Tuesday, January 21, 2014

the phrase"my pastor" is bad enough...'my Pastor" is worse

Jamal (left)  has  a great blog; and a great organic church family. Here  below is a photo of his entire "church" (click this, and click again,  to enlarge the photo;  story of this  photo he calls a  rare beauty at this link):
Here's a popular post of Javal's  to wrestle with.  Note: I always struggle when people talk about "their pastor."  I find it telling that Jamal capitalizes the "p" in the phrase, even though that is grammatically incorrect.  We have somehow made the unbiblical (better yet, "not found in the Bible") phrase theologically correct...and many use it in the grammatically incorrect form (I'm sure Jamal's usage is just a typo, considering his theological orientation, and that he types it correctly once).  What have we done?

Parenting Adults Is Harder For The Same Reason That Church Leadership Is Non-Hierarchical....Most parents with adult children that I have talked to have found out (the easy way or the hard way) that it takes more than an appeal to hierarchy to lead them. Don’t believe me? Try telling your 25 year old son or daughter that he or she cannot get up from the dinner table until they eat all of their lima beans. If they try to defy your command, tell them you are their parent, and the Bible says children are supposed to obey their parents. (That is an appeal to hierarchy) Let me know how that works out for you.

Obviously, that is a ridiculous example, but you get the point. At this point in their lives, you want them to be governed by something internal. This is a picture of life in the kingdom. Before Pentecost, the people of God were not grafted into His Son. They had to be governed by an external law. After God’s people were grafted into the Son at Pentecost, they were now governed by the indwelling Spirit of Christ. According to Galatians 5:18, those who operate by this indwelling Spirit cannot operate under the law. When we are governed by the Spirit of Christ and of life, we no longer need to be governed by the law of sin and death.

As I mentioned, this greatly affects leadership in the kingdom of God. We can see this radical shift from Law based leadership to kingdom based leadership in Jesus’ own statement about kingdom leadership:

But do not be called Rabbi; for one is your teacher, and you are all brothers…Do not be called leaders, for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. (Matthew 23:8, 10)

This was a profoundly radical teaching on leadership in Jesus’ day, and it is still radical. This goes against the world’s system of leadership, and that includes the world’s religious system of leadership as well. Notice the reason behind the new understanding of leadership. It is because ‘ALL’ are brothers, and there is only one leader who stands as head over them. That is Christ. This removes the possibility of human hierarchy. (I told you it was a radical teaching by Jesus)
Although Jesus’ teaching about kingdom leadership should be the grid and filter through which we understand all the other passages in the New Testament regarding church leadership, this has unfortunately not been the case. I speak from experience as a Bible college graduate and as a former institutional Pastor. What I was taught completely ignored & contradicted the heart and spirit behind Jesus’ teaching on kingdom leadership in Matthew 23:8-12. Instead, I was taught to emphasize passages of scripture that seemed to suggest hierarchical church leadership in the absence of the framework that Jesus laid down in Matthew 23:8-12...

...I am always amazed when I talk to people at large Mega Church institutions that refer to the man who preaches to them behind the pulpit weekly as their ‘Pastor’. Sometimes I ask them if they know the person personally. Nine times out of ten, the answer is “No, not really”. Most institutional ‘Pastors’ are busy people. Most have never shared a meal with their ‘Pastor’. Most have not spent a significant amount of time with them. There is simply no personal relationship there. It is all formal. When I ask them: “On what basis is that guy who stands behind the pulpit week in and week out your pastor?” I usually get a response that goes back to title, not relationship like Jesus demonstrated and taught in John 10:14.

I could say much more about all of that, but you get the point. If you want to control a large group of people, you simply teach people to submit to titles, offices, and positions. This is what governments do, this is what employers do, and this is what the institutional church system does as well. In the kingdom, however, it is much different. Jesus appeals to His relational knowledge of us, and us of Him.

In the church that Jesus envisioned, and in the case of my soon to be 18 year old daughter, true leadership will have to depend on something much more profound than title or hierarchy, however.....   Link, see full post by Jamal:  Parenting Adults Is Harder &; Why Your ‘Pastor’ May Not Really Be Your ‘Pastor’

Related, see

as the sign of highest personal respect, call me by my first name

also post tagged "role of the pastor"

1 comment:

Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!