The Responsibility Riddle
Question: Pastor, who is responsible for your spiritual maturity and vitality?
Answer: I am, of course!
Ok, fine. Now answer this…
Question: Pastor, who is responsible for the spiritual maturity and vitality of your congregation?
Answer: Again, I am!
Question: Really? Are you sure?
If you are responsible for your congregation’s spiritual maturity, what are they responsible for?
There’s a troubling trend in the Church these days. We, in ministry, see the evidence of it all the time. It can be found in a complaint. More often than not, the complaint sounds something like this: “I’m just not getting fed here.” “I don’t experience the presence of God here.” “The worship no longer ministers to me.”
And then, off they go, out the door, on to another church, or maybe to no church at all. The thinking, both of the pastor and the complaining congregant flows from the same fallacy: that the pastor, the church, and the elders are somehow responsible for the spiritual condition of those they serve.
Thinking like this, it’s no wonder the Church is diapered in spiritual infancy.
So, who is responsible for your spiritual maturity and vitality?
You are. Only you.
The responsibility riddle can be solved in this important, seldom recognized distinction: Your pastor is responsible to you but is not responsible for you.
Think about it. A pastor is responsible to the congregation to model mature faith in action, to proclaim God’s Word faithfully, to represent Christ ethically. Each believer is responsible for what they do with the Word of God: both the preached Word and the Word that sits in their lap, on their phone, on the bookshelf, or on the coffee table gathering dust.
-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/
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