The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul. Cicera
The flock of believers in worship places demand for some sort of consideration for their tithes and offerings despite these really belonging to the house of God. Factions will sometimes rise from within the church set up by a people who feel left out in decision making or in other matters that they feel they are stakeholders in. The ability to juggle between the different decisions, all in the while sustaining the flock of different character traits, remains a spiritual leaderís greatest test.
The listening ear of one such as this must be developed and the spirit of discernment sought in the diverse issues that are continuously dropped on his laps. What is put before this earthly representative therefore must be full of wisdom and from it drawn answers that will not only keep the congregants happy but also gather them closer still within the confines of this very church as society churns out more spiritual competition. To this end will be inventions of how to do things differently sometimes accepting all manner of new entrants; oftentimes compromising on trends of wear and worship just to fill up the pews. This trafficking will not be lacking in those that will expect special treatment and will quickly leave if none is forthcoming. Their zigzagging maneuvers will be in an effort to spot that one easily-manipulated shepherd alongside whom they will announce their presence. Hot on their heels will be the congregant who feels that her condition is not properly addressed.
The delicate nature of the spiritual leaderís tasks will again be noted in marital disharmonies that will be soothed over alongside troubled teenagers whose stimulus deficit will have been induced by parents who will be too busy with other engagements to handle adolescent misdemeanor. The occasional drunk will yet stumble into the accusing eyes of the worshippers and this too must be accorded some attention.
Confusion will reign even as heads are upturned to the pulpit. The answers they seek will lie on the the simple books on their laps but their eyes will see and not understand; their ears hear but not discern. And so year after year will be powerful sermons delivered for the occupantís benefit but from which no positive behavioral change in lives will be noted
The truth has been hidden that only those that leave themselves as simple as children may understand it. Simplicity will remain a requirement for its access thereby locking out the learned. The onus of dispensing of this truth will lie with the one whose vocation it is to do so as he takes a backseat in the service for his maker. From his mouth must be spewed truth that brings light and life to those that now look at him. There will be no reserved pews for those whose offerings are fat because our God, for whom we collect the offerings, is not a respecter of persons. In the book of James 2:1-9 we are warned against showing favoritism to those with status.
It remains worthwhile to have a few sheep that follow the master and know his voice than hundreds of wolves that seek to manipulate him. Such wolves are afraid to face their real selves and only want to hear what they can pay for. In 2Timothy 4:3-4, the bible talks of those who will gather around teachers who tell them what they want to hear. Sooner or later, the constellation of individuals will sieve out the chaff and the nomads will leave in search of other sanctuaries. Spiritual leadership is a serious matter that should not be used as an arena for pleasing a few for it is through this channel that God speaks.
Read more articles by beatrice ofwona or search for articles on the same topic or others.