Podcast, I'm here to dissect this alarming trend and offer solutions to bridge the gap in trust. As a church leader, the reverence and confidence of your congregation underpin everything you do - but when only 32% of Americans see pastors as morally sound, it's clear we have work to do.

Join me, Todd Rhoades, as we confront the hard truths about why church leaders might be losing credibility and, more importantly, how we can turn the tide. I delve into the necessity of transparency, the power of fulfilling commitments, and the impact of accepting feedback. It’s about leading by example and investing in genuine relationships. I also shed light on the importance of clear communication and the courage it takes to invite accountability. There's no sugarcoating here; it's a candid conversation on rebuilding the sacred trust between church leaders and those they lead.

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Speaker 1:

Does your community trust you as a church staff member or a pastor? Does your church trust you? We're going to talk about that today on the Healthy Church Staff Podcast. Hi there, thanks for joining me. My name is Todd Rhodes. I'm one of the co-founders over at Chemistriestaffingcom, so glad that you're here with us today.

Speaker 1:

We're looking at the results of a new Gallup poll. I read this over at ChristianityTodaycom and here's the headline Only 32% of the American public believe pastors are above reproach. That's just astonishing to me. There's a total trust deficit going on in our culture and in our society. And you know what Trust is the bedrock. It's really the glue that binds the pastors and churches and communities together. And when people say that they don't think pastors are above reproach, it means that they don't think that a lot of pastors consistently maintain their moral integrity. That's sad, but let's look at a few of the reasons for mistrust. Right, there's, of course we mentioned, moral failings, and these are stories we hear in the news at big churches and small churches. So falling from faith, moral failures, misuse of funds we hear that quite often Unkept commitments, hypocrisy, lack of integrity. When this digital era, any discrepancy spreads swiftly, it spreads quickly and it can tarnish your reputation, not just locally, but nationally and, as I said very quickly, in the digital era, a pastor's reputation is only a click away from scrutiny every day, every second of every day. So here's what's core to pastoral role it has to come back to trust. A lack of trust is just going to damage your effectiveness, and rebuilding trust once you've lost it doesn't happen overnight. It takes a lot longer to build trust than it does to lose it. You can lose it in an instant.

Speaker 1:

Okay, let's talk just a little bit about all right. So how do we, how do we build trust? Or maybe you've lost some trust with some people. How do you rebuild that trust in yourself and in your leadership? As we said, it doesn't happen overnight, but I think a big key to my first key here is be transparent. You need to share openly. You need to communicate openly. You need to communicate your decisions openly. Why are you doing what you're doing? Why are you leading the way that you're leading? Why are you spending money as a church? Where are you spending money? What are you struggling with? Transparency Now, you can, of course, you can overshare, but transparency is a general rule will breed trust in you and in your leadership and in the leadership of your church.

Speaker 1:

Here's the second thing fulfill your commitments. Do what you say you're going to do For crying out loud. Follow through on the promises. Don't make promises, don't write checks that your butt can't cash right, as they say. Reliability fulfilling your commitments is going to help build trust over time. If you've lost trust, if you're trying to rebuild trust, but just even if you haven't, keeping your full commitments and doing what you say, putting your money where your mouth is and following through that will build reliability over time.

Speaker 1:

Here's another one accept feedback graciously, be humble, be a humble leader, be willing to receive critique, be willing to receive correction, and what this will demonstrate to your people and to your community, honestly, is that it will demonstrate that you value their input and that you wanna grow. That's really important. Okay, we're running out of time already. Here a few more. Lead by example. You need to model integrity, model godly character in all areas of your life. Your actions goes along with what we were saying. Your actions have to align with your words for credibility.

Speaker 1:

Here's another one if you can invest relationally and spend time getting to know people, don't be that aloof leader where you're off doing your thing. You're away from the people. Invest relationally with people, listen to them, meet their needs. Trust is built through relationship. You need to communicate clearly, provide regular, clear updates to the congregation. You gotta talk about things like vision and your decisions and your financing. We already mentioned that events clarity will enable trust.

Speaker 1:

And finally, here's another one invite accountability. Invite accountability. Create mechanisms in your church and some churches do this really well and some churches and some leaders do it really poorly. Invite accountability. Create mechanisms for the people in your church and the people in your community to ask questions, to provide input on church matters. Accountability builds trust.

Speaker 1:

And finally, one last thing when you're wrong, admit that you're wrong.

Speaker 1:

Admit your mistakes. Be quick to acknowledge when you're wrong. No leader's perfect. Nobody expects you to be perfect. If you make a mistake, ask for forgiveness. Try to do your best to make amends.

Speaker 1:

This type of leadership humility deepens trust. Man, I can't tell you enough and you know this, you know it. Trust is foundational. Trust is earned, and it's earned and drops, but it's lost in buckets. You can lose your trust very quickly. Trust is built step by step, day by day, and it has to start today.

Speaker 1:

We really need to be able to turn this 32% number around, and you know what you can do it. You can do it in your church, you can do it in your community. Be transparent, fulfill your commitments, accept feedback, lead by example, invest relationally, communicate clearly, invite accountability and admit your mistakes, and you'll be well on your way to changing that 32% number and making it increase in your church and in your community. I hope this has been helpful for you. Today. We would invite you I would invite you to subscribe to the Healthy Church Staff Podcast, if you haven't already. We're here every Monday through Friday, about five minutes sometimes, usually six or seven or eight sometimes, but every day, monday through Friday, we'll have a new topic that will hopefully be of interest to you as a church staffer. So until tomorrow, have a great day in ministry.