“Do you eat too much?” and other leadership questions

I’m reading a book about leadership development in the local church, and the authors include a sample leadership questionnaire for people who want to be leaders to complete as a first/second step to leadership. Several of the questions have to do with whether the person has had a moral mishap or gray area at any point of their lives (smoking, drinking, divorce, pornography, drugs, crime). This makes up over half the questionnaire.

My question is why in the world are we still asking these questions? Why are these the “bad things” that we have to continually admit to and revisit? Why do I have to write it down? Why can’t it be something that church staff find out as they get to know me? Also, why is this particular list the dirty laundry list? Why don’t we include questions like:

1. Do you habitually eat too much or too little? If so, how often? Please explain.

2. Do you frequently lose your patience and speak out of anger to your spouse and/or children? Please give an example.

3. Do you find yourself spending money on things you don’t need? Do you give money generously to those around you? Please attach a copy of your most recent bank statement.

4. Do you have a problem with working too much or too little? Please attach a time sheet.

5. Please tell us a recent story of you sharing your faith with an unbeliever.

A little uncomfortable, huh? Perhaps people who look good on the traditional questionnaire begin to be uncomfortable because they begin to feel that they aren’t superhuman.

One thought on ““Do you eat too much?” and other leadership questions

  1. Great thought. I’ve taken issue with church “dirty” laundry lists, too. Many messages seem to focus on sexual sin, especially pornography addiction. It’s certainly important to talk about, but it’s often given so much weight that I think churches risk the perception that everyone deals with sexual sin and if we would just correct this, we might be reconciled to God.

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