Wednesday, August 8, 2012

FOLLOWERS AND LEADERS

I apologize for not posting for over a month. My doctor found what he called "an acute blood clot" - (I didn't find it cute) - in my mid-thigh. Needless to say, I have been on industrial strength Drain-o blood thinners. They left me extremely weak. Thankfully I am balancing out on Cumadin and the clot appears to be gone.
I would also like to thank those who have viewed my blog, which is at its first anniversary - 24,350 views so far.
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~Please Watch This Video by my Friend Curt Cloninger~

video

Leadership! I hear a great deal about how we need more leaders in the church. We have Leadership Training Courses, Seminars, Retreats and even para-church organizations dedicated to training leaders. I think Curt is right - we need better followers. As human beings we have a tendency to elevate people in our expectations. More often than not, they prove to be just as frail and weak as the rest of us. We have seen ministers of gigantic churches fail morally and have witnessed the devastation left in the wake.

In Mark 10:35-37, 41-45 listen to what Jesus had to say about followers and leaders:
" James and John, Zebedee's sons, came up to him.
'Teacher, we have something we want you to do for us.'
'What is it? I'll see what I can do.'
'Arrange it,' they said,
'so that we will be awarded the highest places of honor in your glory
-- one of us at the right, the other at you left.'"
....
"When the other ten heard of this conversation, they lost their tempers with James and John.
Jesus got them together to settle things down.
'You've observed how godless rulers throw their weight around,'
he said,
'and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads.
It's not going to be that way with you.
Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.
Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.
That is what the Son of Man has done:
He came to serve, not to be served -- and then to 
give his life in exchange for many who are held hostage."
(The Message)

If I were asked, "What is the largest problem facing the church?" I would say, "We no longer follow Jesus." We have divided his Body the Church over utter nonsense. We have split churches over dogmatic issues that have nothing to do with following Jesus. We have ostracized and shunned the very people Jesus surrounded himself with. We now have Mega-Churches and Mega-Preachers, yet to simply follow Jesus is woefully overlooked.

Jesus saw his followers as being the type of followers that when they had 100 sheep in a field and one went missing, would leave the 99 in search of the 1. The church is NOT a political power broker. It does NOT have the corner on the truth -- no matter which preacher is your favorite. It is NOT a place to get dressed up and meet once a week in a multi-million dollar building. THE CHURCH IS TO BE THE REPRESENTATION OF JESUS ON THIS EARTH!

We have been called to follow him, follow his example and touch people the way he did. The Kingdom of God is radical. It is not American, European, Asian, African or anything of this world. It is simply the method God has chosen to touch and heal a broken world.

Please spend some time in the Gospels. See if you can learn how Jesus thought and felt about people - then go and do likewise.

Peace
~Al