Yesterday, I wrote a post about overconfident church leaders.
Schaap is the former pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, IN… a HUGE church grown over the years by his father-in-law (the also cocky) Jack Hyles.
Both of these leaders never had their ‘kabaragoya’ moment.
Jack can be a poster child for what happens when a church leader gets overconfident. (I said yesterday, that over-confidence’s twin siblings are manipulation and intimidation. Both are at play here as well).
Overconfidence leads to arrogance and sin.
Schaap was sentenced last year to twelve years in jail for transporting an underage girl across state lines to have sex with her.
Now, Schaap’s attorney’s are asking for the sentence to be lightened or thrown out. Their reasoning: They think the sentence is harsh; and that, if the truth be told, the young girl did have ‘extensive sexual experience’ and was ‘sexually aggressive’ toward the pastor. I mean… who could resist?
When sentenced, the judge gave Schaap more than the minimum sentence. And here’s why:
Schaap called a staff meeting at the church after word leaked of his relationship with the girl. The meeting lasted SIX HOURS. During the meeting, Schaap denied any wrongdoing and talked to his staff about loyalty. Schaap also fired a staff member who brought some of the initial information to light.
That six hour confidence, manipulation, and intimidation meeting turned into a 12 year sentence for Schaap.
What was going on in Schaap’s head in that meeting? Firing someone he knew was telling the truth. Manipulating his staff. Lying overtly and categorically. And pointing the finger questioning loyalty, when he knew all along he was the one being disloyal to his family, church, and Lord.
This is very powerful lesson in the power of sin; and lack of accountability.
When was the last time someone disagreed with you? Did you automatically question their loyalty? Did you make them feel like they were not a part of the team because of the disagreement? Watch out.
Have you found yourself telling little fibs here and there to make yourself look better?
Do you engage or distance people that are in legitimate places to hold you accountable?
Be very careful.
Overconfidence is a killer. While your sentence may not be 12 years, it will be significant if you don’t take steps now to correct it.