Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Does The Church Need To Repent?

I write often on our mistaken notion of leadership in the Christian Church. It is not to be overly critical but because I think we have made some bad choices in the leadership model we follow. Face it, we put a lot of emphasis on leadership in our churches and too often it is based on the principles of the world instead of on the Bible. We look at how to handle and manage people. We look at performance and appearance. We train for right decision making and great management skills. Yet time after time we see the world model of leadership fall apart in Scriptures.

Absalom, the son of David, was leadership material from top to bottom. He was good looking, intelligent, well mannered, and knew how to manage and manipulate people. Sometimes there is a fine line between leading and manipulating. This is what the people saw of him:

Now in all Israel there was no one who was praised as much as Absalom for his good looks. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. (2 Kings 14:25)

We always seem to be stuck judging leadership by appearance, after all, what else do we have to go on? But appearances are often deceiving because we do not have a full understanding of actions, and motivation is not always apparent. Too often we are overlooking the truly biblical leader for the one who has the appearance of leader. But Absalom was wicked to the core. He hated his father and used his intelligence to take the kingdom from the king. He lied, cheated, manipulated and killed to wreck vengeance on his father but all the people could see was that he was good looking.

Unfortunately we only use our eyes in trying to judge leadership but we have been equipped with the discernment of the Holy Spirit. We also have the model of leadership that Jesus gave us; that of the servant-leader who leads by example and not by edict. We do not choose our leaders in the Kingdom, they are appointed, called out by the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 are just two examples of Scripture that reveal this truth. Leadership in the Church is not a career and not something that seems like a good idea. Leaders are the best servants, sacrificing everything for those they serve.

There has been a bigger push on in the last couple of decades to legitimize church leaders in the eyes of the world. We have required them to be better educated and better skilled. Much of this education is built on the models of the world, for the world's approval. Much of the training is built on sound business practices, based on the world. When we are building our churches based on world models instead of the Bible there is a problem and our hearts will gravitate to harlotry instead of loving Jesus with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul, and all our strength. No wonder we are producing what we are producing and seeing even leaders turn away when the slightest breeze blows against their feeble faith.

Those who are mature in the Lord, who are strong in their faith, and who are resolved to go the distance with Jesus, who clearly hear the prompting of the Spirit, need to call out to the Church to repent, to turn from the course they are on, to call out to Jesus before it is too late. For indeed the hour is getting late and we are seeing more of the spirit of the end times with each passing day. People honestly think they are safe when they are filled with the ugliness of sin which keeps them focused on themselves. They have been led in a wrong understanding of grace and now stand on the brink of judgment. We need to call to the Church, to humble herself before her Groom, to cast off everything that is of self and be renewed in her first Love again.

Quick, as we yell to the world to save itself by turning to Jesus, we need to shout to the Church to be renewed in the same Jesus. I say quick because there is much work to be done and very little time. Things have been happening slowly but the timetable is about to hit hyper-speed.

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