Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Leading and Truth
But, one of the reasons the people have wandered away from the Lord into a lifestyle of rebellion against God has to do with the failure of their leaders. In verse 26, the people "seek a vision from the prophet," but no vision is seen. Moreover, "instruction disappears from the priest, and counsel from the elders" (7:26). The Hebrew word translated here as "disappears" might also be rendered "dies" or "perishes." In other words, when the people went to their leaders for a living word to guide them, all they got was dead gibberish. No doubt, the people were impressed with polished speeches and what appeared to be divine truth. But the leaders spoke out of their own ignorance, and the people were guided, not into life, but into death.
We can see this very thing happening in our own day, as our leaders wander away from God's truth. This can happen even in churches that uphold biblical authority. Some years ago, I attended a church that affirms the inerrancy of Scripture. The preacher got up, read the biblical text, and then began to preach. His sermon was witty, compelling, and full of good advice. But it had absolutely nothing to do with the text he had read, other than an occasional word in common. Instruction had disappeared from that leader, at least on that particular Sunday.The model today for many churches is "service provider." The church is in fact there to serve, but it serves through leadership. Leadership includes, among other things declaring and shaping the direction of the organization But we do not really lead anymore, we manage. Management allows us to get the good and services to the consumer, but leadership takes the desires of the consumer gently redirects them towards the best, not the merely desired.
Most people fear that not giving people what they perceive themselves as needing will drive them away. i disagree, what most people really want is to be lead. Seriously.
The problems arise when instead of leading, we dictate. Leading is a subtle art, and one that demands far more of the leader than it does of the follower. We dictate out of laziness. We dictate because our own character is not well enough formed to even be capable of leadership.
When your organization is failing, look not at it, look to yourself.
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