“Sustaining Leadership Practices for Church Growth in Cambodia” / Part 7 /

1.1              4.1. Using power and privilege in leadership ethics 

As mentioned above, when leaders able to use their power and privilege properly, then the good results are mostly achieved; in case they use it inappropriate way, then all of the works and mission plans are at risk. Most of the Cambodian churches got a single leader, and the only leader has rights to set mind or make a decision among their members, and sometimes he or she not even discuss in the team, he or she just makes it right away. Therefore, I think that the issue in using power and privilege is needed to be discussed here.

First of all, what we are going to look at here is about decision making. Decision making is a critical and crucial part of leadership. In other words, the ethical principle of showing concern for the interest others must guide all ethical-decision making. If ethical behavior is predicated on showing concern for the interest of others, what precludes leaders from engaging in ethical decisions that do not harm others? The answer can be found in one word—e geocentrism. When leaders pursue their own self-interest even when doing so will knowingly cause harm to others, the outcome will often result in unethical behavior. If ethics is at the heart of leadership, ego centrism is at the heart of all unethical behavior.  Once again, being a leader, one must be careful about its decision, for it will affect many parts of the ministry. Odom, Lamar argues that “Ethical leaders must use their power and privilege to serve others and to further the mission, values, and goals of the organization.”[1] Charles J. Keating presents that “A quality of leadership is to be able to analyze a problem or a decision in terms of its objective, quality or acceptance.”[2]

1.2              4.2. Integrity and morality in leadership ethics

Integrity and morality are very important for the role of church leaders, but at the same time, they are an issue today in all fields. Today church leaders and pastors in almost every denomination are being found to be severely ethically challenged of their leadership roles. Some might say, the ethical challenge and integrity inside the church leadership roles have known no distinctions. Issues in morality and integrity involved church leaders and pastors at every level of the Cambodia church, people from every denomination, and people of many different social and theological perspectives. In one sense, the issues in integrity and morality of Cambodia church today are more serious in practical leadership roles. In recent years, the Cambodia church and its leaders have proven not to be exempt from the failures when integrity has been the key issue in the church. Lovett H. Weems writes in his book, Church Leadership, that “One crucial aspect of leadership professional ethics is personal integrity and trustworthiness.”[3] A leader who has lost integrity and his morality at home, work, or church cannot function as a true leader; therefore model ethical leadership is very important for all of the church leaders.

Unfortunately, there are many church leaders and ministers in Cambodia have lost their integrity to the ministry that they are holding now. They are not faithful to their jobs, and as well as treated the church ministry as one of the investment companies. They make business inside their ministry. They have not shown the secular world about being a good Christian. They just lost their light to their whole community. People start to lose their confidence in church leaders and they began to leave the church. And at the same time, I found out that gospel is not easy to spread to the village anymore. The mission of church growth cannot apply to the local community, for they (leaders) have lost their values, ethics, and integrity of being faithful leadership. Indeed, there are many good model examples of leadership and management from the bible story. At last but not least, we will discuss their model leadership and management approach in the next chapter.

1.                  5. Summary

Without a doubt, the study in this chapter one manifest that, issues in church leadership and management are not common. Church leaders and pastors need to deal with all of these issues, for some issues are relatively big or small, whereas, both can be prostrated to the future of church growth. Issues in church leadership and management cannot be avoided; hence leaders must learn and find ways to solve them. To put in short at this part, pastors or church leaders could learn much more from their own experiences of these leadership issues, and as well as the experience of other church leaders in different demonetization who are facing similar rapid changes in order to help the local church to grow. Again, a study in this chapter one only focuses on the insights of leadership and management issues. A further study in chapter 2&3 will provide us detail about insights of practical church leadership and management by using a biblical study of the story of Nehemiah and effective leadership principles.    

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