This was written some ten years ago. Rather than update the references, I decided to leave the stories intact. Have tweaked the writing somewhat for clarity.
This week President Obama fired his top general in Afghanistan. Therein lies a tale which every pastor and staff member ought to take to heart.
General Stanley McChrystal is a case study in a lot of things: militarism, athleticism, patriotism, gung-hoism, machoism, and egotism.
What got this commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan sacked was a lengthy article just published in the July edition of Rolling Stone magazine. Since the article is online, anyone can read it. I did last night.
Can you say “insubordination?” In a sentence, McChrystal was openly critical of Obama and his diplomatic team. He held nothing back, said exactly what he thought, and had little favorable to say about anyone he works with.
Now get this. The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of all U.S. military forces, which makes him the boss of every general. So, what we have here is an officer publicly criticizing his superior officer. McChrystal would not stand for one of his staff doing such a thing.
Obama had previously dealt with General McChrystal, telling him to bridle his mouth. But some people cannot be told anything; they are a law unto themselves.
The writer says McChrystal prides himself on being sharper and guttier than anyone else. But his brashness comes with a price: he has offended almost everyone with a stake in the Afghan conflict.
The title of the article says it all: The Runaway General: The top commander in Afghanistan has seized control of the war by never taking his eyes off the real enemy: the wimps in the White House.
Assuming this account is accurate–and a layperson like me has no way of knowing–you cannot fire a guy like that fast enough. Get him gone now.
Now, we’re addressing pastors and church leadership here….
Have you ever had a church staff member like that?