I am someone who did not grow up in church so that makes my point of view different from yours if you did grow up in church. There are some fads, waves, movements, and whatever, in the Christian world that I question because, well, I think I am always suspicious. Or, when those fads seem to work and I am not a part of them it could be that I am jealous. You will have to decide. But go easy on me 😉
One area that I am concerned with is the Christian world’s focus on leadership. I believe that leadership resources are important, but sometimes, it seems as if they are most important. It seems that Jesus displayed leadership in the Bible and that is who we are to imitate. As a matter of fact, He is the Leader of the Church. Consider this, if you are really Christian who has been called by God to lead a ministry of some type, then you need to unlock the leadership potential in you. Right? In other words, unbind Jesus who is in you.
Pastors, Jesus had trouble getting past 12 committed members. Jesus’ emphasis was on discipleship instead of producing numbers. Some pastors need to know that all any of us can do is to present the Gospel. We are called to plant and water the seed of the truth with those who do not believe. We are called to be led by the Holy Spirit as we allow Jesus to work through us to lead His people. When we see sin, call it sin. When we see something that does not work, or does not bear fruit, then consider that God isn’t using that. But, to simply refer to 3 or 4 hundred different leadership books seems to be odd when the Bible clearly is capable of giving guidance to each of us.
My fear is that focusing on leadership too much can lead us into the temptation of unconsciously thinking that the Church is ours. It is not. In some ways, leadership has become the Golden Snake of the Church. I looked for two things when I sought a church. I looked for Jesus and a pastor who understood Jesus. I was not looking for a CEO. After all, I had to deal with that in my secular job already.
I am always amazed at how many leadership coaches there are in the Church. Don’t believe me, look at Twitter and Facebook. We can busy ourselves to death trying to reproduce what worked for those guys without success. Yet, we never busy ourselves to death in prayer to receive insight from the Spirit.
Another troubling issue is the way people are down on the Church. I have talked about this before. It seems in our desire to grow our churches numerically, we have made it second nature to talk about how Church has become a farce. One of my favorite church signs said, “A church for those who don’t like church.” The Church is the Bride of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit places people in the church as He sees fit. Jesus Christ died and rose again for the Church. Why do pastors and other Christians run the Church down?
We might possibly think that somehow, if we talk bad about the Church, then the world would come. Before I met Christ, I already thought bad about the Church. You simply would have been confirming to me why I didn’t think about the Church. Remember, the Church is both Human and Divine. The only time there is trouble in the Church is when she loses touch with the Head, Jesus.
There are those in the Church who say they are not Christians. They say that they are followers. I understand what these good people are trying to say. They are fed up with the sin they see in the Church. I think this is where those who say they are a church for those who don’t like church are coming from too. Yet, Christians is what they called those who were part of the Church at Antioch in the book of Acts. Antioch was a sending church. It was a missionary minded church who was devoted to spreading the Gospel wherever they could. That was a good thing.
I think it would be easier if we were able to simply say that there are those in the Church are really not Christians, then saying that I am not a Christian I am a follower. I just become concerned with poor discipleship that can cause people to leave Jesus and never return.
I want to assure everyone that I am fine with leadership books, but we should never get away from 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and the Gospels. These are the ultimate sources of leadership for the Church. I also realize that we must still preach against, and fight against, sin in the Church. That is why God calls us to hold accontable and for us to practice confession. We also must struggle against those who do not really have love in their hearts being referred to as Christians. Our goal should be to live the Christian life, which is also a life of a follower. It is not either/or.
These are just some of the flavors of the month so to speak that Christians everywhere seem to chase after. These are my opinions. These opinions come from someone who just wants to serve Jesus Christ the way that He says to in His Word.