be an extension of the coach

When it comes to sports, I tend to follow sports associated with the city of my birth, Edmonton, Alberta. My hockey team, the Oilers, let their captain go over the summer so a new captain is in the offing. An article speculating on the new captain contained this bit:

Renney [coach of the Oilers] said the captain has to be an extension of the coach.

"In terms of work habits, his own personal preparation from fitness, nutrition, his emotional state. That’s critical. He has to help deliver what’s required from a game plan and have a deep commitment to it."

That prompted some thoughts on pastoral leadership. Peter says:

NAU  1 Peter 5:2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

Could we say that as examples of the flock we need to be “an extension of the Lord” displaying work habits that are committed to the kind of spiritual fitness the Lord expects of his people? Can we say the pastor must deliver what’s required from the game plan and have a deep commitment to it? In other words, if we expect the people of God to buy into what we are preaching, surely we must be at least as deeply committed as we are calling them to be, eh?

It may be that we are too much interested in our own agenda, our own game plan, than the Lord’s plan. Yield yourselves (voluntarily) to the Lord as the shepherd of His sheep – they are His, not yours, after all.


it’s not that simple

Dave said (here and here):

Restore the local assembly to the center where God intended it to be. When your local assembly engages in Great Commission work outside its walls, find some folks you agree with and get busy doing it. Unity is built on agreement about the truth, not by politics. Few things are as political as trying to preserve movements once they have fragmented theologically.

Would that it were so simple. But it is not that simple. In the words of John Donne,

No man is an island entire of itself…

And certainly the pastor and church in question is no island, entire unto themselves. If we were talking about a small church in a small community it might be that simple, but … probably not.

Everyone influences someone else. That’s why our private decisions are important. They have influence on someone.

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