Listening to how members talk about their leaders, one wonders who they are following — Christ or the church leaders. I am aware that among the majority of these followers, there are many who really do not subscribe to this sheepish following.
I am not in any way saying leaders should not be respected. Respect is the mark of discipline, but it should not be blind following. Christ refused to be elevated to be God. But what we know is that he was God. The humility that was in Christ is what both members and leaders should emulate. We are all servers, we should not only wait to be served. Christ did not come to be served, but to serve. What we see today is that there are little gods being served in one way or another. It has indeed become fashionable.
Yet Christ says about his mandate: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4: 18-19).
The message is clear. Christians should take heed of the poor, the captives, the needy and the oppressed. Though they are many, today’s Christians care more of their leaders than fulfilling the word as prescribed by Jesus.
No wonder there are others who are saying if one wants to be rich, they should form a church. What we should instead be saying is that if one wants to serve, let them form a church. Many church leaders have become very rich, not because of their sweat, but because of the sacrifices made by church members, some of whom have very little for survival. Instead of the church working against oppression, we have become oppressors ourselves.
Some of the demands that we make to our followers are suppressive. Let us learn from Christ who gave freedom to his followers.
Christ became poor so that we could become rich. We as leaders need to become liberated. The oppressor is not a free person. We need to be liberated to liberate others.
Rev Dr Levee Kadenge