Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Who Should Lead?
The church in America is led by scholars. Essentially, the church is a robust school system created around a framework of lectures and discussions and study. We assume this is the way its supposed to be because this is all we have ever known. I think the scholars have done a good job, but they’ve also recreated the church in their own image. Churches are essentially schools. They look like schools with lecture halls, classrooms, cafeterias and each new church program is basically a teaching program.He goes on to talk about how Jesus did not recruit teachers, but laborers. He also says some ting that I really agree with:
Because we’ve been led by scholars for so long, we have slightly distorted ideas about Christian discipleship. If you want to grow in Christ, you should study more. Christian growth, then, is an academic path. And like educators, we only advance to become higher level educators. The point of learning is always teaching which produces further learning and then more teaching. The only difference between the church and another educational institution is that nobody ever graduates from the church. We just keep going to school.That's really true. We have a very distorted view of what Christian maturity looks like. I have written over and over here about how it seems like you reach a certain point in your growth and professional ministry is the only option open to you.
But I wonder if his cure is not chaos:
So maybe if you’re a doctor or a plumber or a carpenter, you should lead the church. Maybe the church needs some of you who don’t write and speak and teach for a living to step up and put some action to our faith. I wonder what your churches would look like? Maybe you could meet in homes, appoint some elders, pray for each other, read the Bible to each other, and then just serve your communities and each other in love. Maybe you wouldn’t need a classroom at all. Go ahead, lead. You’re qualified. You’ll have a guide. You’ve graduated.And now you know why I am Presbyterian. What he is talking about here is a still a model where the church extends from one individual.
In the Presbyterian system the church is lead by a group of individual = and the role of preaching is filled by one specially trained individual. The rub with the Presbyterian system right now seems to be that only one or two people in that elected group care enough to exercise genuine leadership, leaving the preacher to do the real leadership anyway.
Here's what I wonder, what would happen if the current leaders concentrated on making new leaders, not just filling the pews?
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