Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
One Sunday after church, I made a comment to a friend, “Did it seem like we sang fewer songs than normal?”
I laughed. I love to sing, so I missed the extra songs. My friend, accustomed to others complaining about worship leaders not following a prescribed process, assumed I was pointing out an error. For me, you can change it up all you want as long as we worship God in body and spirit while communing with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Although my example provides a silly application of this week’s best practice of leadership, I couldn’t help but retell it. My friend thought I was Challenging the Process. This, for many, can be unnerving. Good leaders question the norm. This means you challenge something currently in place or understood. Since a successful challenge results in change, many people show reluctance to point out a problem. Why? People don’t like change.
This is true today, but we find many examples of it in the Bible. Check out Acts 10 & 11. Peter faced a challenge to his understanding of who Christ came to save through a vision of a tablecloth laid down before him.
It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
After this vision, he received a visitor who led him to the home of Cornelius, a gentile, where he shared the message of Christ’s salvation. Later, the apostles challenged him for going against the acceptable way of keeping the faith only for the circumcised. I’m so thankful that Peter challenged the process and remained open to the leadership of Christ.
How can we manifest this in our Christian faith? I have listened to respected people teach on a passage, but I don’t stop there. I go back to the verses and do my own study. Have they stated a wisdom related to those verses or have they missed something in their interpretation? A good leader will challenge you to not take their word for how they present the Word. A good leader encourages you to conduct your own Bible study of the same verses to explore the truth for yourself.
Obviously, this isn’t the only way to challenge the process, but it does provide us with a way to get our feet wet. Once you feel stronger in your understanding and faith, maybe you’ll challenge something more fully. Not everything we see in the church is scriptural. Why? Because people are fallible. Most do the best they can, but we must use a spirit of discernment.
What are some other ways we can challenge the process in our faith?
This is the fourth in a series on applying leadership best practices to our walk of faith. For earlier posts, please follow the following links:
Bible image courtesy of ArvindBalaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net