Tuesday, December 2, 2008

From Stardom to Stoning (from Organic Leadership 2b released this February)

Acts 14 tells a story about Paul and Barnabas who are preaching in Lystra. A miracle occurs, and the people begin to think that Paul and Barnabas are gods; they start to worship them. Paul and Barnabas immediately rush out into the crowd tearing their robes saying “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you.”

Christian leaders today need to do the same thing. No longer allow people to be irresponsible with their lives as if they are not accountable to God for the bringing the kingdom of God to their vocation, neighborhood and family. Pastors need to reinforce the idea that they are not more important in God's kingdom than any other follower of Jesus. Every one of us is an agent of God's kingdom, with a holy calling to Serve the King. We must end the cycle of dysfunction where the church leaders are codependent (needing to be needed) and the parishioners are relieved of the responsibility of being kingdom agents.

It is important, however, that I be honest. When co-dependents decide they will no longer enable addicts, the response is usually harsh and immediate. Those who are dependent on some compulsive behavior do not like to have their irresponsible lifestyle cut off. They will strike swift and hard.

Just the next few verses in Acts 14 and the same people who wanted to worship Paul as a god ended up stoning him and dragging his dead-like corpse out of the city. It will cost us to break the cycle, but it is the only way for God’s people to gain the freedom necessary to carry the Kingdom of God into the world.

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