Thursday, April 05, 2007

CHURCH LEADERSHIP: CAREFUL, CAUTIOUS, COSTLY

Our people live in pockets of hurt in the church. Some (many) struggle to stick with the Church of Christ (Read comments on my blog two days ago regarding CHURCH OF CHRIST WEARY). I grieve at what some are finding to be the suppressing conditions of the congregations where they are trying to serve.

Truth is not the all-encompassing voice of too many in leadership; as much as such is hailed. In reality, it is fear which manipulates the organizational puppetry. Fear calls the shots. Fear excites emotion. Fear lashes out at change, at new, at creativity.

I believe we have a significant number of elders and preachers who simply prefer calm over hassle and would prefer safety over risk. In other words, cowardice has entered the camp through the Trojan horse of leadership and stifled what was once a powerful organism to be known as the body of Christ.

Look at Jesus. Did he play it safe? Was his normal day filled with playing it safe? Was he anemic to rough times? The Great Shepherd was pounded to his death to the extent he could no longer be recognized as a human being. Yet, church leadership hears the calls of parents trying to offer life to their children, but can't give much of a positive response because the truth is fear has precedence over brave effort to try the creative unknown.

Believing the Bible is altogether different than keeping church traditions afloat. The Bible will lead the church to productivity. Man-made traditions kill the spirit as they allow assorted activity without the Spirit.

Church leadership, if we are giving the same answers and believing the same things we did twenty years ago, I suggest we are not being faithful to the Word. I am believing we quit growing twenty years ago and our leadership is choking off the new limbs to the potentially growing body. In many areas the church is frozen because the leadership simply replies by rote the responses they've always given. It's easier that way.

The cross destroys our taking the easy route.

Share with me what areas you see would set your congregation free to breathe if the leadership would only...........

8 comments:

Donna G said...

If they would only quit placing so much emphasis on meeting three times a week in "the building" and get out in the community.

If they would only accept other believers as believers...

Anonymous said...

if the leadership would only...

value change and movement rather than consistency and familiarity.

value all ages, not just those who have been there the longest.

value the young people for their gifts and passions today, not in the future.

care more about reaching out and changing lives than making sure the "finer points of doctrine" are adhered to.

Anonymous said...

if the leadership would only....

love their flock\not the organization

seek the lost

lead us spiritually not the preacher

realize WE don't have it perfected there is room to learn!

David U said...

If the leadership would only.....

well, at the congregation I am a part of, our leadership is AWESOME! They are outward focused, and a blessing to all the folks who are a part of that body of believers.

I would say in most "traditional" churches of Christ, the leadership should try and move away from the mindset that EVERYTHING has to go thru an institutional filter. That filter is worn out. It doesn't resonate with those who are searching! Get out the relational filter, and run everything through it. Quit being so religious, and be relational.

I won't copy and paste it here, because it's too long.....but I did a post on my blog May 13th, 2005 concerning this concept of being "safe". I have never done this before, but here is the link:

http://lightandsalt.blogspot.com/

Keep em coming, Terry!
DU

Liz Moore said...

I am very thankful to be a part of a leadership that is focused on shepherding the flock and allowing God to take us wherever God sees fit to lead us. Because of their focus, the church remains calm when God throws us amazing things we would never think of.

So, although it's already true in our church, I would say for the benefit of those where it isn't true...

if only they would lead by example. And just allow God to work, even though it seems like something they would never do, just follow God's lead and allow it to take you places you never thought you would be. Places filled with such excitement, places where God is working, places where He is glorified!

Anonymous said...

If the leadership would only....
feel secure enough to sit down to study and dialogue with members. Without that there seems to be little hope of any change in my church family since they believe we already have all the answers and they are the same answers as were prescribed 2,000 years ago.

If only they didn't believe it would be wrong to think outside the WAY (form) the NT Christians worshipped and lived or to at least see that what our traditions dictate are not actually how they worshipped and lived.
Still praying!

Bobby Cohoon said...

Good thoughts,

Bobby

Ben Overby said...

Terry,

Excellent observations.

If the leadership would only learn to discern the leadership of the Spirit, depending on His dynamic and less on their own strategic analysis.

ben overby
http://benoverby.wordpress.com