Saturday, May 28, 2011
The Pitfalls of Organic Church (Part 3)
Let Jesus Be The Leader.
For the longest time, our house church family struggled with the idea of leadership. First, everyone looked to me because they considered me to be the pastor. Eventually I withdrew myself from this title and position and functionally encouraged everyone to step into their gifting and to take spiritual responsibility for one another as members of the priesthood of believers. But still, we weren’t quite sure what it meant for Jesus to be the Head of our Church family.
I think every Christian would affirm the notion that Jesus is the head of their Church. However, in practice, the leader of the church is functionally the senior pastor. Of course, the assumption is that the senior pastor is hearing from Jesus and therefore the Church is being led by Jesus. But, according to Jesus himself, every believer is capable of hearing the His voice and responding to him. So, if all of us are able to hear the voice of Jesus, and if Jesus is capable of speaking to us directly, why would we limit ourselves and allow only one specific person to hear the voice of Jesus on our behalf? Maybe we should all come together and practice listening to Jesus together each time we gather? Maybe Jesus is actually serious about leading us into all truth through the indwelling Holy Spirit? Maybe Jesus really can lead our times of worship, and prayer, and bible study if we actually ask him to? Maybe Jesus is powerful enough to teach us Himself? Maybe He actually wants to direct our time spent in His presence? Maybe Jesus actually does show up whenever two or more are gathered in his name?
If so, it makes a lot of sense for us to collaborate together as an organic body of disciples to surrender ourselves completely to the Lord Jesus Christ and allow Him to speak, and move, and minister, and touch, and encourage, and edify everyone in the room. How? Through us! We are his hands, his feet, and his children. We are filled and gifted by His Holy Spirit. We are empowered and called out to use our gifts to bless our brothers and sisters in the Church. But, it’s not us doing the blessing, it’s actually Jesus doing it as we surrender our will and our lives to His control.
Now, this isn’t easy to do. It will take practice. It will involve praying together as a church family and asking Jesus to not only show up and lead you this way – but to help you as a group to learn how to respond to Him properly.
I can guarantee you that there will be times when someone speaks out of turn. There will be times when someone tramples on the Holy Spirit and does something, or says something, that is off base. Get used to that. But, don’t give up! The more you submit to one another, and to Christ, in this process, the better you will get at learning to hear His voice and respond to His leadership and headship when you come together as a Body.
Have any of you had any experiences like this? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section.