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Compassionate Administration

(2 Corinthians 2:4-17)

Lesson 10 -- second quarter 2000
May 7, 2000

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications

This lesson's memory selection brings to light again what many rebels, malcontents and losers miss: church leadership results in much affliction, anguish and tears for the minister. Those who miss this reality tend to whine, complain and rail about the firmness shown by many church leaders. Oh, don't get me wrong here. I do not mean in any way to excuse the carnal execution of leadership. But I think we all do well to remember that the majority of leaders go through the same heart-breaking, spirit-wrenching, emotion-wringing experiences that Paul knew so well: "For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears" (verse 4).

Am I promoting a church life that meekly, robotically and blindly follows the direction of the ministry? Not at all! Well, not entirely, that is. I strongly believe in meekness. However, meekness has nothing to do with blind robots. (How can rote, mechanical "faith" be genuine Christianity at all?!)

Meekness knows what it is doing, and why. Meekness chooses to follow, consciously and conscientiously. Meekness compels us to follow submissively. In addition to that, meekness moves us to lovingly and humbly correct and challenge those who lead us. Meekness gets even beyond that, though. Meekness will try to reach beyond the words and actions of a leader to see and feel his heart.

The Scriptures command us to follow the faith of our leaders. That means listen to what they teach and preach orally. That means emulate their walk in The Way. That last dimension we overlook too often, I might add. However, there is still another factor that many of us absolutely miss altogether: What is driving him? We may hear the message and even take copious notes...but if that's all we get, we may have missed the most telling part.

Say the sermon lasts forty-five minutes. So you hear and see the delivery. Good! You got the most tangible part...to you, that is. But if you want to really enjoy the spice, flavor and full nutrition, you need to somehow get the most tangible part...to him. You see, he well may have spent five hours preparing for that brief public presentation. What was the price he paid in his soul?

Perhaps you think I am talking in riddles. But just in case I'm not, apply this concept as well to the minister when he is administering discipline. The same factors hold true then. So when you or a friend is hurting from ministerial correction or discipline, remember he is hurting as well. Remember Hebrews 13:17 at all times: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."

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