Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Roadies Wanted

"Now the seats are all empty, let the roadies take the stage,
They'll set it up and tear it down.
They're the first to come and the last to leave,
workin' for that minimum wage...
They'll set it up in another town.  
- Jackson Browne, The Load Out

There are many issues that make the 21st century Christian church difficult to figure out. Some are corporate issues the entire community must face together. Some are individual challenges. And some are problems with cultural curses that we have adopted from society at large. I'd like to address one of those today. You see, it seems to me that there are far too many leaders in Christianity today who see themselves as- and who want to be- rock stars! They want the microphone and they crave the spotlight. They garner attention for themselves and "their" ministries, putting focus on things other than God. The gutters along the #NarrowRoad are littered with pastors and other church leaders who made themselves famous, only to discover that Jesus isn't looking for for stars. Jesus is looking for Roadies.

For those of you not familiar with the lingo, a roadie is someone who toils behinds the scenes on a concert tour. Roadies do the set-ups, the repairs, the grunt work and the heavy lifting that make the rock stars look good. They get no glory, just the satisfaction of a job well done and the knowledge that because of them the stars get the attention and love they crave. Many roadies take the job because of their love and respect for the artist they get to follow all over the country. They are there to serve. If we compare the #NarrowRoad to a tour, it should be quite clear who the star is. It's not the famous preacher, or the gifted singer or the televangelist with perfect hair. It's Jesus. And the rest of us- ALL of the rest of us- are called to be roadies. Our marching orders are right there in the Gospels. Be servants. Be humble. Be meek. Jesus told the disciples (Mark 9:35) that "anyone wanting to be greatest must be the least- a servant of all!" The path of Christ becomes a treacherous journey for those who think themselves as high and mighty. The ones who understand Jesus are the ones carrying their bags and bringing them water. The roadies are the ones making headway on the #NarrowRoad.

We live in a society built around lifting up those who achieve wealth, power and/or fame. It is only natural that this has bled over into the church- and into the pulpit. We need leaders and people who will take on power and important roles. But as scripture (and various Spiderman movies) teaches us, with that power comes great responsibility. And a part of the responsibility, according to the Master, it letting go of the power and becoming a servant. We pass on the love and the hope when we give up our roles of glory and become roadies to those who follow behind. 

Hardly a day passes without seeing tweets and articles lifting up the qualities of a great leader, giving information on how you can become a rock star in your church. We get things so twisted. Being on the #NarrowRoad has nothing to do with being a leader and everything to do with WHO you FOLLOW! So stack some speakers, set up the mics and get the lights ready. Then get out of the way and let Jesus do his thing. Be a roadie for Christ!

Because of Jesus.

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