Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Extending Our Influence
Maybe I'm just calling the glass half full, or finding the silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud. But think with me for a second about the office of pastor. Unlike any other office or position that I can think of off the top of my bald head, the office of pastor requires a man to excel in two areas: doctrine and life.Would that such were true. But let's stop and list a few names; Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard.... The list of celebrity pastors that were anything but exemplary is pretty long. In point of fact the more the celebrity, the higher the probability of a hidden moral failing. The narcissism required to go to the effort to attract that much attention to oneself is of itself a moral failing and almost demands that other issues are hidden beneath the surface.
We celebrate authors for how they write, academics for their brains, athletes for their athleticism, presidents for their ability to govern.
But the pastor is placed before a congregation because he is supposed to represent the ideal Christian: he thinks the right things and he lives a life that is "above reproach." I once heard D. A. Carson describe the lists of elder qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 like this: they don't require a man to exemplify extraordinary virtues, but to exemplify ordinary virtues extraordinarily well.
Jesus came at a time void of media and chose men who were extraordinary only in their ordinariness to change the world. Forget the fact that His humility ended in His crucifixion and focus on the fact that he concentrated on just 12 people. Where's the "celebrity" in that?
Humility and servitude are what I look for in a leader.