What’s all this about now? Well, if this is what you’re hearing in your mind after reading the title – this is a little post about a discussion which has been going on in my mind for a very long time, just that it never got out. It’s about the fact that more often than not, certain people in the church are treated differently from the rest of God’s flock. These often happen to be the leaders… No, nothing against the leaders as such – being a leader is as biblical as it gets, and I also believe it’s a special gift from God. However, I don’t agree with the fact that these people tend to be treated differently. What I mean is to ask Why are leaders/other people “in charge” often treated in much better ways (eg. with more attention given to them, more benefits, as well as special dinners/lunches/etc., etc.) than the rest of God’s people?
Currently I am not going to point out any Biblical examples of why people are to be treated the same. Yet, I’m going to address what was answered to me recently… Jesus chose the twelve disciples (concerning this – I said earlier – leaders are appointed by God and I can’t say anything against that!), he spent more time with them than with the crowds, he did choose to have a special meal with them (referring to the Last Supper)… I somehow can’t buy that! Fine, Jesus did spend time with them… Yet, in the majority of the time we have accounts for in the Bible he was with them… and with the crowds! Sure, Jesus did
choose to have a special dinner with them, but that’s once! How often do leaders today share a meal with the rest of the people from the church and only with themselves?
I’ll pause here… until a future post comes out. Now a bit of clarification why all that noise…
I’m questioning all this, because I become to see more and more the impact this separation has upon the unity in the church. The truth is that many lay people won’t say they feel well included in the church – how many are privileged to travel around for at least one of the wonderful and great, and so on and so forth conferences that the majority of leaders don’t miss. This is happily changing for better here and there, but for the rest – what’s happening for the rest??
Why are leaders always publicly addressed with much more fanfare than a simple lay person, who does pray every day, and does suffer under the realities of the sinful world we live in? Are the “Rev.” “PhD.” “Dr.” and all the like leading somehow to God?! I can’t see that somehow. If we’re to give all the praise to God, shouldn’t we then ask ourselves more and more – but by doing this and that, aren’t we actually drawing more praise to ourselves?
I’ll truly be thankful to hear more comments on what and how you’ve experienced concerning being a leader or a lay person… in the midst of a present hierarchy, which believe it or not – does impact all of us, all the time.
Servant leadership is a keyword… But how about in practice?
Keep yourself up-to-date with the posts, as I’m hoping to write more in the coming days.
Edits and adds
One clarification to Ali’s reply on “Reaction on a post” – I did not mean to address the titles of various people in the church in my earlier words (see above). What I mean to (and sorry if it wasn’t clear) address was the fact that these “more important” people – or the leaders, are often treated in a way which doesn’t make the rest, or the lay people, feel comfortable. It is often the case that only the leaders are invited to a fancy dinner, only the leaders get to be introduced for 5 minutes, when a lay person gets a minute or so… I do recognize that apostle Paul does make some claims but this is because he has to establish authority. I’m not against the authority of the leaders. I’m just against the fact that they often seem to not lead in servant-like manners. Maybe to make it even clearer – I think leaders are to humble themselves more? – try to say no to these fancy dinners and show that for you it’s not important that you go there… This will give an example to the lay people, and when they fall in a similar situation they’ll say no, and then non-believers will begin to recognize that Christians are different.
In the original words of the post I talked about PhDs and all that… I personally don’t agree with these titles and the fact that they actually do make some people feel inferior. Personally, I’m pretty strong and rarely feel inferior. But, yes – even when I do feel like this I ask myself – are these titles supposed to make me feel inferior? I just don’t think that the Bible would teach and agree with such phenomenon… Paul also addresses this in the early church’s context of marriage… There the woman was thought to be inferior of the man, but what Paul is saying is that both are to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21 and following). All I’m saying is that leaders and lay people are to submit to one another as well. And I somehow lack many examples of that around me.
More comments are welcome… My adds and edits, and responses will go below…