“Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.” – Acts 1:26
Right now at theStory we are in Acts, we’ll probably be there for another two years. I must not be reading it very carefully because I totally skipped over Acts 1:26. Are you kidding me? They picked a disciple by casting lots?
If that doesn’t make you want to just throw away everything you’ve ever known or read about leadership then I don’t know what does. Think about how subversive that is. It’s almost like they are saying, we don’t care who our leaders are because this community doesn’t live or die by it’s leaders. We just need someone to fulfill the role. Sure we can chalk it up to thinking they just really trusted God to pick the right person. I think though it’s deeper than that. This tells us a lot about who leaders are and how we determine who they are.
For theStory, we’ve always chosen leaders by their gifts, and how they will contribute to the overarching conversation as we lead our community. If someone doesn’t do that well, we get frustrated and we can’t wait for them to step down or we ask them to leave. It’s all backwards. It’s not about having the right people in the right place to find success. Obviously, this is the case if our entire church movement was founded on the back of someone drawing the short straw. Hauerwas in the video below asks “what kind of community do you need to be that you can choose your leadership by lot?”
That question completely leaves me blank. I’ve never thought of it that way. I always thought it was what kind of community do you need to be so your produce good leaders? Or what kind of community to we need to be so we can raise leaders up from the inside and not have to hire from the outside? Those questions those presume that leaders are picked by someone (other leaders? democracy?) and that we actually know what a good leader is. So I think we do need to ask this question. Because it takes the pressure off the one leader to be a perfect leader so his community succeeds. This question though forces us to put the pressure on the community so that it doesn’t even matter who the leader is. Hauerwas asks this questions and others in the video below.