The Problem with Leadership…
Devotional/Discussion Thought of the Day:
I urge the elders among you, as a fellow-elder myself and a witness to the sufferings of Christ, and as one who is to have a share in the glory that is to be revealed: 2 give a shepherd’s care to the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, as God wants; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it. 3 Do not lord it over the group which is in your charge, but be an example for the flock. 4 When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the unfading crown of glory. 1 Peter 5:1-4 (NJB) 1
Many false apostles, in spite of themselves, do good to the masses, to the people, through the very power of the doctrine of Jesus which they preach—even though they don’t practice it. But this good does not compensate for the enormous and very real harm they do by killing the souls of leaders, of apostles, who turn away in disgust from those who don’t practice what they preach. That’s why such men and women, if they are not willing to live an upright life, should never push themselves forward as leaders. (1)
Tomorrow morning, before even life gets up, I will get on an airplane and head to my denominations convention, a three year event to do the business of the church. I dread it, for there are forces at play that are well described in St. Josemaria’s words. That don’t care for the flock, or its leaders, and they see themselves as not just leaders, but the only authority on what it means to be Lutheran or for that matter, Christian. It is more than sad.
But that brings up a question, how are we to deal with leaders described in the quote from St. Josemaria? Do we simply not listen to them, and do what is right in our hearts, according to our own
internal clocks? Do we call for their resignations, or if they don’t, we try to remove them? Or do we call them to repentance and rejoice when they do. In a large group – how is it best dealt with, not just for our good, or theirs, but for the good of God’s kingdom?
More importantly, can we realize that it is ultimately God that is in charge, and if this is a season of pruning or oppression, God will use it to bless us? A great example of this is Luther of course, who was forced into a nearly monastic hiding arrangement, yet came out of it with even a greater appreciation for our life in Christ, having translated the New Testament into German. Can we avoid the real harm which some would do, can we endure the disgust and minister to those around us, pointing them to Christ, and the reason we have hope?
In such times – the cry is simple… Lord, Have Mercy!
and not just rely on it, but trust completely in His provision.
(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 1024-1028). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
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