Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DO for ONE when you can't DO for ALL

Yesterday I started an overview of the video series by Andy Stanley called, Becoming a Great Leader, that our ministry leaders and managers here at Grace Church are going through together. We started with an overview of Biblical leadership that says if you want to be great, you must first be a servant.

Based on this, what is the goal of a staff in order to become a great staff? Stanley says that the goal is a staff culture characterized by mutual submission. In other words, not everyone is to be equal on the organizational chart but everyone is to be mutually submissive to everyone on the organizational chart. The question that we must always be asking is, “How can I serve you?” We must create a culture where we are regularly asking each other, “What can I do to help?”

This can be difficult in our culture today. Listen, the higher you go up in the organization today, the harder you must work at being mutually submissive. Today’s view of leadership says that the higher you are the more you are to be served by those under you. Jesus’ words on leadership was a complete paradigm shift.

So how do we put this into practice? How do we “flesh it out”? One way Stanley gives is to begin to do for one when you can’t do for all. This again is a paradigm shift. We tend to do the opposite. The higher we go up in position, the more excuses we have for not doing something for one person because we can’t do it for everyone. For example:

I can’t visit everyone who is in the hospital so I won’t visit anyone in the hospital.

I can’t get everyone on my staff a laptop, so I won’t get anyone a laptop.

I can’t go to everyone in my church’s wedding, so I won’t go to anyone’s wedding.

Instead, Stanley says, we should practice symbolic leadership. Symbolic leadership says I will do for one what I wish I could do for everyone.

But wait. Is that fair? Is it fair for me to do something for one person in my church if I can’t do it for everyone? Is it fair for me to do something for one person on my staff if I can’t do the same thing for everyone on may staff?

Here is how Stanley answers it. He says don’t try to be fair. He then adds that fairness is not a Biblical value and that fairness is the enemy of rightness. Now, I have to be honest. When he first made this statement, I cringed. Did I believe that? Should I strive to be fair? Is fairness completely absent as a Biblical value? Is fairness really the enemy of rightness? Is it possible to be both fair and right? I’m chewing on all of these questions.

What say you?


Anonymous said...

As Christians who understand our sin nature, and the fact that we really do deserve punishment.....We do not go around demanding that God be "fair" or "just" with us, instead, we ask for His grace & mercy.

Andy Stanley comment that "fairness is not a biblical value" seems right at least coming from this perspective. Good quote.


Pastor Scott said...

Thanks Broncofan (Oh, how it pains me to even type those words after last Sunday afternoon)! I have really enjoyed chewing on Stanley's teaching. Appreciate your input!

Anonymous said...

Jesus has a great parable on fairness in Matthew 20.

From our inferior humanistic view we might say the following about fairness - Fairness means playing by the rules, taking turns, sharing, and listening. Fair people do not take advantage of others. They consider all sides before making decisions and they don’t blame others unjustly.

This sounds right, but is it Biblical, is it a Biblical value? From the human side I think God would like us to act this way practicing both justice and equality, unfortunately we put all the weight on EQUALITY based on pride and greed; but it is not necessarily His way, because he is a Sovereign God, he acts with JUSTICE giving each man what he deserves. We can not enact fairness at his level.

In the latter chapters of Romans, Paul addresses disputes within the church, resulting for those who think things are unfair; they have been disadvantaged in some way.
Paul responds that we should be sacrificial; that we the advantaged should be of the attitude to plead for the cause of the one crying foul, but likewise the supposed disadvantage should have the same attitude of sacrifice, giving thanks that God has blessed someone.

I thingk this is why, in some cases DISCUSSION amongst individuals, groups or within congregations should happen as to understand others thoughts, reasonings, and attitudes so that as Christians we might better understand what is happening in the shoes of the other guy, and from both sides enact sacrifice, which in other words leads to what we also call COMPROMISE, where both sides win.

We must stop making fairness all about ME,...ME,ME,ME, when we should be making it about the other guy. Remember, GOD IS supplying ALL our NEEDS, not WANTS; we'll be just fine even if things aren't just our way.

I think someone once said - you'll never do wrong if you do what's right. That little voice inside is a good sign of doing right.
Paul carefully warns us that we dare not "find fault" with God (Romans 9:19). To accuse Him of being unfair or capricious in His dealings with mankind is to forget that He is not bound by the sensitivities of our times, not fettered by the Western world's humanistic self-absorption with human rights, equality, democracy.

That's my 2 cents worth. (often more easily said then done!)

Pastor Scott said...

Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment, Anonymous!

Anonymous said...

Hi Paster Scott.
I'm right there with you on your "chewing on these questions". If you found some answers let me know. It's been questions that I've struggled over for years. It would be great to finally have the answers and greatly reduce my stress level I hope,esp since I'm a perfectionist(something I wish The Lord would speed up on correcting). Good Luck!

Pastor Scott said...

Thanks, Anonymous!