Why a Church Leader’s Private Sin Matters

By definition, “private” sin is that which nobody else knows about. The point of this post is, though, to show that even our private stuff matters as church leaders. Here’s why:

  1. It hinders our prayer life. Where there is unconfessed and ongoing sin, prayer becomes ineffective (Isa. 59:1-2). That means we’re not good intercessors for our congregation.
  2. It often results in secrets between spouses. “Private” sometimes means that which even our spouse doesn’t know about – so that a relationship to be built on trust and honesty can’t be as strong as it should be. The witness of marriage is then weakened.
  3. It distracts us from doing evangelism. Seldom do we talk about the Good News when we’re living in disobedience. Even if we try, we have little passion behind it.
  4. It eats at our soul. I don’t know any other way to describe what happens when conviction and shame silently wear us out. Eventually, that weariness will become evident to others.
  5. It provides a foothold toward a stronghold. Private sins that dominate our lives didn’t usually begin as ongoing, seemingly addictive problems. They began with a first choice to give in and then cover them up. Followed by a second choice. And a third . . . .
  6. It doesn’t always stay private. Sometimes we get caught. At other times, we let our guard down and no longer stay in the hiddenness. Either way, it harms our testimony and hinders the work of the gospel.
  7. It robs us of the witness of our joy. You probably know believers whose lives just sing with the joy of God—and the world takes note. We don’t have that joy when our private world is messed up.
  8. It increases our isolation. Church leadership is often lonely anyway, and it only gets worse when we’re hiding. Isolation invites even more attack and defeat. 

Take some time today, and pray for each of your church leaders. 


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