It is wholly appropriate to say that prayer is leadership.
But leading our churches by being men of prayer is not easy. Instead, the expectations of God are easily lost to the expectations of men. “The way of the western church” is not normally built around prayer. Oh, among us prayer will be verbally venerated; just less often does it become our actual practice. In the western church prayer is too often symbolic, spoken of in sacred terms, maybe even “formally incorporated” into a worship service, but still not part of our DNA, nor the DNA of our elders and ministers. No, the things that consume the physical and emotional energy of a leader may well be meetings, activities, decisions, budgets, church management, hirings, firings, crisis counseling, and making sure someone turns out the lights at the end of the day. Other things, lesser things, push hard and clamor for our attention.
- Don’t do business with a proud man; everyone will go down together.
- The reason for wealth is to have money to give. God gives prosperity to the generous.
- One reason for work is to have money to give, otherwise work becomes tedious.
- God gives wealth. Don’t imagine it comes from anywhere else.
- The fool seeks prosperity. He can now buy all the trouble he wants.
Of course, that is a juvenile and wildly foolish title for an article; but in light of the seemingly endless other silly and inane comments often made about worship music, what’s one more to the mix? Within the American church, few topics have brought out more absurdity, immaturity, or blind passion, than the discussion of “what shall the music in our worship services be like?” There are of course exceptions, but if one listens to the discussion in Bible School classes, small groups, hallway chatter, Sunday aisle reactions, blogs or car rides home…well, let’s just say it has often been less than our finest moments.
We probably agree in general on what a disciple should look like - he or she should look and behave like Jesus! He should love the truth, live courageously, love compassionately, walk in purity, pray passionately, pursue the weak, teach with boldness, model meekness…and the sweet montage continues. Perhaps the most precious and radiant picture on earth is that of a mature disciple of Jesus, for that man or woman reflects the glory of God.
But how do we make such disciples?
Dear Class and Family,
Well, I’m here at the Teacher’s Rehab Center and I just got back from my first support group session for struggling teachers and preachers. I really hate to admit it, but the first day wasn’t as bad as I expected. I am not yet ready to thank you for kidnapping me and forcing me to go, but I do want to apologize for my angry words and swinging fist as the class mobbed me and carried me out to the rehab bus. (Especially to you sweetheart…I just think your wild enthusiasm for the intervention process surprised me) Please pray the 28 days go quickly.