Monday, November 06, 2006

Leader's Insight: When Leaders Implode

By Gordon MacDonald...who himself imploded twenty years ago.

Update: from my book The Accountability Connection:

Gordon MacDonald was interviewed in Christianity Today. He described, briefly, how an affair he had had come about, asked forgiveness and then reported why he felt the need to confess publicly and resign his presidency. CT quotes MacDonald in this revealing passage:

Satan's ability to distort the heart and the mind is beyond belief. I assume the responsibility for what I did; I made those decisions out of a distorted heart.

In addition, I now realize I was lacking in mutual accountability through personal relationships. We need friendships where one man regularly looks another man in the eye and asks questions about our moral life, our lust, our ambitions, our ego.[i]

The interview was refreshing because MacDonald admitted both his failure and his need for accountability, and noted that he and his wife had begun to cultivate friendships on a much deeper level than in the past. In particular, he began to relate to three trusted Christian leaders who had "pronounced him guilty of adultery, acknowledged his repentance, advised him to cut back on his speaking engagements, and required that he account to them spiritually on a regular basis."[ii]

[i]. "A Talk with the MacDonalds," Christianity Today (10 July 1987): 38.

[ii]. "Gordon MacDonald Leaves the Helm of Intervarsity" Ibid.



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