The Galileo Seven
In this episode of the original Star Trek television series Spock has to take the lead and command of an away team on a shuttle mission. He has to make several major, difficult, life or death decisions that end with mixed results. When the mission is over Spock is asked about how he felt about taking command and being a Leader. He gives an excellent response that I feel is the right attitude to have whenever one is called to lead. He says, ” I neither enjoy the idea of command, nor am I frightened by it. It simply exists.”
Leadership, it seems to me, has more books written about it than just about any other topic. Go to any bookstore and you will find a whole section dedicated to it. This is even true of Christian bookstores. Leadership in the Church, what it is and how it works, has been written about and discussed by Christians since the Church was birthed over 2000 years ago. It is my contention that the Traditional/Institutional “Church” has been getting Leadership all wrong since nearly its inception with few exceptions.
In most modern “Churches” The Pastor is The Leader and Head of his Church. I think Jesus would object to this since JESUS is The ONLY HEAD and LEADER of HIS Church. I don’t see leadership residing in one person per church. In my experience and study I have found leadership to be like a baton used in a relay race. Different members of the church take turns carrying the baton according to whoever is in The Spirit or has the anointing at any given moment. I don’t know about you, but I want to follow whoever Jesus is choosing moment by moment in the race. And leading is NOT reserved for any specific gender, race or age. ANYone can take the lead as Jesus chooses. Many times in our home fellowships it has been a female or a child that takes the lead. And we have never been mislead or disappointed at HIS choosing. Sure many times it is the more mature members that carry the baton during the longer and more difficult legs of the race, but the whole Body of Christ gets to participate in leading as JESUS wills. This does not negate the need for true elders in the fellowship. It just makes their role different than many traditionalists describe.
Leadership is quite often misunderstood by the Church at large. What can be confusing about it, is that Leadership is not really about Leading. It is really about following and servanthood. Paul never said follow me. He said “follow me, as I follow Christ.” Big difference! I would rather follow a good Christ follower than a Leader any day. The Lord’s most definitive words on leadership are found in Mark 10:42-45, “Jesus called them together and said, ‘you know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Leading the Jesus way is extremely different than the way that the world or the modern “church” leads. It is not a traditional or corporate model and it involves no climbing of the ladder. It is NOT a hierarchy with the Leader being on top. No it is rather the way of the servant and laying down and providing a wide strong foundation from the bottom for all. Leadership is not the big deal that “men” make it out to be. It is the simple way of the servant. It needs no platform or pulpit. Like Spock said, “It simply exists.” So just let it flow from Christ and step up and take your turn when the baton is passed on to you.
Kirk Out !