ED YOUNG Guest Post: Why Integrity Should Matter So Much To Christian Leaders



We sometimes need to be reminded of why we do ministry.  The calling on my life was given to me when I was 21 years of age. There were no words that any individual could have given me to persuade me to enter the ministry, or to stay out of the ministry. When God tugged at my heart to follow Him into full time service for His kingdom, it was only because of His call.

To this day, I look back over the 28 years of ministry, and without a doubt, if my ministry work was for anyone one or anything other than God, I would not do it.  I serve an audience of One. With that being said, I want to share with you some recent media attention that Lisa and I have received.

A local reporter has spent what seems to be a great deal of time investigating me concerning my integrity as the leader of Fellowship Church.  We have not seen the piece that was aired, nor will we give credence to it by watching.  We do know that the report is scathing and creates the idea that I, along with my wife Lisa, have been dishonest in our business dealings and with our use of Fellowship Church as a means of obtaining personal wealth.

The reporter sent an email request for information, but refused to give us any details or information that he obtained from an anonymous source.  He only said that he has spoken with former staff members about us. But we have no verification of who he has spoken with.  We do not know his source(s) and it is irrelevant to us.  What we do know is that this report was made based on fragments of information gathered out of context and anonymously, and that it disregarded documented information that the Board of Directors for Fellowship Church is privy to and that is known by legal counsel and accounting audits.

The piece insinuates that I keep secrets from the congregation of Fellowship Church and that I use Fellowship Church to create personal wealth. Let me say very clearly, Lisa and I have no secrets.

My life is lived in an aquarium, and I am not ashamed of that fact.  Do I share every detail of my life with the congregation of Fellowship Church?  No.  But it isn’t because my life is secretive.  It is because there are details that the proper people know, hold me accountable to and make the decisions based on what is best for Fellowship Church and its ministries.

I have never claimed to have lived a perfect life. I do, however, claim to live a life of integrity. I don’t make that claim lightly.

Before God, the Board of Directors and the legal and financial accountants have governed the workings of Fellowship Church and its staff.  We operate in a manner that is “worthy of the calling of Christ Jesus” and have no apologies, nor would we change anything that we have done on behalf of the unbelievable ministry of Fellowship Church.

Ironically, the reporter told a Public Relations spokesperson for Fellowship Church that this story was set to air during sweeps week, as it will be of high interest.

Well, every week is sweeps week for Fellowship Church. And we will continue to do ministry with those who are far away from God in mind, and we will work tirelessly to make sure that the message of Jesus is at the forefront of everything we do.

The past 20 years have exceeded anything we could have ever imagined. Yet, at the same time, we truly believe the best is yet to come!


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