Friday, May 18, 2007

Leadership as a Familial Model and Acceptance of Sinners

We had a rather interesting discussion last night at church, which moved to a discussion of homosexuality, and then to outreach among fringe people groups. We had been foraging through some follow-up from our Conference "God For People Who Hate Church."

Jim Henderson, Jay Bakker and Tony Jones all emphasized in some manner reaching out in love with no agenda, and this became a point of challenge which included wondering if there was a place in which the Gospel was being compromised in order to show acceptance to those outside the church.

As an afterthought concerning this discussion I have had some thoughts based upon a discussion with one of our members following the evening dialogue.

I believe the model of Christian leadership outlined by Paul is one of familial interaction. Nowhere are potential leaders asked to measure up to some corporate or militaristic model of leadership, rather they are expected to be family men and women, who run their family well, and peaceably. This means that way Christian leaders treat people should be like the sacrificial love and patient longsuffering we show our family members. If we really lived like this in church, I wonder if it would significantly reorganize or transform our experience and our leadership patterns?


Agent B said...

Such a great topic. And I bet the discussion was good.

This whole issue of "are you compromising the gospel" in order to love people different from you is the WHOLE reason people DON'T love others different from them. Or at least, it's the main excuse or such.

Write more on this discussion if you can. I might do the same soon.

Pastor Phil said...

I just love the way you think B. Will try to post some more.

Anonymous said...

One day we will realize that loving others reflects God. How can one compromise the gospel and reflect the Author at the same time?

I have come to understand that what many folks call "compromising the gospel" is a euphemism for "we are losing control".

What is really going on is the inability to trust and believe that people who are capitivated with the presence of God within them will not walk around playing with sin deliberately.

Notice I did not say, "People captivated with the in-dwelling Christ will always submit to limits, barriers and fears of those who have earthly authority."
Or that, "People captivated with Christ will absolutely never make a bad choice." Offering people the opportunity to move in the freedom of the Truth is not compromised by respecting those same people's free-will. It is one of those "tensions" that exist in life.

Anonymous said...

The dialogue was great. My brain feels better. Melissa and I sensed we became a little bit more a part of the family after that night. Listening to what everyone thought and felt was encouraging and refreshing. Trust, grace and discernment were three huge themes I picked up on through out the whole night. Thank God church is not a corporation.

Jenelle said...

This means that way we treat people as Christian leaders should be like the sacrificial love, and patient longsuffering we show our family members. If we really lived like this in church, I wonder if it would significantly reorganize or transform our experience and our leadership patterns?

Yes, if we could but get from point A to point B, we could begin to get to point C with the Church. The trouble is, if we're honest, most of us most often fail at living out that sacrificial love and patience towards our own families. That's the first stop that's too often overlooked.

Pastor Phil said...

ded - you are ded on! You have thought through this issue of freedom, and acceptance well. Thanks for a really thoughtful response.

Pastor Phil said...


You are so cool. Some people struggle through those moments of questioning, and tension, but others thrive as we all work through it together. You and Melissa continue to blow my mind.

Pastor Phil said...

ah Jenelle,

Your meddlin' now. ;-) Yes, bringing our Christianity home, and then taking our Christian home practices back to the church are the A, B, and C points we might be looking for.

Jenelle said...

yes, Phil, I still enjoy heavy meddle.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes me sits and thinks...sometimes me just sits.

I enjoy both pasttimes!

Glad something I said had meaning for you!

Glory to the Most High!

Unknown said...

Great Topic! Jesus said himself that loving others was the greatest commandment of all. He said this before there was a "Gospel" message. I think it's possible that Jesus wanted us to focus more on showing love rather than throwing a message at people. Once again, wasn't Jesus's message love anyway? Is it possible that the christian community has compromised the TRUE and PURE message of love to cater to societies expectations?? Would love to hear more on this Topic!

Pastor Phil said...


Thanks for popping into squarenomore. Ther is no quesiton that we have compromiesed love. Perhaps in our zeal for truth we have compromised love, when there was no need to lose neither love or truth.

Shiloh Guy said...

Hi Phil,

Long time since I've been here. Sorry. Busy.

Great topic! I wish I knew how to say what's on my heart about church leadership. I have just grown to hate the power/authority thing. That is all about control. My reading of the New Testament pretty much contradicts such attitudes among leaders. I see servanthood, submission, humility, suffering, and tears. I see loving messed up people because I am a messed up person too! One of the biggest changes the church is going to have to make in the next generation is in the style of leadership. I just want to do my part!

Dave Moorhead

Pastor Phil said...


I'm with you on that. Some point soon we are going to have John Armstrong here, and make this issue an element of our discussion, and teaching time.