Satisfying the Hunger... is a blog written by the ministry staff of Evangelism & Church Growth
I am not a fan of the cross, my cross that is. I am overwhelmed with joy at the cross of Jesus, but as a church leader I am not a fan of taking up MY cross and following Jesus. Don’t get me wrong I like the principle, not the implementation. I teach that we are to follow Jesus all the time. I simply rarely apply the cross to my church leadership. I follow Thomas Jefferson’s approach to the Bible, I eliminate passages that I cannot explain or that go against my agenda. The first biblical passage I have in practice eliminated is from the gospel of Mark, chapter 8, verse, 34:
“He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”’ (NRSV)
I am a people pleaser; I bet most of us in church leadership are wired to want to make people happy. I hate to make an unpopular decision, people will be unhappy. If people are not happy they won’t follow. If people do not follow me then I am not a leader. The lack of my willingness to take up my cross and follow Jesus allows people to follow me rather than me challenging them to follow Jesus. I play the numbers game all the time. I would rather do what attracts huge numbers rather than speak truth that most likely will turn many away.
I hear lots of talk about the need for the church to be different, missional, in the community, life giving, a movement rather than an institution. I am convinced it is church leaders like me who keep us from being any of those things. We will never be the church until we, leaders, are willing to take up our crosses and follow Jesus.