Sadly, a lot of people who feel that they have been bruised and damaged would say that this damage happened where we should least expect it and from people we would hope for more from. They have experienced the tyrannical, crushing and abusive rule of church leaders.
Elders and deacons have a particular responsibility not to “crush a bruised reed.” We can do this by being harsh, overbearing and legalistic. However, that’s not the only way that we can do this. By failing to provide proper oversight and correction, we also cause damage. When we put our own need to be liked ahead of our responsibility to speak God’s truth, we crush people by exposing them to the World. Leaders can also crush not by overt bullying but by manipulation. Whenever we create an atmosphere where the expectation is that in response to our help, the church member is indebted to us then we bruise and crush.
Godly leadership is different. It is servant hearted and loving. It creates a genuine sense of freedom. It should be a delight and joy to be accountable to the elders in the church.
Read 1 Peter 5