The study, practice and coaching of leadership is my focus and has been for about two decades. In business and organisations leadership is actually much easier than when it comes to churches or spiritual communities. In fact, we are really getting the two quite confused at the moment.
The church started as a community, went to Greece and became a philosophy. It settled in Rome and became an institution and finally ended up in the USA and became a corporation. There is a distinction between the institutionalised church and the body of believers known as Christians. The former is usually a man-made system that imposes certain norms, rules and prescriptions. To turn away from the norms usually means being ostracized in some way or form.
This is what Richard Jacobson elaborates on in his book Unchurching. I don’t mean to bash any individual person or group, but I simply want to highlight an insight that I have paid dearly in personal relationship to learn. Humans have built the current form of church and in many instances it does not resemble the original heart of ekklesia (body of faithful people). Without going in too much detail here, the reality is that we are essentially subscribing to pagan rituals and organisational techniques that inhibits community rather than develop it.
Follow or Lead
At the head of many of these mega-churches or global movements there is usually a charismatic spiritual leader or pastor. This person is usually seen as a significant leader. Where did we get this model? Our model is of a God that became Man. That Man that did not build a large institution, but actually came and removed any institutional blockages between us and our Creator. His last act as breath left His body was to tear apart the separation between man and God.
By sacrificing His position He stepped aside and left authority in the hands of others. In fact, he did not leave them with a building or money. He left them with His spirit. Ever present, ever powerful. Yet we keep building towers to show how close to God we are. The spirit of Babylon lives on.
Christ said that He can only do what He sees His Father is doing. In other words He said look at how I follow, I will teach you how to follow. When it comes to ekklesia there is only following and helping others how to follow the way, truth and life.
Go from survive to alive