Friday, February 24, 2012

Aspiring to be a nobody

Loved this from Dave Black yesterday regarding the desire to raise up leaders.

Personally, I'm not all that eager to raise up a new generation of leaders. I want to raise up a new generation of butlers and scullery maids. A generation of nobodies who are content to be obedient to the simple teachings of Jesus. A generation of Christ-followers who die to family, fame, fortune, success, patriotism, and the American Dream. A generation of Dietrich Bonhoeffers who realize that "when Jesus calls a man, He bids him come and die." I want to raise up a generation of men and women who give without counting the cost, who deny themselves, who willingly take the cross as the path of union with Christ, in whom there is no trace of triumphalism, who put their lives at Christ's disposal with unconditional surrender, who place Christian allegiance over their national allegiance, who act as though they were part of an upside-down kingdom, who die to all claims of the self-indulgent life, who refuse to lionize success or repudiate pain, who "share in suffering as good soldiers of Jesus Christ" (2 Tim. 2:3), who stand high and lift their drooping heads because the Son of God inhabits their lives in the power of His resurrection. We cannot all be seminary grads or professional ministers. But we can all be engaged in fulltime Christian ministry. We can all bring others to faith in the Savior. We can all be devoted to prayer. I am concerned not so much with raising up a generation of leaders but with training a generation of men and women who are consumed with a passion to understand Christ better and make Him known. This does not invalidate the educational enterprise. It gives it purpose.
I just liked that a lot. The best word in that entire paragraph? "Content". If only we were content I think we would see so much more zeal for Kingdom work.

What is missed in so many circles is the utterly Biblical sense in which the true leaders in the church are universally the servants, the nobodies. Not only do we miss this, we tend to go in just the opposite direction. We raise men up, we elevate them, ordain them, exalt them. We buy their books and listen to the talks and attend their conferences. We cleverly drop their names and post their quotes on Facebook and Twitter. If they are dead, that is even better! I believe more each day that those who we will see as “great” in the Kingdom of Heaven will be people we never heard of or those we know but rarely paid attention to.

We don’t need more leaders, we need more nobodies!


Tim A said...

He is right on target. This is very profound. But I am very confused when he says at the very end " This does not invalidate the educational enterprise."

What? There is very little about the educational enterprise that is geared toward what he is saying. There is so much about the educational enterprise that is geared precisely to build Bible lecturers and program managers for a perpetual dependency system.

One line I would have added is "Men, who like Paul, passionately reject their rights to be paid to labor in the truth."

Bobby Auner said...

Aspiring to be a nobody. Quite a step up from previous aspirations.

markoffaith said...

Hi Arthur,

That is truly an amazing piece and one I heartily agree with. I confess that I have moments with "delusions of grandeur" (usually future inclined as I must admit I am a nobody) and would want more Twitter followers, more blog readers etc. etc.
But the more I mature (just started on that one) the more I learn that to have a great name amongst Christians, and especially to have a great name amongst the world, is not what I, we, should be about - we should seek that Jesus' Name is honoured and glorified, not our own, and for most of us, His Name is glorified when no-one but those in our community has ever heard of us.