Genuine regard for people is not something that can be faked. People can not only sense your true sincerity, but they can only be fooled for so long before your actions will expose you. Manipulation means causing others to act for a perceived benefit, though temporary, for the manipulator. The ultimate cost of manipulative tactics is an eventual decline in morale, growth and productivity. If a pastor leads this way it is only a matter of time before the church will begin to decline. Most pastors do not lead by manipulation but unfortunately Todd and I have seen it in churches we have been consultants for. It is seen where there is no real accountability for the pastor who really views the church as belonging to him vs. the people. Usually a church with this DNA is family run and controlled by a charismatic leader who is fearful of losing what he feels rightfully belongs to him. He may have a board who “votes” on issues but he manipulates the folks who vote. If they rock the boat of his desires they are quickly replace with another. A pastor like this is often strong at attracting people but the back door is wide open where people are constantly leaving. In desperation to grow he may hire consultants but the bottom line is that unless there is repentance and change his “empire” is going to crumble.
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Psalm 127:1