As I mentioned in the first post in this series, I want to highlight some of the comments that have been left on my blog posts during the past week. Hopefully, this will give more visibility to some of the reasons that I love blogging – dialog and interaction.
First, thank you everyone for your comments and prayers for my friend Gary. I told you part of his story in my post “My friend is missing. Please pray for him and his family.”
Ah patience! Once we start to get free of traditionalism and institutionalism, we want everyone to jump on board but it takes times, patience and trust. That can be so hard! When we are untethered from the familiar, it can feel like we are always beset by uncertainty. That is why I am so blessed by guys like Bobby who, at least electronically, are sharing the journey and supporting me. God is doing great things in His church, I pray we all are patient as we work under His direction.
I believe that we as followers are also at blame because we choose to follow position and personality rather than people with scriptural leadership qualities. We want our ears to be tickled and to see the flash over serving and living a quiet life of godliness. Thoughts?
In my understanding, the church is a spiritual family. There will always be those in a family who are older spiritually, but the goal is for everyone to become spiritually mature and become a spiritual parent for others. In reality, the maturity of an elder that is laid out in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1 is the character that every believer should grow into over time. When Paul told Titus to go back to the cities where they had started churches and recognize elders, it was to recognize the work that the Holy Spirit had already done in the lives of those men who had pursued God more wholeheartedly, and who had thus grown to maturity more quickly. The people in the church who had already been around these men would realize they were examples and that they were already doing the work of especially caring for the believers. The benefit of recognition is particularly for the new people that become a part of a church family, so that as Alan stated they would know whose example to follow. It does really seem clear as you read the epistles that the most important role of an elder is to be an example. I like how Paul told the Thessalonians- ” We were an example for you. You followed our example, and now you have become an example for others.”
Finally, you should definitely read this comment by Laura, and, yes, it’s on the same post. Here is part of her comment:
The call to be new creations does not make you a leader, it is for all; I believe God is longing for us to have the revelation of being a new creation (not head knowledge). Then we will enter into and see the ministry of the ‘sons’ of God in this world, living from the new as Jesus (and Paul) did; not dragging around our old sins/nature/hang ups/baggage, but leaving them in the grave, and doing greater things than even Jesus did. A kingdom of new creations here in the world…kings and priests (kjv). I continually enter into the new but I reject the label of leader …yuck unless you name every child of God a ‘king’ as Paul has.