Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Same, Today

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7 NIV)

Probably the most difficult teaching I ever have to share is God's definition of leadership.  In our world today, leadership and success is usually defined by numbers: number of people gathered or number of dollars earned.  Leadership in God's Church is also about numbers, but not the numbers we watch in the world.  Number of people gathered only tell us the size of a crowd.  Crowds can gather for riots as well.  Number of dollars tell us how much money is exchanging hands.  Jesus didn't have any money, so more money can't equal greater success.

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.  (Hebrews 13:9a NIV)

Success as a follower has to do with our consistency in following the commands Jesus gave to his disciples.  Success as a leader has to do with the number of people you have helped do the same.  Leadership, then, is not about power, position, or politics.  It's not about gathering crowds or raising large amounts of money.  It's about walking with God and helping others do the same.  Success, then, is shown in the number of people walking together with God.

I remember talking to a mentor/friend many years ago about the Christian walk.  I was excited about how much I was learning in Seminary.  I was getting answers to many of my questions and I was starting to see the picture God has for our lives.  He smiled and said, "It's really not all that difficult, is it?"  He was right.  The picture God has for us really isn't all that complex.  The enemy makes it seem that way.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NIV)

I'm glad that God, and His picture, stays the same.  It gives us time to figure it out.  Not only that, it gives us time to start enjoying it and sharing it with others.    It makes the "yoke" or "burden" of learning and sharing rather light.  I find comfort in the fact that God is the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow.