The Church is described in the Bible, both as a family and an army. It needs to be enough of a family where love is expressed and extended freely, and everyone is pointing to Jesus who is the Head of the Church. Individuals will have different functions, but as Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians, we are “unadorned clay pots” vessels that the glory of God shines through. (2 Cor 4:7ff)
It also needs to be enough of an army that when the leader says, “Duck your heads down,” you don’t have to stop and think whether you trust their opinion or not.
Our responsibility as leaders, is to educate and equip each person to understand the different functions in the Church. God is the one who gives the ability to operate in our role. The better we communicate these truths, the better we develop a sense of humor and acceptance of ourselves and others. The Message version puts it this way in Col 1:10 “As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. “ The focus should be God in us.
One area that really needed adjusting for me was worry that I would make a mistake. Here is an example of how my friends helped me get over the worry of what example I am setting, or how I will be perceived.
On one occasion, a video I had watched was automatically posted to my Facebook page. [I am obviously a “newb” as those in the technological age and didn’t understand settings.] Anyway, I had been reaching out to a young couple I had met and wanted to show them I was interested in things that interested them, so I viewed a video on Tai Chi. I believe it was only minutes later that I received an email to suggest that viewing that video was not something a pastor’s wife should be doing?
I shared this faux paux with a friend and she had a good chuckle. I shared though how I never want to reflect bad on our church or leadership. I asked if she was ever nervous about what she posted on Facebook etc. She laughed again and said, “Oh, I would hope by now people know that I am broken and human.” It sounded so simple, but really became a theme of freedom for me.
If I make it my goal to guard my reputation, I stop taking risks in following God and loving people. My goal is to cling to the Vine as I love all people like family and fight in the army against the spiritual forces that try to stop the Kingdom from advancing on earth.
The other day in prayer I felt God nudge me and communicate, “Why don’t you focus on my love today and less on the vessel.”
2 Corinthians 4:7-12If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side”