The Celebrity of Christian Leadership: Be Careful Who You Follow & How You Lead

Posted: December 26, 2014 in 99-Uncategorized

Luke 6:37-42 — The blind leading the blind. Students greater than teachers. Jesus was a funny guy. He often used contrasts and hyperbole and word play to make his points memorable. The blind leading the blind and students being greater than teachers. What does it all mean? What is Jesus teaching us. I think Jesus is teaching us that we never have it made. When we think we have arrived, that is when we are most dangerous to the cause of the kingdom.

Jesus was a funny guy. Imagine two blind people leading each other around. It has disaster written all over it. Each one trusting the other to lead them away from dangerous situations. It’s the stuff of a Three Stooges short film or a Chevy Chase movie. I think what Jesus is trying to teach us something as followers as well as leaders. As followers, we must be careful who we follow. If a person is blind, as you know, it means that they cannot see. We must be discerning about what and who we follow. Right now, there are many false prophets out there that pass themselves off as preachers of the gospel. They are blind men and women attempting to lead us, but to what. I am always a bit leery of preachers who have their face plastered all over everything they produce. Their books have their faces on it. Their websites. Who are they promoting? I am not saying that all are like that, but there are some. Just look at some independent non-demoninational modern megachurches. These leaders have their faces plastered all over the websites and promotional material. They are celebrities. They have entourages that follow them around. This is not limited to men of God. There are celebrity women preachers too. Are they promoting the gospel or are they promoting themselves. We must be weary of false prophets and false teachers. We must be wary of those who only preach of propserity. We must be wary of those who preach that God is love only and that He will pretty much accept anything that you do. We must we wary of those who teach a watered down gospel just to add to the roles of their church. That is why my senior pastor has my utmost respect. Our church is classified as a large church. It is also classified as a “young in the faith” or “seeker” church. In this setting, it could be very easy for him to become a celebrity with an entourage. He could preach a watered down gospel. He could have his face plastered all over our church website. He could easily become one of those celebrity preachers. To him though, the gospel is first. The pure gospel with all its rough edges that cut and pierce the soul. The gospel that call us out of our comfort zone. The gospel that calls us to follow Jesus in every aspect of our lives. The gospel that calls us to the hard work of the kingdom. Every leader we follow, we must compare their words and their actions to Scripture. My senior pastor is just a country boy from Green Pond, SC and it is all about the gospel with him. Nothing more. Nothing less. Examine who you follow against Scripture.

As leaders in the church, we must cognizant of the fact that we can only lead those who follow us as high as we are capable of flying. We will never choose those who work for us or follow us that have more talent than us. It is a simple fact of life. We cannot lead anyone farther than we have gone ourselves. We cannot lead others any further than we have gone or are willing to go ourselves. When we think we know it all and have the corner on the market is when we become dangerous leaders. Isn’t typical that those who cause strife in church are those leaders who are not willing to follow. Those leaders who are dangerous are those that create and us vs. them mentality within the church. Those leaders who are dangerous constantly second guess those who are over them but yet offer no solutions. Those leaders who are dangerous are those who cannot be team players. Those leaders who are dangerous are those who try to create a church within a church. Those who leaders who are dangerous within a church are those who are not willing to follow the leadership that is over them. Regardless of where you lead at church you have to follow someone. How can you expect to lead when you are not a good follower? We are called Christ followers. We ultimately must follow Christ. We must also follow those who God put in our path at this moment in time at this place and with these people. God has a purpose for the leadership that is over you in church at this moment.

We must always be ready to learn. We must be students always. We must never think that we have got it made. We must learn from those whom are our leaders. We must be humble enough to understand that God has those in leadership above us for a reason for us in this point of our spiritual maturation. We must be humble leaders ourselves over those that we lead. We must never think we have the only way of doing things. We must be willing to continually learn from Scripture, from the action of the Holy Spirit in our souls, from the action of the Holy Spirit in the words of others whom we trust. We must be submitted to the leadership of Jesus Christ in everything that we do. You know all of this is true both in church settings and in non-church settings as well. To be a good leader of others we must never think we have it made, that we don’t have to learn anymore, that we have all the answers. We must be submitted to Jesus. We must be humble enough to correct ourselves when the Holy Spirit points it out to us. Since we are completely flawed human beings, we must be submitted to the leadership of the Perfect One. Since we are completely flawed we must guard against thinking we have all the answers and no one else knows this Jesus thing better than us. We must be disciples of Jesus not His equal. We are not God and never will be. Let us lead from the humility of knowing that we are flawed human beings yet have been chosen anyway to be in leadership. There is humility in knowing that. None of us deserves to be in the leadership positions that we hold in church. All of us are completely flawed sinners that are forgiven through grace.

Whether you are a leader or not, we can all be blind leading blind folks. Whether you are a leader or not, we can think we know it all and don’t need to learn anymore. Whether you are a leader or not, you can influence others with the brand of gospel that you share through your life actions. Whether you are leader or not, you must be discerning as to what brand of gospel you swallow. There is only one true gospel and it affects how we follow and how we lead. The true gospel is that we are sinners destined for separation from God, a God who will justly judge us for our sins, a God who is sinless and pure and in the presence of whom sin cannot exist. We are destined for separation from Him in a place called hell where there is eternal separation from God and the gnashing of teeth and gnawing of bone and flesh eternally. That is what we deserve. However, through God’s love for us He sent His only Son to be a sin sacrifice for all those who believe that He is the Son of God so that we could be reconciled to God. This is the gospel we should preach. This is the gospel that we should compare our leaders to. This is the gospel we should remember in all humility when we are leaders.

Otherwise we are the blind leading the blind. Otherwise we are students who think that they can run the school better than the teachers. Let us be humble, faithful and teachable. Let us be disciples. Let us learn from the Master. Always humble, ever teachable.

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