13 Critical Issues Killing Christian Schools (Part 3)

Issue #12 – "Deceptive leadership subtly raises its ugly head."

As a development professional I have been required to keep and maintain accurate records of giving and activities. Generally I have had to report quarterly to an individual, committee or the board of governors. Goals and objectives are established by the board, the department, and me personally. Everyone wants these goals to be achieved and objects also met for measurement purposes. I have endeavored to be fastidious in the development and presentation of my reports, brutally honest even when they show I, we need to improve.

Too often I have experienced feelings of distress or disbelief when at the quarterly board meeting my numbers weren't reflected in the financials received by the board, but better numbers did. Somewhere in committee or by an individual things were changed or included in other line items to mask actual results. Unfortunately, when this is discovered it uncovers leadership rife with deception.

Issue #13 – "The general lack of integrity among Christian leaders."

One evening over dinner my wife and I were discussing our years of service to schools and churches. During the course of conversation we became aware of the great number of serious "integrity" lapses that occurred during that time, over 30 to be more exact. How disappointing!

Upon further investigation and consideration we discovered a number of possible reasons, but central was the lack of "accountability" among our Christian leaders. In schools this most sharply is revealed by "isolation." Leaders have no peers with whom they can interact closely, someone who would perceptively hold them accountable.

This needs to be corrected by leaders looking out for themselves and institutional leadership taking steps to assure accountability. This may often take shape in a close relationship between the head of school and the board chair or a senior leadership fellowship and prayer group.

Why 13 issues?

There is nothing special. Thirteen simply came to me quickly and I decided to stop there. I am sure there are more, but I think #13, "integrity" is #1.

Oddly enough 20th century "Modernist" Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick spoke about the restoration of integrity. He said, "We cannot restore integrity and morality to our society until each of us — singly and individually — takes responsibility for our actions."

And of course restoration and maintenance of integrity is found in Romans 12:1 & 2 (ESV), "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Robert F. Davis has 40 years of experience providing counsel for educational and not-for-profit institutions. He previously served as vice president for Advancement at Bryan College in Tennessee and consulting vice president for Advancement and Alumni Affairs at Liberty University in Virginia.

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