Monday, January 21, 2008


The church hasn't been cleaned in a few weeks. I took my trash out once, but ignored the other twelve receptacles in the building. I haven't seen any flies or smelled any decay, so I've been slow to respond.

I did look over my job description. None of the bullets said, "Proficiency in trash disposal." The document didn't list among my skills: vacuuming, dusting, and scrubbing. On paper I'm expected to know Greek and apologetics, curriculum and outreach events. Menial tasks are for servants; I'm too busy trying to lead.

Don't get me wrong, once upon a time, I thought leadership was about service. I recall a great man, a Son of Man, saying this to his followers.

"If you want to become the greatest, you must become the least."

"I didn't come to be served, but to serve and give my life a ransom for many."

But apparently this is nice, folk wisdom. According to the leadership book I'm currently reading, pastors merely need to harness the skills of communication, teamwork and vision-casting, wed it to a resilient, relevant, and redoubtable personality, and the church will experience change for good. Service is something on Sunday that starts at 8:00, 9:30 and again at 11:00.

The noted author doesn't take out the trash at his church, and it's running in the thousands. Perhaps it's good I've left my office a mess.

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