ON this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Mt. 16:18-19
Hip Hop Horay! Well, for those who do not know, I have been working feverishly to complete my masters degree. Today, I just found out that with straight A's in my last semester, it is finished. Above is the picture of the ticker tape parade we held this morning. Schooling was quite fun, though at times was a little stressful. I learned a lot and now have some more tools for ministry, and can start paying back loans:(.
So, for all of those who have been waiting in anticipation for some awesome blogging, I thought I would kick it back in with this thought. I had a discussion with someone from the 'uppers' of a church, on the topic of leadership, specifically when it comes to church. This person was convinced that leadership is something that everyone could learn and a position that anyone could fill. All in all, the idea being that a local church should be built on shoulders of strong leaders, plural. In essence, the implication is that when a church fails, it is simply a lack of submission to Christ, specifically from the communal form of leadership in the congregation. The pastor did not succeed in teaching those goals or the people just didn't do it. Cool, sounds good on paper, but then the ordained pastor or 'leader' of said church is sent to another church to not lead, because they should already have a communal form of leadership in place. The whole thing trying to combat the old form of church, where the pastor did all of the ministry and held a position of high authority over people.
While it is of utmost importance for the church to be developing leaders and to have strong leaders within the context of the church (elders and team leaders)I believe that scripture is clear that there is a position of singular, visionary leadership to guide a local body. That singular, visionary leader must then be surrounded with other leaders who can help support and guide the process through, prayer, biblical insight, discussion, guidance, wisdom, etc. But at some point the buck stops with one leader. This person is not better than anyone else, nor is their giftedness better. The reality is that the role they play in the body is to give direction to empower the saints for ministry. There in lies the key. How many church leaders miss this? They either miss the magnitude of the responsibility, or they get to enamored with the magnitude and feel they are better than everyone else, and treat their role as king, with all of the right ideas and no one has a right to question. It seems like the person I was discussing this with probably has, like me, experienced too much of these two extremes. The result was an ideology removing of the position of strong, singular, visionary leadership. I am still thinking through the ramifications of this, but I have to rest on the fact that God rose up individuals all throughout scripture to move His people. When they led properly, taking advice from other leaders, following after God, empowering people and serving, they did great things for the kingdom.
So, that is a snippet of a huge idea. I guess the biggest idea that I had to settle on was, as a leader, there is a huge responsibility. Are the people I lead being empowered for the ministry they are called to? Do they feel 'Lorded over' or loved? Am I seeking God for every step? Who am I developing to lead?
Well, thought it was about time to show some more pictures of the wee lass. I actually have a ton of thoughts for jumping back into proper blogging, but, I am taking some time off because I just finished all of my work for my master's degree, and am waiting anxiously for my grades to come back and ensure that I am a master. Finger's crossed.
Anywho, here's Lucy. She is now 4 wks old and is currently learning the violin. It's just something she likes to do in between feedings.
Obviously, these pics were taken in a one minute span. If you will notice her hands, you can join us in marveling at how she has no concept of proper hand usage and placement during social situations. She is all about having her hands around her face. I guess that's ok until wk 6.