Friday, July 6, 2007

Good Enough to Lead?

On Thursday I read a post at Inward/Outward.

Learning to Forgive:
When we accept that we have weaknesses and flaws, that we have sinned against God and against our brothers and sisters, but that we are forgiven and can grow towards inner freedom and truer love, then we can accept the weaknesses and flaws of others. They too are forgiven by God and are growing towards the freedom of love. We can look at all men and women with realism and love. We can begin to see in them the wound of pain that brings up fear, but also their gift which we can love and admire. We are all mortal and fragile, but we are all unique and precious. There is hope; we can all grow towards greater freedom. We are learning to forgive.
(emphasis mine)

Wednesday was a very healing day. We had friends over for a 4th fest. It was complete with all of my favorite things, music, laughter, food, beer, kids, pool, friends, rum punch, fireworks…. We had fun. Gratefully, a lot of former friends and current friends were here. (Old friends who had celebrated every 4th with us for over a decade were not and even though I don’t wish to go back, their lack of presence was felt very keenly by me) The ones who were there were people who had also left our CLB. Some before us, (those who had forgiven us), some after us.

At one point, later in the day, one of the guys picked up his guitar and soon, bit by bit, all of us gathered around in some halting, beautiful worship. Old songs. Songs that had been sung a few years ago and some sung many years ago. Wow, it was good. (Almost made me not dislike the word “worship.” ) We were all a bit weepy.

The thing that struck me was this….Here were a bunch of people – all broken in some way. Some were struggling with hidden things. Some had kids who were not following God. Some with deep issues and areas of un-healed-ness. Yet, they were leading worship. They were playing. Others were just being there. And it was good. Broken people. Worshiping people. People not judging whether or not one was good enough to lead us. People not judging whether you should be there or not. People not judging. Just people worshiping, and singing, and laughing, and eating, and drinking rum punch. And it was good. I think God liked it. I know I did.

See, our CLB used to say that if you played up front on a worship team or were in “ministry” somehow, that your lives had to reflect that you were a good disciple of Jesus or you could not play or or work. Now that sounds good right? Well, it wasn’t.

Because, whose standard do you use to determine if a person’s life reflects the “right amount” of discipleship or Christian growth? I have seen people reprimanded on worship teams or leadership teams for not keeping their cars and houses clean enough. Others because they had a perceived “sexual spirit”. Others for not tithing. Others for not being kind enough. Others for not being under authority. Others for the fact that their children were not OK. Others because they did not reflect the “look” the church wanted to project. It was brutal at times. It hurt a lot of people.

Do you see what this does? At what point do you become good enough for a worship team? At what point do you become bad enough to be removed? And we talk about grace? Where is it? Of course this was always ultimately decided by the leaders.

But again, you could not have someone living in obvious rebellion leading a worship service, right?

And then you ask yourself – what is worse – obvious rebellion or the hidden, secret rebellion that each of us lives with every day. How do you get that off your stage in a church?

All I know is this. I did not have to judge anyone’s life that day. I just sat and watched these people who are deciding to love God as best as they know how, sing some songs about Him and to Him. And I didn’t want to go back to the place that has to determine if someone is OK enough to lead. I know I’m not. How could I judge if anyone else is or not?

So the entry that I started this post with was good to read on Thursday. Very good.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Beautiful. When we spend so much time and energy judging each other and making sure someone is OK enough to do something to worship God, how can we truly focus on worshipping Him?