when leaders search for God
April 24, 2008
There is so much I would want to write about, my visit with Tom yesterday and my dissertation topic which finally seem be getting finalized (and which I’m very excited about) being on the immediate list. But I promised that I’d blog on this topic about a week ago, so I’ll keep my promise first.
Probably nearly no one has actually followed my conversation with Deborah, but if you’ve read what I’ve written in the last synchroblog, I can now gladly add that we might just actually be on our way to finding a peaceful conversation, which would be great. But first, my promise to blog on this was made to Deborah. At one stage, when the conversation was quite heated, she made the following remark:
I have a question – maybe two. If you are still searching for God, for the Lord, what are you doing in a leadership role in your church? Perhaps I was mistaken, but from your posts, it sounds like you work as a leader in a church. How can you lead others to Christ, if you don’t really know Him?
This was in response to the following comment I made:
Maybe because I hope that one more person can believe that I, and many others like me, are seriously searching for God, attempting to live in the way of Jesus…
I guess a few remarks would suffice for now:
It’s interesting how many people have the idea that spiritual leaders are those who have “made it” in the spiritual realm. Who have “found God” (isn’t it supposed to be the other way around, that God should find me?).
It’s even more interesting how the idea that we could actually stop searching for God is so popular, especially if I’m the one doing the searching (I guess if God is finding me, then I could say the process ends at some point). But OK, now I’m playing around with metaphysical junk, which is not really what I like to do, so let’s move on.
What will happen if a spiritual leader say that (s)he is searching for God? I guess some would like to re-enact crusifixion, and others would like to kiss the leader. Some want to hear that the leader has it all sorted out, others want to know that the leader goes through the same struggles they do (and there are some whoa re even OK if the leader go through more struggles than they do).
This said, I guess we would need to rethink the role of spiritual leaders. If they are not those with everything sorted out, what can make them the leader? Can there be leaders? I think one way might be saying that the spiritual leader is the theologian, helping people in their thoughts about God. The theologian can do this by pointing to more than personal experience, the long tradition of the church in all it’s colors can also come into play, even if the leader consider himself to be a searcher. But maybe this only focus on one dimension of spiritual leadership.
Or maybe it’s all about relationship. In relationship I can follow spiritual leaders even if they consider themselves as people “searching for God”, the less I know someone, I think the more I would want to know that they “have it made” spiritually, even if I don’t believe it if anyone say that they have “made it” spiritually.
Any thoughts? Would you be comfortable if those you consider to be your spiritual mentors tell you they are searching for God?