Those who are fortunate enough to have answers to some questions, also are unfortunate in that their answers are expected of them.
I have often encountered people who are well educated, speak with eloquence, write with passion and am often surprised at how human they are! Normal people, trying to live life faithfully, struggling with all the things we ‘mere mortals’ struggle with.
I was fascinated when this was brought up by Eugene Peterson in the opening chapter of "Christ Plays in a thousand places" when he speaks of the story of Nicodemus the pharisee coming to Jesus at night:
"So why is he sneaking around, having a clandestine conversation with Jesus? Was it out of humility? That is plausble. Leaders who are looked up to constantly, who give out answers competently, who everyone assumes are living what they are saying, often have acute experience of dissonance "Who I am and what people think I am aren’t anywhere close to be ing the same thing. The bertter I get as a Rabbi and the more my reputation grows, the more I feel like a fraud, I know so much more than I live. The Longer I live, the more knowledge I acquire, the wider the gap between what I know and what I live. I’m getting worse by the day…"
One thing I have been asking in relation to this is how do we release leaders to have the time to learn to walk out the things they preach, and in a way it is a simple yet altogether uncultural thing to do. I wonder the consumerist nature of the west encroaches and pressures our Church leaders to constantly keep the teaching ‘fresh’ and ‘relevant’ we can rush through spiritual discplines which are exactly that, disciplines, things which need to be meditated on and worked out. Our requirement for a new concept or the latest fad in Christian popular culture sometimes drive us to consume books, teachings, and programs, pouring out seeds in the field of our hearts which essentially go into the ground an inch deep for a little while before they are pummeled with the next installment which crowds out the room to take root.
Some more questions I want to ask in relation to this are these:
- How as a Church who value learning, and knowledge, as worshipping God with our minds out work the living of the things we read and say?
- How do we cultivate an atmosphere within Church where it’s OK to be fallable and human as a Leader but not a hypocrit?