Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Lack of Leadership

How about a broad sweeping generalization on this fine Tuesday?

The church suffers from a lack of leadership.

Now I am not saying we have a lack of attempts to cultivate "leadership". Books and seminars and professional education/vocational training aplenty purport to help men be leaders in the church. We are told to defer to leaders. On this very topic I give you an interesting quote from a few days ago from Dave Black on that very topic.

I am not saying we should not have seminaries or Bible schools. What troubles me is that we so often equate a formal biblical education with true biblical understanding. It seems to me that it is time to say "Enough!" to the fallacious notion that a degree in theology makes one qualified for leadership in the church.

We also don't have a dearth of those who claim to be leaders, leaders like "Bishop" Katharine Jefferts Schori who seems to think that what the world needs is diversity rather than Jesus. Then there are those who seem to buy into the hype surrounding themselves and think much of themself based on the accolades on their books. Of course there are plenty of people enriching themselves

I am also not saying we don't have any leaders in the church at all. We certainly do! What we lack is a recognition of people who are actually leading in the church through the Biblical means of service and example in favor of focusing on people based on position and title.Those are the leaders, the people who live and love as Christ lived and loved as best they can. It is the example of your life, the way you live, that makes you a leader.

The church is full of leaders and those leaders rarely if ever make demands of deference to their supposed "authority". Say what you like and dress it up all you want in religious jargon but someone who is more concerned with people "submitting to their authority" than they are with serving people in humility and love is not a leader in any Biblical sense.More pointedly, the more you have to remind people that you are a leader, the less of a leader you really are.

Being a leader isn't easy. Sometimes being a leader means saying difficult things. Anyone can say something to please people. It is harder to say something that you know will anger the very people you depend on for your paycheck. Even harder yet is to not only teach hard truths but to extend people the grace to grow while modeling proper behavior.

Being a leader also isn't hard. Just worry about living your life as Christ taught and modeled. It doesn't require a certain educational achievement or a certificate on your wall or a title in front of your twitter or facebook profile. It just requires taking up your cross daily. Under your own power that is impossible but with the Scriptures and Holy Spirit to guide us we have all we need to be leaders in the church.


Aussie John said...


Not often I disagree with you.

The problem is that those who claim to be Christian aren't looking to the one Leader we have, and only one we need,the Lord Jesus Christ.

When Peter was focusing on Elijah and Moses, God turned Peter's attention to
the one who ought to have been his focus, “This is my beloved Son;listen to him.”

I and so many others in "leadership" had men looking to us to "pastor" them and in doing so diverted attention from the only Pastor, Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur,
I don't think that the church lacks for people in past days trying to contribute to the leadership of the church. I think what we had was 'leaders' who desperately needed their 'people' to keep accolades and praises coming onto them to help these leaders feel secure. Questions were not welcome. Only certain members of the congregation were allowed to 'help' in the church.
Tested and proven people attending these churches were kept sitting on the benches so to speak.

Why? I think it was because 'true leadership' in the church was not what was being sought by these many 'church leaders'. Numbers of people was what was being sought and coveted . Beautiful buildings that would impress the community was being sought by many churches. Community acceptance by the 'world' was being sought.

A tongues talking Christian? 'Too weird' they said. I do agree that tongues in the church service should be limited. But tongues in the life of a Christian needs to be an important part of their conversation and communication with God. I know that there are many Chrisians who do not have this 'Biblical language'. I believe that tongues is biblical as presented in how this gift of the Holy Spirit functioned in the NT church inside and outside of 'church' gatherings.

Christians are suspicious of one another. There is no doubt of this. All the differences between churches. The fear and superiority that is taught from the pulpit regarding their own church 'enlightenment'.

Now today in the teaching of the church we have gone into this 'follow the old paths' philosophy. 'You can't go wrong with this strategy'. God says in scripture that the people of God go from glory to glory. How does going back to something that God left behind at the cross (because of its powerlessness and inability to change hearts and minds) bring Glory to God?

It's a bad situation that the church is in today. On top of this we have 'wolves', 'false prophets', 'false teachers', 'hirelings', in today's church in seeming abundance holding power and control over believers.

Are we going to be able to plot on a chart or print out a 'computer report' so we can map out and 'forecast' what God will do in our day or in the days to come? Not likely. I have experienced 'notice from God' about something happening that is coming. I got 2 or 3 months notice. It was not clear to me exactly what was going to happen, but I knew that it involved some aspect of finances in some way, because God was impressing on me to move my bank portfolio to safer investments. I also knew that what was coming was going to affect alot of everyday people. It was not until late 2008/early 2009 that I realized that what God was 'speaking about' was the coming financial collapse.