Indian political leader Mohandas Gandhi once told missionary E. Stanley Jones, “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Pastor and popular conference speaker Brad Powell used this statement during Monday’s convocation to identify a spiritual virus that constantly plagues the church — hypocrisy.
“Hypocrisy is an issue that each and every one of us wrestles with every day,” Powell said. “And whether you win or lose to this issue is a huge determinant of whether you will be light of this world or darkness of this world.”
Today, Christian leaders are frequently exposed by the world’s spotlight when their actions do not portray what they preach in the pulpit. Powell, the senior pastor of NorthRidge Church in Plymouth, Mich., tackled this leadership dilemma by dissecting the mistake Christians often make.
“Most Christ followers are patterning their lives more after the world than they are after Christ — modifying their behavior, but not allowing God to transform them,” he said.
Powell then pointed to the solution, found in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. In this passage, Paul encourages the Corinthians to focus on what is unseen and not on the things of this world. By following the apostle’s advice, Christians are able to reflect the life of Jesus Christ rather than worldly intuition.
“What the world needs is not more hypocrites,” Powell said in closing. “What the world needs is more people who are like Jesus. To look like Jesus, you have to see yourself and others in the world through his eyes. And if you do, you will never regret it.”
Powell writes a regular Q&A column on transition for pastors and leaders in “Outreach Magazine” and is author of the recently released book "Change Your Church for Good: The Art of Sacred Cow Tipping" (Thomas Nelson).
For more information about Brad Powell, click here.