It seems that the church has created only two kinds of people. Leaders and followers. Leaders are people that produce content and then followers are those that consume that content. Leaders are usually on staff, lead bible studies, play on worship teams, teach children’s classes and sermons and make food. Followers are those that meet with staff, attend Bible studies, sing along with worship teams, do activities in Sunday school, show up at church and listen to sermons and eat food.
If you are a leader and you run into someone that can’t produce something to be consumed then you are instantly pegged into the follower camp. Your only real use is to consume whatever product, image or content that the leader has produced. If you don’t produce something worth following then you are obviously of no use to the progress of the ministry.
My issue with this is that we were never called to be leaders or producers of content. Where are the pastors, evangelists, servants and disciples? Do we actually have any interest in these people or do they just get in the way of producing more content?
I think healthy communities learn to put leaders in their place and help them discover what their actual gifts are and give them opportunity to use them. Healthy communities find that everyone is “leadership” material. What would it look like if our communities didn’t just pay our leaders to produce content for us on Sunday mornings and started utilizing the gifts of all the people in a church. I think a church would have to be very introspective and really get to know and see the qualities of everyone in their midst to do it well. The way people are valuable would have to change.
I do think this is the way that communities need to move though; away from hierarchical forms of leadership with the one with best ideas is at the top and into a more balanced leadership model having different people operating in the gifts that they have. Unfortunately the gift of “leadership” isn’t really a gift, so the dichotomy of leaders and followers will have to go.