Have you ever been in a situation where a key leader who you respect and have learned a lot from is leaving your church? How did you react? Was it with despair? Did you feel doomed without them? Did you feel like things were going to be really difficult because that person would no longer be there?
Have you ever been in the situation where someone from your church who had a unique and important gift was moving on? Perhaps a key musician, the only person who understands the church accounts or someone who is excellent at befriending? How did you react? Was it with despair? Did you feel doomed without them? Did you feel like things were going to be really difficult because that person would no longer be there?
Here’s a thought for any of us who believe that things will definitely crumble when a key person moves on.
Don’t misunderstand me, people are essential and it is right that we depend on and support each other, but surely we don’t believe that God can’t manage without certain people?
We want everything to be perfect and we want to feel strong as individuals and churches, but in contrast God says that his power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12.9).
We want to have heroic and gifted people leading and ministering to us but the Bible makes it clear that church is more about one anothering than it is about having a super Christian who ministers to the rest of us. There are 57 New Testament references to ‘one anothering’ eg love one another, encourage one another etc. In contrast how many references are there to leaders having to minister to everyone (answers on a postcard or in the comments box below please). Those references are there, but where is the Biblical emphasis?
I believe that the church is the UK has been damaged by consumerism.
We expect to be ministered to and to have our needs met in church rather than us coming willing to give as well as receive.
We expect to be cared for by the church leaders, so much so that we may not rely on God so much. If we have super pastor why do we need to pray so much?
When people move on from our church family we should miss them and feel sad that we won’t be seeing them as much as we once did. However, if you believe things will definitely fall apart or won’t work without a particular person then you don’t believe in and follow the same God that I do.
God is at work and he is building his Church and the gates of hell will not overcome it.
God is at work, but that doesn’t mean that things will automatically be okay. The letters to the churches in the first few chapters of Revelation make it clear that we need to listen to God and to respond to what he is saying. As God leads us forward, things may look and be different but we know that in every circumstance God is working for the good of his people.
We need to bring our disappointments and worries to God and to pour them out to him. As we pour out our anxieties, we make room for more of God’s presence to fill, transform and to lead us forwards.
In the first century there were some people in the church in Corinth who were arguing about whether Paul or Apollos was the best leader. Paul writes to them to remind them that God is the one who is building and that the only foundation is Jesus (1 Corinthians 3).
For those of us in church leadership, do we recognize that God is building the church and that we are helping him? Do we really believe that it is our church?
If we are Christians, what is providing the foundation of our faith? Who or what are we ultimately trusting in? Is it people or God?
Matt Redman’s song the heart of worship has had a profound impact on many of us. It’s a call to make our worship all about Jesus but if you substitute the word church for worship in the chorus then it echoes what my prayer is for the church:
I’m coming back to the heart of church and it’s all about you, it’s all about you Lord Jesus.
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it when it’s all about you, all about you Lord Jesus.
This blog has been inspired by several different situations that different people who I know are going through. I haven’t tried to specifically address each situation but I hope that these words are a reminder to all of us to keep it all about Jesus.