Let me insert a word about leaders in relation to all of this. If you are a Christian leader, you need peers. I’m defining a peer as someone who is in your life in some way, who is completely free to speak his or her heart to you without consequence, and you will give it weight.
Throughout the years, I have watched very gifted leaders refuse to have peers. The excuse typically given was that there wasn’t anyone who measured up to their ever-so high standards. Ironically, in every case where this excuse was given, these same leaders consistently violated their own ever-so high standards. At bottom, they were lone rangers at heart, not feeling the need to be limited, restrained, or corrected by anyone else.
That, my friend, is a recipe for disaster.
Such people do not have peers because they do not allow themselves to have peers. Pure and simple. And because they don’t have the tempering of the Body of Christ, their views gets distorted. (Some of them become out-right dangerous.)
If a Christian worker doesn’t have peers, then experience has taught me this one thing: Run from such people. En. The people who a worker is discipling or mentoring are not his peers. They will end up hurting you. And you may not realize how deeply until a number of years have passed.
We all need the experience of the Body of Christ. And we all need peers. That holds especially true for Christian leaders and those who will put their hand to the plow of God’s work.
On that score, let me make one important observation about gifted Christians. Powerful gifts, in and of themselves, aren’t worth a cherry lollipop. The human soul can corrupt the function of spiritual gifts. The human heart can defile them and turn them into instruments of destruction.
Transformation of character, therefore, is far more critical than a person’s gifting. Character doesn’t mean perfection or the inability to make mistakes. It rather refers to what a person is like most of the time and in most situations. Unfortunately, people tend to follow a person’s giftings rather than their character. And this is one reason why the Body of Christ is in the mess it’s in right now.