the weblog of Alan Knox

Two conversations worth reading…

Posted by on Jul 9, 2007 in blog links, discipleship, elders, spirit/holy spirit | Comments Off

Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk, posted a great blog called “Real and Present“. In this post, he discusses the presence of God with individual believers and as believers gather together. We use different terms and different methods to focus on the really, real presence of God. Consider this paragraph:

The only God I know of in the Gospel is a God who is real, a God who is present, a God who promises to be with his people corporately and individually, and a God who has given us multiple ways to focus on the particulars of his presence and the particular kinds of reality that involves.

I agree with him here. God is real and God is present. This is the God of Scripture – the God of the Gospel. This is the God who has called us into his family. He has promised to be with us – never forsaking us. Now, do we live as if God is present with us, or do we live as deists – God is far away? Do we live as if God is present with all believers just as He is present with us? Would our attitudes towards and discussions with other believers change if we spoke as if God was present with them just as he is present with us?

Also, robbymac writes about a fictional conversation about leadership in a post called “Through the Looking-Glass“. In this conversation, he has an Elder believer discussing leadership with a Younger believer. The Younger gives his definitions of strong/weak leadership and mature/immature leadership. The Elder responds:

The gaze of the Elder turned to look in the eyes of the Younger. “Well,” he began, “I just can’t help but notice that the characteristics of what you label ‘immature’ most closely matches what you also described as ‘strong’.”

“And I wonder, is it possible that a truly strong leader might actually reflect your idea of ‘mature’, coupled with your version of ‘weak’?”

The noise of the busy cafe seemed to recede into the far distance. For several moments, nothing was said.

Then the Elder continued, “What if a truly strong leader is one who is un-threatened enough to actually, honestly listen to the input of those around them, precisely because (a) they are secure in their identity in Christ, and (b) they know they need the voices of others to adequately hear what God is saying to the whole group? What if the ‘weak’ leader is really the one who insists on his or her own personal vision, and is too threatened to consider the voices of anyone else?”

“Maybe it takes more cajones to NOT insist on the leader’s ‘vision’, or ‘strategy’, and to trust that the Spirit speaks through the Body, hmm?”, he asked, gesturing with open hands.

I agree that leaders who trust the Spirit to speak through the body – and I would add to work through the body – are demonstrating true traits of strength, maturity, and wisdom. Meanwhile, those who feel that they must push a vision or an agenda themselves demonstrate a lack of relying on the Spirit and immaturity. Where do we find characteristics of good leaders? Do we look for them in the business world or in Scripture? Do we look for people with A-type personalities, or people who are Spirit-led and humble? Do real leaders make things happen, or wait for God to make things happen?