There is no Church or Christian based organization that does not have it’s own politics. For some, theirs may be at a low level. Definitely, many are not free.
As far as there is structure in a church there will definitely be politics.
When there is structure, there will be positions or offices, and when there are positions, there will be titles, and where there are titles, there will be agitations for those positions. Some churches even advertise positions. Tell me, why will there not be in-fighting of some sort?
Perks of Office
On many occasions in church set-ups, privileges are attached to certain offices. There is a car attached to the office of the pastor or administrator, and a parking space. His office is special with a gleaming desk, a reclining chair, a refrigerator with different kinds of drinks. Some receive attractive packages that are reviewed upward as he stays in that office. Some also have servants that cook, wash their cars, and drive them around.
SELF by nature loves pomp. This is what pumps him to scheme or fight to get that position.
Some years ago, I was waiting in a church compound in a city in Central African region, from where we were to continue a trip to the venue of a meeting. I noticed that the parking spaces bore titles of different directors of the church, and they were well marked as found in government establishments and other organisations. It got me thinking. I said, to myself, ‘where did they get this from?’ From my Lord Jesus?
God’s dealings with His people
There is no way in the Bible there are structures or organogram. There are divine appointments. Moses prayed, and God appointed Joshua. The reason was that Joshua had been on mountain visits with Moses, and thereby had learnt the ropes.
People emerged into leadership by life, gift and their walk with God. I discovered that structures emerged to make people stay in their position and not interfere with the functions of others. Structures were put in place to restrain people from usurping the positions of others. It came about for the purpose of order. It came about to avoid fighting. But rather than achieve this purpose, it is the cause of fighting as people feel others are elevated unduly over them.
Churches came up with structures to solve these problems without giving a thought to the fact that there is the symptom called SELF that is in every human being.
SELF does not obey structure. He does not believe anyone is better than him, moreso if you mistreat him or supplant him in a position he thinks it is his right.
Leadership by Life
In God’s dealings with His people in the Bible, leadership emerged by life. As you shoot high to be like Jesus, without even thinking about it, you will find yourself leading men. You find people coming to you to seek for wisdom and guidance. You don’t struggle with them, and they do not struggle with you. As they also seek to be like Christ, they will find themselves not lording over the people but serving them. They do this not even conscious that in serving this way they are leaders of the people.
If you serve like Christ, the people will just submit. But when people serve themselves by grabbing the perks of office, people will rebel as they want to be in the same position.
There is no human element borrowed from the world that can bring order in the Church. It is only the instrument of the cross that can do this. It is only the cross that can pumel SELF into submission.
●●Ndukwe, a Lagos-based minister, can be reached at email@example.com.