Tag Archives: elders

…And Some Doubted

Tuesday Re-mix –

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Matthew 28:16-17

disbeliefYou are probably familiar with the 80/20 principle of organizational dynamics.  It holds that, in any organization of any kind, once it hits its stride and “normalizes”, 20% of the people are doing 80% of the “work”.  I’m sure you have heard at least some version of it.  I dislike that principle as it relates to the church.  You probably do as well.  I have tried and tried over the years to kick against it, because it is not indicative of the “revolution” I believe Jesus intended.  If you are a leader in the church, you have probably tried to work against it as well, with varying degrees of success.

Want a sobering reality check?  I’m turning over the balance of this post to those very people with whom you are feeling frustrated.  I will let them speak for themselves.  Listen to some of the 80%…

I am that dynamic, gifted young leader in the church whom you ask year after year to take on a responsibility and I just keep turning you down.  I have doubts.

I am one of the huge percentage of your church members who is pretty steadily there for worship but have never darkened the doors of prayer meeting on Wednesday night.  I have doubts.

We are part of that handful of couples who seem so spiritually mature in Bible study discussion but who choose not to be there more than half the time.  We have doubts.

I am one of your elders or even staff members who start off so well but whose commitment dwindles over time and you begin to lose

Church Government: The Negative Space in God’s Word

Tuesday Re-mix –

In the world of visual art, the use of “negative space” is important.  In any sculpture or painting, the artwork sometimes says as much by areas is doesn’t cover as it does by actually covering.

You and I would call it the “blank space” on the canvass, i.e., the area where the artist chose not to paint.  That space becomes an integral part of the art itself.  In fact, some might claim that the negative space the artist creates in a particular work is what makes the work perfect.

I have come to believe that part of the perfection of scripture, i.e., the Word of God, is the “negative space” it creates within its pages…parts of the story intentionally not told or clarified, left out for reasons only God knows.

For example, wouldn’t you like more details from Jonah about exactly what happened inside that fish for three days?  If you were telling that story, wouldn’t you include that?  Or what about Paul’s fight with Barnabas, or his confrontation of Peter?  Don’t you think the details of those conflicts would be worth knowing?  Or what about a single instance of Matthew 18:15 (Jesus’ model for how to conduct church discipline) actually modeled for us somewhere?  Wouldn’t that be helpful?

For reasons only God understands, these and countless other “details” were omitted from the telling of His story.  But rest assured, He does have his reasons.  This “negative space” in scripture is a part of its perfection, it is critical in creating exactly the Word which God has preserved so perfectly throughout the centuries.  In any of these instances, a little more detail might seem harmless enough at first blush, but would ultimately take away from the Word God intended.

A perfect example is the New Testament’s lack …