Pensées (mine, not Pascals. Sorry)Posted: January 6, 2015
There are two things the church of today emphasizes too much. One is leadership.
Good leadership is important. But in the church today, both leaders and lay people (I HATE that term!) are too concerned about it, even fretful about it. At the first indication of even a relatively mundane idea, everyone’s minds go right to the matter of leadership; who’s going to lead it? This despite the fact that, as others have noted, when Paul planted a church, he usually hung around for 3 – 6 months, then left – without appointing leaders. When he came back for a visit months or a year or two later, he observed who the leaders were and “ordained” them, meaning, he recognized. Them Paul knew what the church does not – that leaders happen. Naturally and organically.
Just do stuff. The leaders will arise. Really. This is a much better way. Messier, maybe, but still way better.
The other thing emphasized too much is teaching. Good teaching is also important, maybe now more than anytime in the last fifty years. But the current mentality is teach, teach, teach, ad nauseum. I’ve approached a number of pastors about doing “stuff”, and they always lament that “stuff” isn’t happening, but then when you approach them about it, they say the people aren’t “ready”. I always wondered, if they’ve been sitting under the pastor’s teaching, in some cases for many years, and are still not ready, whose fault is it? Definition of insanity, anyone?
Teaching is important. But teaching takes up the bulk of our time assembled together to the exclusion of just about every other kind of activity. And yet for all that teaching, very little occurs outside the walls of the church building. Now, this is changing, but it is largely changing through people at the grass roots who are in many cases walking away from traditional church.
Teaching is a terrible substitute for discipleship.
Not that we (collectively and generally) know what discipleship looks like. I don’t, anyway. It’s been on my mind to find out, so I’m currently on that quest. I do believe that discipleship involves modeling and imitation along with instruction, although in my limited experience, many people only need to be shown how in order to know how.
I think maybe discipleship should mostly be about showing people how to love. If, as far as discipleship goes, we focused on that and nothing else, I think we’d have some really useful, fruitful discipling going on.
And those are my thoughts for the day 🙂