Thinking of the Slavery of Paul (and ours too)

I had the privilege of attending worship in my home church today after a ten day trip to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland to care for Christian leaders seeking to be faithful to Christ and His kingdom. It was a good trip even if exhausting. Numerous angels are also exhausted from keeping me awake during my long hours in the car. It was good to be back home, to hug my wife, and be with the people of God. Our pastor, Trell Ross started a new series from the book of Titus and chose as his text the opening chapters first 4 verses—-Paul’s introduction or “hello” to Titus, his “true child in a common faith” (v. 3).

Tonight, our home-group carried on a further discussion over the same text. It was encouraging to wrestle with them over the text in a deeply personal way. Our discussions led down some interesting paths, one of the most profitable was the contrast between Paul’s understanding of his position, a slave of Christ (δοῦλος), and the way some pastors and Christian leaders seem to conduct themselves in our own age.

It reminded me of this brilliant quote from Henri Nouwen that a friend of mine passed on to me this last week.

“It is a painful fact indeed to realize how poorly prepared most Christian leaders prove to be when they are invited to be spiritual leaders in the true sense. Most of them are used to thinking in terms of large-scale organizations, getting people together in churches, schools, and hospitals, and running the show as a circus director. They have become unfamiliar with, and even somewhat afraid of, the deep and significant movements of the Spirit.”

(Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, 37-38)

Would you pray for me as I work to help the Christian leaders that I interact with to be better spiritual leaders, “in the true sense”. Pray that God might find me useful and that means of course, that I would never forget that I m a slave of the Living God and that my will must be in submission to His will, always.

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