June 17, 2015
Three Realities of Church (Pt. 3)
In this installments to this blog, I intend to present the third of three realities of church work that deserve a quick reminder. As you, the reader, remember these truths, I trust they will renew your readiness to serve in your local church.
“Calling versus Coercing”
Another very important aspect regarding God’s work and our place in it speaks to the way the person knows his or her direction. There are people on both sides of the table that believe that coercing is the same as calling. Some leaders believe that they must twist the arms of the worker in order for them to follow God’s direction. Some workers are just as bad. These believe that unless their arms are twisted, there is no real reason to do anything. But there is a difference between the calling of God and the coercion of church leaders. Both the leader and the worker need to understand this. If it takes coercion for someone to follow God’s direction, there is something else that needs attention. That individual is not ready to serve. On that same note, the leader that believes that it is necessary to brow beat and harasses the worker into submission is not ready to be a leader.
This is a “never should be” attitude. When this is the attitude that is leading the church, the church will be bogged down in personality issues and arguments over polity rather than the vital work of evangelism and disciple making for which the church has been instituted.
From one leader to others, Peter writes, “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3). The leadership role here is clearly described. The leader is responsible to be both a provider of care for the sheep and direction for those sheep to be productive. He is NOT to beat them into submission. Peter makes it clear that it is the task of those who are to follow to, “submit yourselves to your elders” (Vs 5). If every person knows his role and does it, there will be no need to coerce or force the work.
If the leader will take on the “Mind of Christ,” and will in his work strive to “make himself of no reputation,” He will be a leader that others will want to work with. If he will view himself as a servant, obedient to his Lord even “to the point of death,” and perhaps that of the cross with all its implications, he will be a servant true to his Lord. If he will not wear this attitude, his chore has very little chance of being done effectively and the work will suffer.
© 2015 Dr. SF Gallagher