Should leadership in the church be based on hierarchy or humility? Well, according to Jesus leadership is not established by human authority, official position, titles, rank, strength, or hierarchy; but by humility, service, weakness, brokenness before God, and submission to God. (See Luke 22:24-27)
Perhaps there is pride in the church. Perhaps we’re proud of our pastor, our programs, our music, our building, our country, our doctrine, our denomination (or the lack thereof), our prosperity, our youth pastor, how many people attend on Sunday, our website, our Facebook page, our good works, etc. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” “God have mercy on me a sinner.”
Water cannot flow into high places, but it rushes into low places. Just so, the living water of the Holy Spirit cannot flow much in people who feel powerful, important, and in control; but in people who know that they are weak and small and feel out of control, the Spirit rushes in.
We saw this demonstrated Sunday morning at The Salvation Army Berry Street as several people who looked like they have it together, one after the other, confessed their need and their brokenness and received loving, compassionate prayer from their fellow Christ-followers. The Spirit was powerful and tears freely flowed.
We’ve discovered that when a mind talks theology, people hear religious ideas. However, when hearts speak in the Spirit, people learn love. All around the world on Sunday mornings, people in almost every Christian denomination gather to listen to one man give a religious talk. However, the New Testament instructs us this way: “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation . . .” (1 Corinthians 14:26)
So, perhaps, when we come together, we could allow individual believers to humbly listen to and obey the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit starts to speak inside you, don’t stop Him. Instead stay still and silent and surrender to what He says. (Paul of Tarsus put it this way: “Quench not the Spirit,” and Jesus’ mother, Mary, said it like this: “Whatever He says to you, do it.”) When believers have the freedom to do this in church amazing things happen.
Check it out at The Salvation Army Berry Street every Sunday morning at 10:45 at 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN 37207.