A Fine Example
“….As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2: 6-12
This passage gives us a fine example of how leadership should work in the Body of Christ. According to Jesus in HIS church we should have servants and not rulers. (Matthew 20:26) Paul never used “apostle” as a title, no it was a just a word to describe what he was about. Paul was all about leading by example and not by position or title. Paul never said follow me, what he did say was follow me AS I follow Christ. That is the kind of servant that I can really get behind and be taught and supported by.
Paul and his companions were not a burden to this church they served. They worked to support and feed themselves and they shared the gospel free of charge. They were part of the community. They did not look down on those they were serving as mere followers. No, they considered those they served as being family to them.
Most importantly they shared their whole lives with the body. In the modern “church” this rarely happens. Most seminaries and colleges teach future Pastors not to get too close to those they will be working over. In fact they discourage Clergy from forging relationships with the “flock”. Pastors many times are taught to avoid “the sin of familiarity” or being close friends with those “under” them. I was once told, in defense of this modern caste system, that “heads relate with other heads and not with the body at large.” I have seen this horrible principle at work in many congregations and it is a very sad thing indeed to witness.
Relationships are the most important thing in life and that includes the Body. Christ’s Body functions best when we see ourselves as close, mutual family and friends; sharing everything out of deep sincere love for Jesus and one another. Those who are equipped and gifted to serve should function from within the body and not from any position above other members. We need to stand together in true unity and reject any division or hierarchy that tries to raise its ugly head within the Body of Christ. In Jesus every member is vital, gifted and important to the overall health of the Body. Together we stand and divided we will fall. At least that is the truth in love from my experience, perspective and hope.
Kirk Out !