I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings…Philippians 3:10
In the letter to Philippians, Paul describes all the things that he once relied upon as verification of his religious authority. He talks about the status of his birth, his background, his work accomplishments (persecuting the Christians), and his blameless abiding of the law. Then he tells the people that all those things are “rubbish”. They do not assure us anything. What matters, he says, is our authenticity. What matters is how real we are. He says what matters for his is his desire to know Christ and to try to be like him.
We have just elected new elders and deacons for our congregation. It is a good time for church leaders to consider spiritual authority. By what means are we justified in calling ourselves “religious leaders”? Is it how many hours we spend at church? How hard our committee works? The popularity of “our” programs? Or how much money we donate (to the church)?
Paul encourages us to stay on track with the course of our ministry. Don’t be distracted by popularity. Don’t compete with one another for time and resources. Don’t compare yourself with other leaders.
Be yourself. That is why you were called to church leadership in the first place. People saw a reflection of Christ in you. You helped them discover a reflection of Christ in themselves. They trusted you. You radiate hope (which is the power of the resurrection). Why not take a little time in silence today to be with Christ? Thank him for believing in you. Invite him to be close to you and help you with the decisions you make today. Ask him how you can be more loving – more like him, yet completely yourself.
God loves you, and so do I!