Cool stuff in the rearview…

As a continuation of my earlier post, I’d like to pick apart a couple of thoughts.

Firstly, by some of the reactions I got I feel I need to make clear that I’m not letting anyone off the hook when it comes to leadership. If anything, I’m making it personal. The ministry model used in leadership is NOT an excuse. The people in the ministry are the ones causing the problems. I use words like “style” “model” and “form” because that’s all it is. My point is that regardless of the model of leadership used, if all the people in it are walking closely with the Lord, and submitting to his will, and I mean ALL, it will be successful. I do not see that a particular model would make someone less sucessful.

Factoring in things like personalities and life experience and you’ll certainly see people gravitate to specific types of leadership models, but as long as the final person calling the shots is Jesus, it won’t matter.
Now on to your gripes:

It’s been said that the best form of government (secular or otherwise) is a benevolent dictatorship—a ruler with ultimate authority, good intentions, and a keen sense of right and wrong is going to get the most right things done in the most efficient manner. The problem is that never, ever happens because people are selfish idiots.
-Christopher James Tiberius Dugan

I’m sure people have said that, but the problem with putting your hope in system of leadership is that your taking your hope away from God. How many times in the O.T. did we see God subvert the leadership systems that HE setup himself?
When the Priesthood didn’t do it’s job, he killed them off and had a little kid get it done.
God wanted to use Moses as his single instrument to free the Jews, but he got whiney adn Aaron had to step up and help him. Would we even have the example of Aaronic Priesthood if Moses hadn’t been such a faithless wuss?
Read the book of Malachi, and realize that he was aprophet totally outside of the established Priesthood.

Yes, selfish people ruin everything, especially leadership. But name an example of someone who failed and blamed it on the leadership model and I can show you 4 ways where adhering to Biblical principles in that persons own life would have negated the issues behind the failing, and most likely caused the ministry to flourish.

Not to pick on the Dugans, because I’m clearly just an amateur in that sport, but I also want to touch on this quickly:

Jesus Christ is the head of the church. (Eph. 5:23)Everyone else is body–this includes leaders, teachers, givers, servers, encouragers (Romans 12 and many other passages)

Firstly, everyone is the body. That’s indisputable. But why would God create a specific gift of Leadership, if he didn’t intend it to be used for the benefit of his body. Not that I’m infering that you beleive contrawise, just that if it’s important enough that we would get Holy Spirit help for it, it must also be an important job.

Which brings me to the second point that I must clarify. Leadership is a spiritual gift, and as far as gifting goes, that makes it clear that it’s an area where God feels we need all the help we can get. Spirit led leadership, which is a headache if you drill down the words in that senteance, will provide for the best leadership whichever form it takes. But it is leadership by an individual. Leadership is not some gestalt that the H.S. set’s up. It’s pretty clear from the examples of the N.T. that there is a time and place for a single leader, whether for a specific ministry of missions, or picking the Elders for the church in Crete. Not all situations will require someone with the Gift of leadership, but many will.

That’s it for now, feel free to lay into me.

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~ by thecox on September 8, 2006.

6 Responses to “Cool stuff in the rearview…”

  1. I totally agree with the first paragraph.

    I’m not quite sure what you mean in the second.

    We are 2000 years away from Paul, so don’t have any apostles anymore (I know the word means “missionary”), but I’m talking apostle in the sense of people who have seen Jesus (which includes Paul on the road to Damascus). You only get to do the Apostolic Era once.

    So, the issue is what do you do after that. The Roman Catholics can trace their leadership back to the Apostle Peter, so they say.

    But, let me end with leadership is good! Now, define leadership!

  2. Just to clarify…I meant the first paragraph after the reference to my comment on your first post…the one that starts “Firstly”. Actually, you have a couple paragraphs that start firstly, so I mean the second firstly. Yes, leadership is a specific gift used to benefit the body! That one.

    Now, back to Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

  3. I hope nothing I’ve said led you to believe that leadership isn’t an important gift of the Spirit or that leaders aren’t necessary in the church.

    Nothing could be further from the truth and I would even argue that it’s precisely because of the great importance of leadership that we should involve the body of Christ in that process as much as we can.

    Again, it all comes down to our view on how the Spirit works and then the questions arise: Do we accept that the Spirit moves in the hearts of all Christians and not a select few with certain specific “gifts”? How does the body determine who is truly gifted in leadership if we don’t have capital-A apostles around to appoint them?

    There may appear to be some contradictions here. How can those gifted in leadership truly lead if they are beholden to those not gifted? Here’s an excerpt from Senior Piper himself on that very thing:

    This may sound to some like a contradiction–to have an authoritative congregation submitting to leaders that it puts in place. But it isn’t a contradiction. Because there is a great difference between leadership that inspires and models and mobilizes and teaches and persuades and points the way in ministry and mission, and the corporate authority of the congregation that puts doctrinal and moral boundaries around that leadership and holds it accountable to serve the good of the church. Congregational authority and strong leadership under that authority are not incompatible. They are Biblical, and they are vital.

    The rest can be found here:
    http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByDate/1991/761_Who_Are_the_Elders/

  4. I agree with Mr. P and my brilliant son and thought of something else.

    Jurisdiction.

    First, you figure out who the leaders are. Whatever method that doesn’t make a leader a priest is fine with me. I prefer the presbyterian form as defined by the Presbyterian church where the local congregation elects elders to the session (the body that governs the church–the elders). The teaching pastor is on the session. He is chosen and called by the congregation, but ordained by the presbytery which is made up of the teaching and ruling elders. This system has accountability from the congregation as well as accountability from “above”. And, since all people are fallable, it makes sense that all spiritual gifts need to be used in choosing leaders (things like discernment would come in here).

    But back to jurisdiction. Here’s an example and then I will end because this post is way too long to be polite!

    A policeman has authority. If I shoot a gun in Bloomington, he can arrest me. If I am on my 300 acres of land in the country and I shoot a gun, he has no authority to arrest me. He has no jurisdiction.

    I believe the authority a leader has is spiritual authority which is the authority to lead us to the final authority which is God’s Word.

    Sola scriptura.

  5. Hi Aaron,
    Since there are already so many Dugan responses on here, I thought I’d add a fresh, Wallace perspective… 😉

    Commenting on this line:
    …”the problem with putting your hope in system of leadership is that your taking your hope away from God.”

    I agree with this paragraph 100%. However, what do you do when the system of leadership that is in place is – by the very way it’s set up (and however inadvertently – no matter how great the leaders are) – putting itself in a place between you and God? I wouldn’t say that I am wanting to put my hope in a system of leadership by wanting a different one. But it sure makes it tough to have a real, one-on-one relationship with God when there’s someone (or a group of leaders) in the way telling me that I need to be depending on them first for God’s words to me. That just doesn’t jive with that “there is one God and one mediator between God and man” verse. So my answer to this question is to pull myself out from under that system and find a system that pushes me towards God rather than gets in between us.

    I enjoy reading your thoughts!

  6. Hi Aaron,

    So, here’s the funny part. I thought I was agreeing with you and just adding to your thoughts. Now I’m really confused!

    Also, good idea not to mess with the Wallaces…they are related to Braveheart so they could be trouble for you.

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