We find ourselves, in this present paradigm shift, swallowed-up in an overwhelming need (we think) to be managed. Confusion, discontent, and fear, etc. have filled the vacuum left by the passing paradigm of Christendom – its influence reaches far beyond church and religion into politics and social behaviors as a whole. In our condition we yearn for someone to take care of us. We desire to make sense of the chaos, managers to make everything like it once was. But you cannot manage chaos and we do not need managers of a time that is no longer. We need leaders. In the church, specifically, we need leaders who are living in and out of God’s Vision – God’s worldview; His mission in humanity.
A common misconception in the “managing church” is that everyone should be involved in everything that goes on in the church. Wherever there is a need, just plug a warm body in the position – post a sign-up sheet, anyone can do anything. We have certain things that the church does. All we need are managers to list job descriptions and to ensure positions are filled. The pastor is in charge of managing worship; the basic figurehead for the church. She gets paid to visit the hospital. He is expected to be easily accessible 24/7, if he wants to get paid. After all, the pastor only works on Sundays. Join the church; fit nicely into our establishment; we know what you need; don’t make waves.
The new paradigm church looks, feels, and is logically much different than the way it’s always been. Church is not something we join, it is who we are. It is incomplete without you. You do not “fit in,” but have your own place; an individual part of the Body. Leaders are not managers but visionaries. When the pastor is a vision caster, the vision cast equips people to be the called church. That which we used to manage is now a matter of gifting. What and to where is God calling you? I am not interested in filling positions but giving permission to be everything that God has called and equipped us to be in and with humanity. Everyone doesn’t have to pick up a paintbrush because there is painting to do. Painters paint; child care workers work with children; detail people handle the details; visionaries envision. Everyone has a point and purpose according to the Vision. What is your calling?
To be taken care of is not what we need! We need leadership. We need leaders who dream God’s dream. We need leadership that speaks truth, even if it rocks the boat. What we truly yearn are leaders who will pour out their lives in a life with us. If you cannot lead me I will not follow. Jesus does not enable us but equips us in His leadership. He leads us to the killing of our victim roles – our confusion, our discontent, our fears, etc. – but never manages us to death. He dreams in us God’s Vision and mission in humanity. He calls out injustice for what it is, not rocking just the boat but the world. He poured out His life to live a life with us. Leaders call us to follow Him as they lead in their following of Him. This is the church, today.