Friday, May 8, 2015

Rule vs. Role

What role should the more experienced among us play?  Should they rule from far above?  Or might they perhaps work alongside and equip others for life and service.

In a vertical arrangement, power and position carry the risk that one person can take everything and everyone down.  We've seen it in many attempts at such rule, whether it's national government or organizational leadership, the flaws of one can affect all.

We're given prophets and apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service.  It's that equipping that's their goal, not rule and authority, of course.

Churches were dragged in under emperors and governments centuries ago.  Rulers of nations merged themselves with rulers of churches and gave us the Crusades, the Inquisition, pursuit of empire, and other corruptions of intent.  Despite deliberate separation, that framework of hierarchical governance persisted in much of the church.

That which remains of the living church ... equips all to serve well.  The calling is not to sit and listen but to live and worship together and shine like a light on a hill, and we're changed by it all.

There must, perhaps, be authority for decisions, for law, to ensure freedom and justice, but in each case, the higher the hierarchy, the greater the risk.  In business, in the marketplace, in organizations and administrations, the risk is there.  Dictatorial rule can be the most destructive.  Such are the reasons for checks and balances.  Here's hoping it works.

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