Sándor replied to what I shared in Part 1 with the following email and attachment:
I am very grateful for your valuable thoughts. I agree on that basically. I would like only to reflect on that shortly and share a few of my thoughts from another aspect.
I have attached my description.
A Few of my Thoughts about Leadership
I agree with you on all of the things in your letter, which is a short study summarizing the main questions and specifying their rank.
I see theoretically everything is OK. Some of my pastor brothers said to me: the FORM is NOT IMPORTANT, that is a second priority question.
Let me share some of the practical things from my life connected to this question. I am originally a machine engineer and worked more than 30 years in the development area. We had to know the theories. That was the basic thing. We had the possibility to realize a theory in many ways, and all ways had to work. I worked in a multinational company with more factories in different countries. In the different factories they carried out different solutions to the same problem. A few of the factories needed to be closed because of NOT enough efficiency. After these experiences came the question: to find out the best practice. Sorry for the comparison, BUT I think the situation in the churches is similar to this. This is the CONTENT and the FORM question. I see that the CONTENT IS OK, BUT one FORM hinders the efficient working and another FORM helps it. The forms are NOT SOLUTIONS, but are only POSSIBILITIES. I see the FORMS like frames.
In my practice as a believer, I had a pastor over me. I had a mandate to be a pastor BUT I laid it down and worked in plural leadership through more than ten years. We kept the total gathering on Sunday morning in a rented room and house groups in houses during the week. Later we worked without renting a room and gathered only in houses too. We tried all FORMS and I collected and analyzed the experiences.
Mt 9:17 says: „Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.”
The Church – as I see the situation – tries to work all over the world within „old bottles” (in the frames of the Old Covenant). From what Jesus says, I see this would be a priority question:
The first step has to be a RIGHT BOTTLE (as a POSSIBILITY only). After that, GOD will be able to fill new wine into that. If we are waiting for a big awakening, having church buildings and single pastors, and don’t have houses to gather in, in this case we are waiting for God to fill new wine into old bottles (structures).
We tried to realize a new bottle (FORM) as a frame during the past years in these things:
- plural leadership
- gathering in houses.
Many others said to us we are totally different from other local churches:
- we had vision continuously.
- there worked more spiritual gifts.
- There were visible the signs of prophet, teacher, evangelist…gifts.
- we have done many things in other ways than others.
- This FORM is working only in the Spirit and humility. Without it there will be confusion, which is a warning: the leader is NOT the Holy Spirit, and they need to go to the Lord.
Plural leadership gives the POSSIBILITY for elders to practice humility and obedience and to get practice in the moving of the prophetical spirit. The plural leadership FORM shows the fact that JESUS is HEAD over them. We can show forth our Lord and King, NOT the way it is with other people who have an earthly “king.” I think this is an important question. In this way we can make our invisible King visible to others, NOT similarly to the way it is in the world.
Comparing this to the one pastor system:
- One pastor presents a FALSE FORM, deceiving others with this. It would seem for the people as if HE would be the HEAD. This results in believers having a baby syndrome. The pastor needs obedience from all of the people in the church. His missings have a big effect.
- One pastor cannot confront himself and he can work in a human way too.
We learned through gathering in houses:
- The people don’t have the POSSIBILITY to be hypocrites and the sins will become visible.
- Love needs to be presented in a very practical way.
- Everyone has the POSSIBILITY to practice his/her gifts…
Of course we had many missings and were not perfect……
I see the churches today are:
- Temple (church building)
- and Bible concentrated ones.
The first churches in the first century didn’t have Bible (New Testament), only a few letters if there were problems, and had no one pastor, BUT the Lord was within them by the Holy Spirit.
I see after that there were big problems in the churches:
- Many believers are not born again and there are no disciples.
- Leaders are corrupt in many things.
- The sin and holiness question is a not an important thing…..
I tried to present a few of my thinkings in order for you to see my idea.
I hope you understand my thinkings written by my not perfect English.
The FORMS are only as POSSIBILITIES and not solutions, according to my vision, but are important, and we need to apply RIGHT FORMS (best practices) waiting for the RIGHT CONTENT (new wine) to be able to keep it on an efficient way.
What do you think about this aspect? This is a little bit of a different approach to things.
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My reply to these thoughts along with Sándor’s response back will follow in Part 3.
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