Recently, I was informed that I had been labeled a "control freak", and that when I could not be in control of things at a church that I would move on to another church where I could "take over" and run things - and that I had been doing this for years. It is amazing the things people will make up or even repeat without even trying to discern the truth.
When we set out on this journey to place ourselves wholly in God's will, I knew there would be satanic attacks. In this sense, Satan is always predictable and seldom disappoints. He will rarely attack after you have hit one of those spiritual peaks where God has shown you something amazing, but will almost always throw a constant barrage of blows when you are on your way up to one of those peaks. Mark my words, set your eyes on Jesus and determine in your heart to do those things that will honor Him, then sit back and wait... As sure as the mouse will go for the cheese on the mouse trap, so Satan will show up to try and trip you up to make you miss what God has for you. It is like a road sign that tells you that you are certainly on the right path. If Satan is not attacking you, perhaps you should check the path you are on. Satan ALWAYS sets his path in opposition of God's children set about doing His will. If you are not hitting that demonic opposition, Satan does not see you as a threat - possibly because you are either not moving towards God or you are moving in a direction away from God.
Anyway... Back to my thought. In the past 10 years, I have had "membership" with three institutions. The first we left, not because we could not "run things", but because we felt no sense of community. I was active as a scriptural, biblically based servant minister (deacon), which was a position of no certain authority, outside of hosting a deacon family fellowship meeting once a month in our home. I had no more voice in the business or politics in the church than any other member - and I was perfectly OK with this. My family just did not feel the sense of community there that we read about in the New Testament - so we left looking for that. We did not leave mad or angry - just needing that sense of community.
We found ourselves at another institution where community was there and I was "recruited" to lead worship. During our time at this place, God blessed us with many new friends and allowed us to witness many miracles that today have often been relegated only to New Testament times. While God blessed us during our time here, He began closing the doors of the institution itself, moving the majority of membership away to other institutions as the leader of the church had begun to preach sermons downloaded off of the Internet, word for word, every week. (I began taking notes of key phrases he used in his messages and googling them when I got home, only to find the entire message on a website.) Once the community had moved away, we began a search for where God would have us go.
Which brings me to where we are now. After months of searching, we visited this small congregation just outside of our town. From the moment we walked into the doors, we felt the community, the love of Christ fleshed out through His people. We knew this was where God wanted us - to be the final leg in this journey He was soon to reveal to us. Here we experienced ministry with the body, missional work (local and global), and real fellowship. I was drawn in, again, as a servant leader (deacon) and was also asked to serve (after a couple of years) as an interim worship leader, until a replacement was found. I did not ask for these positions, but was happy to be able to serve in these capacities as the Lord allowed. When our pastor left, I was elected as part of a three man pulpit committee and served as a Wednesday nite Bible study teacher. I was approached by members of the church about taking on the position of pastor myself. Now, had I been a control freak, as some have suggested, I would have jumped at this opportunity to take over the reigns of this local body. However, since this was not the case, and I knew this was not God's calling on my life, I dismissed this opportunity as not being God's will for me and my family. As Forest Gump would say, "And that's all I got to say about that."
I have (and have not had in the past) no desire to "run things" in the church. I do have a burden to see that things are done properly and scripturally, which is not the same thing as wanting to be in control. Christ is the head of the Church and as such, should be the ultimate and only authority - I know that I am unable, unfit and unqualified to do His job and hence, have no desire to attempt to do so. God has given me a heart for His people - and those He wishes to become His people. He has given me a heart to build community within His body. He has given me an unimaginable desire to see His name honored and lifted up. It is this desire that dictates my actions, words and thoughts.
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
This verse has never been more real and alive than it is now in my life. This life is not about me. It's not about you. It is all about Jesus. If you see anything good in me, that is Jesus. If you hear any truth come from my mouth - that is Jesus. My heart is to serve Him. His heart was to demonstrate to us that servant attitude which must be fleshed out in our lives in order for a lost world to see Him.