Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Trading on Trust

Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Trading on Trust

Article excerpt

At every ordination we hear the familiar words of Paul from 1 Corinthians 4: "This is how we are to be regarded, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. It is required of stewards, moreover, that they be found trustworthy."

With elegant economy, these words bring vividly to mind both the awesome nature of the gift of ministry and the tremendous responsibility that comes with that gift.

We know that the trust extended to leaders is all too often abused. We are profoundly disappointed when we discover that a CEO is making four hundred times as much as the average employee, even as the corporation reels toward insolvency. University officials vote themselves handsome perks while students borrow to pay for double-digit tuition increases. Our elected leaders pervert the truth. Politics and special interests trump the public good. Nobody believes what they read in the newspaper. Broken trust breeds cynicism and shreds the fabric of society.

We hope that it will be different in the church. So it hurts all the more when the "servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God" prove untrustworthy. When pastors abuse their power for self-aggrandizement or sexual gain, we all suffer. …

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