“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance
all that I have said to you.”
Another real tragedy in the stage-focused church is that it perpetuates the laziness and irresponsibility of men and their seeming tendency to let others take charge, especially with regard to matters of faith. Let’s face it, our families in this nation are being raised by mothers. One in four children live in father-absent homes. Given the rate of remarriage, the number of children raised with a full-time biological father must be miniscule (I can’t get my hands on that statistic). To top it all off, far too many men, in practice, put their careers or hobbies ahead of their children.
Church is no different. Church should be the one place that holds men accountable to what God has required of them. I’m afraid that the opposite is true. Instead, we have a team of pastors that have taken over leadership and allowed the dads to be passive observers. It’s really no different than watching TV at home. Yes, some men do an outstanding job and some churches are better than others. In the end, the church, in my opinion, fails in discipling men into spiritual leaders.
Servant leadership. That’s what men are supposed to become. Just like Jesus.
The idea of one pastor dominating the Sunday service by delivering all the sermons is one of the primary obstacles to raising up men. If each man is required by God to lead his household, shouldn’t we be training him to do so? Unless I am totally missing the boat, church should be the place men learn how to do this. How? By hands-on training.
Listen, it doesn’t take a seminary degree to share the gospel. See how much training the demon-possessed man had before Jesus sent him out:
Mark 5:18-20 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.
Testimonies seem to be very rare on Sunday mornings. Why? Well, it’s hard to give up time for that. I mean, the pastor has labored all week on the most recent installment of the latest series of sermons. It’s carefully prepared, almost memorized! Add to that the fact that the worship band and all the other stage personnel have spent how much time and effort carefully choreographing everything, and, well, we simply don’t have time for testimonies. Besides, they say, we tried that before and the guy rambled on and took too long and said some things that were inappropriate, and it was simply not good. In fact, we simply don’t want to risk that again.
“So, you, the one who was once demon-possessed, you sit down and listen whilst I teach you about God. I’m the one with the seminary degree, not you. Don’t forget that.”
No, you’re not going to learn how to be a leader in church. The “system” won’t allow it. Sure, a few will become leaders, but you know what? I think they probably will become leaders despite the system.
Listen, folks, our pastors are men who love Jesus. I don’t doubt that. But the system is so rigid that it doesn’t allow change. Our men are not living up to their responsibilities. Yes, they, as individuals, are accountable for that. At the same time, so is the church. That’s you and me. Let’s also stop to consider for a moment what blessings we all are missing by not fully encouraging our men to be all that God has intended for them.
The best-run companies are ones that train employees to be leaders. The company should never risk its future on one person. Neither should the church.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers