15 March 2013

Christian Leadership

To say that I have a problem with "big-name" leaders is an understatement. I almost refuse to read or listen to those with big followings (please note the important word there, though. I did write "almost."). I find it offensive when big "ministries" bear the name of the founder. Leadership, however, is essential.

There are all sorts of leadership roles in the church, the family, and the community. One need not be elected to some office or committee in the church to be considered a “Christian leader.” Simply having a title or office in the church doesn’t make one a leader. There are many who have held such positions and been no leader at all. On the reverse side, there are many who quietly lead without ever being voted in to anything or named to any position, committee, or board. Please don't take this as an indictment of any and all who do hled office in the church. That's not my point.

Consider 1 Peter 2:5-9, especially verse 9: "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."

Now take a look at Revelation 1:6: "...and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."

There are no other words in Greek which are related to the word translated “priest” or “priesthood” in these verses. This word is defined in Greek dictionaries as “a member of the priestly fraternity or sacerdotalists.” Not a lot of help there. A further explanation of what it means may be found in 1 Peter 4:10: "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace."   Now juxtapose that against Matthew 25:40, which says “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” So we are serving God when we are serving people. When we are serving Him we are being priestly.

Someone once asked me, “if we can’t be on a committee, what’s the point of coming to church?” This is to totally – and disastrously - misunderstand the role of the Christian as priest. First, there are no committees in the Bible (unless one considers the meeting in Acts 15 to be a committee). Second, service is not necessarily institutional. Individual Christians are all priests; leaders.

It's comical, sometimes, when I tell Protestant Christians that they should rightly be referred to as saints (that's another blog post, someday). Now, I'm saying that we are all priests! Well, don't be going out and buying a funny collar, but if you are Christ's you ARE one of His priests.

I will be adding a bit to these thoughts on Christian leaders in future posts. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the matter?

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