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The Devastating Power of a Church-Harpy

Good leaders, on the other hand, strive to mentor, encourage, and provide significant ministry opportunities to women in younger (and older) generations. Even though it is difficult to do so at times, they choose to try others' new ideas because they value the other women in their congregation.

-Church-harpies justify gossip and slander under the guise of "godly" causes. All of us face the temptation to do this at times, but church-harpies have it down to a science. Though they may discourage gossip and even teach against it, because of their own position of authority in the church, they're able to set a tone during meetings that makes it acceptable for them to slander others. Perhaps it's a tirade against the pastor's sermon made under the guise of the harpy's own passionate love for biblical truth. Or perhaps it's a regular pattern of "prayer requests" that are nothing short of a power grab - an effort to turn the women in the group against the woman being "prayed" for.

Good leaders, on the other hand, recognize the extreme danger of gossip and care more about church unity than about their own need to vent. They put the effort forth to stop themselves when they feel the urge to gossip; they privately pray for people who've upset them, rather than airing dirty laundry in front of others.

-Church-harpies become predatory when someone gets in their way. When they feel they've been crossed, criticized, or hindered in some way, church-harpies go after their foes with self-righteousness vindictiveness. They'll meet with pastors to criticize others, they'll attend elder meetings to voice complaints, they'll circulate letters, they'll request that people be fired, they'll hold secret meetings, and they'll threaten to quit their position or even leave the church if something isn't done about the issue/person/problem they're upset about. They feel justified in doing so and can quote Bible verses to prove it! And often because of their long history within the church - and the clout they hold among others in the congregation - the harpy ends up getting just what she wants.

Good leaders, on the other hand, seek God's help in developing compassion and patience toward those who've wronged them. They seek others' wisdom in dealing with frustrating situations rather than relying solely on their own. They take time to search out the sand out of their own eye. Good leaders offer forgiveness because they value church health above their own desire to "win."

April07, 2009 at 8:18 PM

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