My shock

Before resigning as a Salvation Army officer, I wrote a series of articles which were my reflections on leadership.  If you read my previous blog, you may remember it.  If not, you can read it here as it was published in this SA journal.  It was a culmination of years of ‘working out’ the deep dissatisfaction that was haunting my leadership.  I had an overwhelming sense that what I was doing, the function I was in was proving to be a bottle neck in the Body of Christ.  I realised it fully after my appointment to Wick, in the far North of Scotland.  The people there brought into sharp focus what was wrong with the style of inherited leadership we have in the church as a whole.  I saw in them people who had been disempowered and lulled into a sense that ‘the officer’ was the main missioner, preacher, pastor etc etc

I realised in a very real way that the vast majority of  the church was being held back by a clergy dominated leadership.  Now, thats not an easy decision to come to when you just happend to be ‘clergy.’  We felt we needed the time to explore this crisis discovery and so our appointment to Aberdeen Torry came about….a place where we could truly explore different models of leadership.  Well, we truly loved our Aberdeen experience.  Truly and sincerely.  But it led to our resignation.  We began to explore there the ways of being and meeting with the folks there that just really convinced us for sure that there was something to our suspicions.

Guess what?!? The Holy Spirit can work through the Body of Christ when they are gathered together for worship.  We started to meet without a written agenda, no meeting plan, no pre-selected music, sermon or leader.  We met and we shared what was on our hearts, what we felt the Holy Spirit had given us to say.  Each person was free to bring a song, a word, a scripture, a testimony, a prophecy, a prayer and to lift up the name of Jesus.  I became determined that ‘doing church by the book’ was much more authentic that canned services.  For the first time, I saw a real glimpse of the body working in harmony together, with Jesus at the head.  We were just a very plain group of folks but there was more power in those little gatherings than in anything else I ever experienced.

As I said yesterday, we approach the New Testament now with nearly 1600 years of ‘Christendom’ church behind us (brought to you by Emperor Constantine!) and its SO difficult to see the New Testament for what it is.  In my ‘Thinking Out Loud about Leadership’ articles I expounded a little of what this looks like from the perspective of leadership and a few other things too.

Now, I may do a bit of writing on this in the coming weeks, but the best thing to start with is to share these two videos called ‘When You Come Together’.  It says better what I mean that I can articulate it at the moment, so enjoy watching.


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