This is a guest post, written by Phil Drysdale. Phil lives in Aberdeen, Scotland and leads a ministry focused on the grace of God – His goodness, our perfection in Him, and all that means. You can read Phil's blog here, and follow him on Twitter. I recommend both.
One of the greatest tragedies for leaders in the church is that we have misinterpreted our role.
The role of a leader in Christianity is not to tell people what is right or wrong in different situations but rather to remind people of who they are and who God is in their different situations.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, Christianity is not a morality club! It’s not a religion you join that is supposed to dictate right and wrong for you. The truth of the matter is that Christianity is a state of being, a union with God that comes from nothing we do but rather entirely from what He did for us – namely coming and dying for, and as, mankind and raising us up as a new creation.
It is our beliefs that are the important aspect of Christianity, we are not exhorted to have good works but rather faith in the one who can produce good works through us. How do we bear these works? We believe in who we are in Christ and who God is. These beliefs are what will dictate how we see our circumstances, our relationships, God and ultimately determine how we conduct ourselves day-to-day.
Since the Christian life is an outworking of our beliefs – a transformation that occurs by the renewal of the mind – we as leaders must view people’s “problems” with this as a foundational understanding.
You see most of the “problems” we deal with are not really the problem at all. The broken relationships, the bad circumstances, the trouble at work, the habitual sins, anything that physically manifests is not the actual problem, rather these things are the fruit of the problem. To effectively heal people you don’t treat the symptoms, you must first diagnose the problem.
This is the job of a spiritual leader, to help people transform their lives and the way they see their lives by renewing their minds. Your job is to help people have a healthy view of who they are in Christ and who God is. Everything will change for them as they start to see their righteousness in Christ, the goodness of God and the ability (and desire) of God to turn all things in their lives to good.
The great news about all this is that we are not training people to come to us for answers, we don’t have to be a mediator between God and them on how to live their daily lives! Rather we are there to equip people to think for themselves, to know the heart of God, to be confident in who they are in Christ and to connect with God so that they are able to walk out their faith with Him rather than through their leaders!
Prayer for the day
Thank you Father that we are not called to try to micro-manage all the people in our lives. Thank you that you are not interested in having us as a middle-man for the relationships you’ve established in the people we lead. Help me to walk out my calling, help me not to fall into the easy trap of treating the symptoms rather than focusing on the real issue. Give me discernment to see the lies that others have embraced and help me, by your Holy Spirit, to lead them into the knowledge of the truth that will set them free. Thank you that walking in freedom is easier than we want to make it and help me to believe that your grace really needs nothing more than a willing vessel agreeing with what you have to say to bring forth righteousness and life.
Question: How does this idea of not sharing advice, but rather sharing the good news, affect your daily Christian life? Is there anything you might do differently than in the past?