As promised here’s part 2 of the weakness contemplations. This is the one where I ask many questions. Or possibly the same question over and over again: are we really ready to admit to being weak in our churches and in our lives?
As I said in my last post I am weak. I find it hard to admit that in case everyone runs away from me. I’m not weak in a socially acceptable way. I am weak. I am afraid. I cry a lot in pain. I let things overwhelm me and I am proud. I don’t want you to know the dark weaknesses I have. I want to hide them from the world.
The brilliant freeing truth is the wonder that God knows about them and doesn’t hold them against me. He says my grace is sufficient. My power is made perfect in weakness.
In the light of that my question for today is:
What would our lives and churches look like if we really believed that?
Do we really believe that? Do we dare to employ the weak because they trust in a bigger God – one who is sufficient for our weakness?
Once upon a time I worked for a church where my boss had asked the question at his interview – is this a place I will be free to fail? He still wasn’t sure he had the answer 3 years later. It was a church full of middle class professionals for whom failure was a horror and weakness was to be hidden away. What can we do in the face of attitudes like that?
Do we help people develop trust and dependance on God in the midst of their weakness rather than immediately focusing on whether they have gifts and abilities?
Is it admittance of our weakness and need of Jesus that qualifies us for ministry or is it our abilities?
Do we want someone who knows they are weak and is honest about their need for God and so see his grace at work in their lives or do we value competence above dependance?
I’m not against employing people who have some competence in their jobs. But what are the character traits we look for under the surface? Have they become content and self sufficient in their competence or are they depending on God and seeking to grow in that?
Dependance may in the end produce competence but seeking competence on my own will always be based on my abilities rather than my attitude and deep conviction of my need for my Saviour Lord and provider of all I have in this world
Do we seek this kind of character or do we want people who are confident in their own abilities?
I’m sure abilities and gifts are vitally important to develop but I wonder if we value them over the character of someone who is brave and honest about their weaknesses and knows it’s by the grace of God that they stand at all.
I wonder what our churches and relationships would look like if we all stopped trying to get it right all the time, brought our weaknesses out into the light and delighted in the reality that God uses the weak and foolish and asked for his grace to keep on going.
I wonder what our churches would look like if we put people who are deeply convinced of this truth into leadership roles
What about you?