The Nine Stages of Disloyalty

Loyalty is not a subject that is taught on often in our culture. Our culture resists aligning our loyalty to a specific person’s leadership because in doing so we feel like we lose our independence of personhood. In our culture if leaders question someone’s loyalty those leaders are seen as being insecure and controlling.

There is however a place for loyalty in a leadership setting. That’s why many react so strongly to Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. He had ministered with Jesus for over 3 years and Judas still stabbed him in the back. People ask how could he do that? They ask that because He is seen as being disloyal.

I recently came across this insightful content on the 9 stages of disloyalty. At first glance I was a bit perplexed as to why such a subject need be examined, but after reflecting further I realized how helpful it is for a leader to be able address these  issues as soon as they’re recognized.

This list isn’t for the insecure leader who sees disloyalty in disagreement. Competent leaders should have a team around them that feels free to discuss and disagree on various issues in love. However, there is merit to addressing disloyalty among those among our core team because if not addressed it can bring disunity and destruction to a team or organization.

Nine Stages of Disloyalty in a Church setting:

1. Becomes Independent from the team.

2. Desires personal recognition from the leader.

3. Exalts the importance of his own ideas above the leader’s ideas.

4. Develops a critical attitude toward spiritual leaders.

5. Distorts the views of his spiritual leader.

6. Gives recognition to others who are dissatisfied.

7. Justifies his opposition to spiritual leaders.

8. Emphasizes minor points.

9. Will at times  form a splinter group, which may then evolve into another church.


Godly loyalty seeks to preserve unity under authority God has established for the purpose of fulfilling the mission. Being aware of these signs can save a leader a ton of heartache if he or she is able to deal with these issues as they come up.While these stages are written in the context of a church setting, they certainly could play out in any type of organization where people are being led.

What’s been your experience? Would you add a stage? Please share your thoughts below.