Take Me to Your Leader

They don’t know why we care
They don’t know what’s out there
They don’t know how it’s done
Let’s Take ‘Em To Our Leader’s Son

They see we’ve got the joy
They see us live it, oi
It’s real, it’s free, it’s fun,
Let’s Take ‘Em To Our Leader’s Son

My co-worker and fellow blogger shared this article with me in which the columnist challenged people, in the new year and the new decade, to look at a few things through fresh eyes. The writer listed 52 suggestions, one for every week of the year. This week’s topic is the leaders of your church.

The leaders of my church are the ones that make the “big” decisions, set the tone, the direction, the emphasis, the focus, the activities, etc. that my church will be part of or encourage. These “leaders” — the pastor, the adult ministries pastor, youth pastor, children’s pastor, music minister, deacons — determine the church’s “yoke,” a concept I read about earlier this year in Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith.

“Different rabbis had different sets of rules, which were really different lists of what they forbade and what they permitted. A rabbi’s set of rules and lists, which was really that rabbi’s interpretation of how to live the Torah, was called that rabbi’s yoke. When you followed a certain rabbi, you were following him because you believed that rabbi’s set of interpretations were closest to what God intended through the Scriptures. And when you followed that rabbi, you were taking up that rabbi’s yoke.”

I’m misapplying Bell’s point just a tad, perhaps, or maybe stretching it to it’s limit, because I am including in the “yoke” things that are not actually “interpretations” of Scripture but applications. The yoke of Flint River, for example, as determined by its leaders, includes being “Jesus with skin on,” which is the attitude our pastor has adopted and modeled and encouraged our church body to be in the community where we are. It’s also LIFE — Loving God, Involved in Small Group, Fellowship with Believers and Evangelistic Lifestyle. The Flint River yoke includes praise and worship music and instruments, mission trips to China and Nicaragua, and any number of other things.

Bell also said

“One rabbi even said his yoke was easy.”

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Sometimes the yoke of “the church” feels hard. Do this, don’t do this, give this, show up here, read this, memorize that, etc. Christ says his yoke is easy. Then why have we made living the “Christian” life hard? Follow his simple commands — love God first and then love everyone else like you love yourself. Those two little things take care of it all, yet we often make it so hard.


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