Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?… (1 Co 1:13).
Paul had gained some popularity amongst those to whom he ministered. It’s easy to put a person up on a pedestal and start to venerate them in a way that is unhealthy. Paul makes it quite clear to his readers that he’s not the one that is to be praised or worship, but God alone.
The problem is, at least for us, we do the same thing. We exalt certain Christian leaders, singers, authors and pastors, giving them a certain reverence and awe that they do not deserve.
If we focus our Christianity solely on what rises or falls within these leaders in our lives, we will become sorely dissapointed and disillusioned in our faith. Especially if these leaders are young and lack the maturity that is needed to truly know and understand how to lead people and how to process through ideas in a way that honors God.
Maybe its just me, but I think its somewhat scary that we give full ownership of the shepherding of God’s flock to people fresh out of seminary, with little to no real life, on the ground, ministry experience, but a lot of book knowledge. A 24 year old needs to be shepherded first so that they know how to be a shepherd. Too often, within our church culture we dismiss this need because it’s easier to just pass the reigns of our churches to someone else.
I know for me, I would have made a lot less mistakes and cared for people much better had I been conscience of the fact that I needed a lot of wise council speaking into my life and holding me accountable.
I think we’re always looking for a pass in the church, but Jesus calls us to become a family. If we keep passing off the responsibility to shepherd those under us we will continue to see the chips fall in the wrong direction and the church and along with its people will suffer. I’ve heard many churches say, “We just need a young pastor to come in and revive this church.” I would say, no, what you need is a church who is bought into the mission of making disciples. You need young and old in partnership together speaking into each other, walking with one another on this journey through life.
Our churches are so concerned with numerical growth that we forget to care for the numbers within our flock. We think that Jesus wants us to grow a church building, but His church is His people and growing people is much harder and time consuming than filling seats. I can fill a seat, but the work Jesus asks of us is to fill up people with grace, truth and love by making time for it.
Seek today to make a disciple and care well for the people whom God has given you. Don’t pass off the responsibility of Kingdom work to the paid staff at your church and be careful not to place them on pedestals above the rest.
Lord, help us to be wise within your church. Forgive us for giving people way too much power. We just love to worship people, Father, please forgive us. I know that I’ve done it, so help me instead to walk in your wisdom, always lifting you the highest, because you are worthy, in Jesus name, Amen.