the weblog of Alan Knox

Which group do you want to imitate?

Posted by on Aug 18, 2007 in elders, office, spirit/holy spirit | 5 comments

In response to my post “Anabaptist politics and pastoral authority“, Jeff left a very thought-provoking comment. I have been greatly challenged by many of Jeff’s comments. I hope you think carefully about this comment and see which group best describes you.

This is what Jeff said:

I think there are many prideful leaders who follow in the footsteps of Diotrephes. Those who want to be in control of the people and prefering them to be in bondage and hearers only.

There are also many who follow in the footsteps of Moses. He didn’t want the responsibility of leading people. He was the most humble man to walk the earth, but because he had a personal relationship with God and was led by the Spirit he encouraged the people to follow and listen to God. But the irresponsible people put him in bondage by electing him to deal with God and then speaking to them. It was not necessarily Moses’ fault the people didn’t want to take the time to have a personal relationship with the Father and they looked to him instead of to God to lead them. But because of this Moses became pre-occupied with the people and he himself, though being extremely humble, for a moment lost site of his role as a leader, and as a consequence he himself was never allowed to enter into the rest that God prepared.

Then there are those leaders who want to follow in the footsteps of John the baptist who was, as Jesus said, “the greatest man born of a woman.” Someone who simply shows people they need to repent, they stink, they need to take a bath and cleanse themselves of this baggage they’re carrying, and then go seek out, follow, and listen to Jesus.(This is not meant to be a plug for the “Baptist Denomination”)

The conclusion I’ve come to is this…

There are Spirit led people put into bondage by irresponsible “leaders” of the churches.

There are Spirit led leaders who are put into bondage by irresponsible people in the churches.

Then there are those in the wilderness who simply walk with God and point to Christ and say, “seek only Him, follow only Him, and Listen to Him.”

I know, personally, which one I want to imitate.

I think Jeff has astutely recognized three groups within the church. It would be beneficial for all of us to consider where we would fit within Jeff’s three groups. Which group best describes you? Are there other groups?


5 Comments

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  1. 8-19-2007

    Kudos Jeff!

    That is a great comment!

    God’s Glory,
    Lew

    P.S. Does this mean we should be eating locust and honey?

  2. 8-20-2007

    I think this is an incredibly insightful observation. Good post!

  3. 8-20-2007

    Lew and Matthew,

    I agree! I think Jeff had great insight here.

    -Alan

  4. 8-20-2007

    How about Spirit led people led by Spirit led leaders. Isn’t this the ideal? And what does this look like?

    I think Paul’s letter to Philemon gives us a glimpse. Paul says that he could use his authority to command Philemon,instead he appeals to him in love being confident that Philemon will even go beyond Paul’s request (possibly granting Onesimus his freedom?)

    It is a relationship based in complete trust and an obedience that grows out of the love of God put in the heart by the Spirit (Rom 5:5) not out of compulsion.

  5. 8-20-2007

    C Grace,

    Again, great comment! I agree that trust is the big issue: trust in God and his ability to work in my own life and to work in the lives of other people. This is true for those who lead and for those who follow.

    -Alan