A Terrible Response?

One of the speakers at ReThink Leadership Conference was Sam Collier.

Sam Collier recently resigned from pastoring the Hillsong church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sam Collier launched a “new” church, Story Church.  [1]

“We realize, you know, that it might be better to replant a new place that people can believe in and trust in,”

The following are some of the comments made by Collier about the handling of the Hillsong scandal.  Some of these comments are truly sad because they appear to minimize the horrific damage created by Hillsong ministries — by Brian Houston and others!

  1. “It has been heartbreaking to watch an organization from the inside go through what Hillsong has gone through.”
  2. “Definitely, mistakes were made. We’re not going to shy away from that but they’re really great people.”
  3. “How you manage a crisis is more important than the crisis itself.”
  4. “In a crisis, you must answer what God is truly saying in that moment and trust Him as your North Star.”
  5. “(I chose friendship) because it’s what the Lord told me, number one. Number two, is unless you are on the inside of a scandal that’s going on, you don’t know what’s going on.  Proximity is everything.”
  6. “We’re all one mistake away from being in the New York Post.
  7. “We all have moments we were grateful to God it didn’t come out. Because we’re all broken.”
  8. “If I fail, how would I want to be treated.”
  9. “The greatest threat to success is success. The more we succeed the more we feel we can’t fail.”
  10. “Don’t let your current success blind you from your current blindspots.”
  11. “Just as critical as you are to an organization’s success, you are just as critical to its failure.”
  12. Nobody in this room is perfect. At times we feel our imperfection can keep us from going where we need to go.”
  13. “You don’t have to be a victim of your imperfection. If you will be humble at every turn with your imperfection, God is going to ride with you.”
  14. “You’ll never be perfect, but you can be humble. And if you are humble, God will extend grace.”


Hillsong is hardly an example of mistakes, imperfection, or heartbreak!

I might suggest that the “rhetoric of failure” is typically littered with the words . . . .

“We are not a perfect church . . . . .”
“We all make mistakes. . . . ”
“There is no perfect ministry . . . . .”
“We are all flawed vessels . . . . “

The options are not “either-or.”

The issue is not perfect or imperfection!  It never was and never will be!

The choices span a continuum of . . . . .

Great-Good-Above Average-Average-Poor-Weak-Terrible-Damaging

1. https://people.com/human-interest/hillsong-first-black-pastor-leaves-church-saying-his-congregants-dont-trust-leadership/

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