When we think of developing leaders, we think of a certain type of person, a set body of information and skills, and appropriate ways to bring together the person, information and skills. This makes sense and is important to do. But here are some “what ifs” that might prove more than helpful.
What if the church were made up only of “pastors”? Whenever the people gathered, the only ones in the room would be those expecting to do something — love, care, touch, heal, encourage, help and show others the way; or else preach, teach, lead, oversee, pray and discern, plan and implement.
That’s why God called them and why they said, “Yes!” That’s why they’ve been reading those books. That’s why they saved up and took courses. That’s why joy fills their hearts whenever their special gifts seize whatever opportunities come. That’s what they dream about and talk about. That’s what occupies their time and fills their hours most any day, even when officially they’re doing other things.
In fact, they live to do such stuff for love of Jesus and others because … well, it just seems right. It connects with how they’re wired. It corresponds to the deeper rhythms of mind and heart. It contributes to the sense of beauty, truth and goodness they sense coming to expression all around them. What if every time church gathered, the people in the room were like that?
What if the world were already filled with such people, though most of them don’t realize it or fully actualize it? What if all of them — little and great, of multiple colors and blends, from diverse directions and places, more or less “together” though all alike broken and hurt, nonetheless all of them — were there to do stuff, to contribute to their time, place and people the makings of glory? Many will not know this; in fact, many will assume they know for sure quite different things about themselves, but what if the world were filled with meant-to-be kings and priests and practitioners of re-creation?
What if Jesus stands at the center of both church and world — both filled with such people — precisely to call out the best in them and from them? What if His “follow me” could lead to the morphing of all these questions into answers worth living for?