Friday, November 27, 2009

Armchair QB


As my husband and I continue our search for a closer church, we are amazed at the differences in the Body of Christ.  We have met stoic, solemn believers and flag waving expressive believers, integrated churches, monochromic churches.  None more Christian than another, just different in their expressions of faith.  That doesn't bother me, but as I read about the early church gatherings, I wonder if we have lost something, the sense of unity and connectedness not only with God but with each other.  They wanted to be part of each other so much that one church would send some of their communion bread to the next as a way of being present with their brothers and sisters. Well, since this week was a visitation Sunday, we checked out a different church in our area, ACTS Covenant Fellowship

One of the coolest things about ACTS was the kids.  There were kids EVERYWHERE!  They were sometimes a little rowdy, but they were loved.  Families sang with their children on their hips, encouraging them.  Then the children were dismissed, and not in the manner of, "Let's get the kids to their stuff so we can have some peace to do adult stuff," but they were prayed for as they left.  That was beautiful to see how they valued the children.

Unfortunately, I did not get a program for the worship (and the website doesn't give a whole lot of information) so I do not know names and such, but the pastor's message was on leadership.  This Sunday the church was affirming a group of young leaders, so the topic was a natural discussion.

One thing that caught my ear was the idea that leadership is a way to get to know God better, to become more like Him.  Just to clarify, the pastor stated that since the kingdom of God is a kingdom of priests, we are all called to be leaders whether of our families as mothers and fathers, our small groups, our communities, or our church.  Leadership is a position of influence, responsibility, sacrifice, and pain.

I have read books on leadership and been to Catalyst conferences that develop and shape young leaders in the church.  Still, I had never thought about how leadership can help us become more like God.  We have influence, not control, of those in our care and that is only because we do care.  It is a responsibilty born of love.  For those women who allow me to lead them, I love them and take this responsibility, this honor, to be in their lives, very seriously.  Sometimes it feels very lonely.  The whole goal of leading the women I do, it seems, is to release them to influence their own worlds.  Although I am proud of these women and the differences they make in the world around them, there is a separateness sometimes that I cannot quite put my finger on.

Makes me think about how God might feel.  Is He proud of us?  Do we hurt Him when we keep our distance?  When we lie about what is really going on because we cannot bring ourselves to face it?  Does He love us, waiting anxiously for us, knowing how much we need to talk, to walk thru our struggles?  Does He smile knowing how well we are really doing even when we are frustrated and don't feel like anything worthwhile is happening, unable to see the results, or the process?  Does He cheer us?  Does He cry with us?

Tho this can only reflect my imperfect leadership, God's leadership is perfect.  He does not just walk with us.  He provides for us, and He knows us completely.

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