Sunday, January 20, 2013

Trust in an Age of Distrust

Peter was born as Simon. When Jesus affirmed Simon and renamed him Peter, a name resembling PETROS, the Greek word for rock, he said “on this rock I will build my church.” It is as if Jesus named him “Rocky”! Peter would still be human, and quite human at that. No man or woman is infallible even when led by the Holy Spirit. But it is the rock of his faith in Christ, boldly stated in answer to Jesus's question, “Who do you say that I am,” which the church is built on.

Our trust in church leadership is not built on how perfect our leaders are, because we’re far from perfect. It’s grounded in our faith in the church itself and its centering on Christ. The recent horror experienced in the family of the pastor at a church in Birmingham is a reminder of how broken and human church leaders, including pastors, really are.

We don’t trust in the system because people will be perfect. We trust in the system because people will not.

There are many churches that struggle mightily with the issue of trust. They have trouble trusting that their pastor’s intentions or good or that the decisions of a committee are for the best. The main reason for this distrust is because we live in an age of rampant distrust, and this has unfortunately rubbed off on the church. I invite us to do better, trusting in the presence of God in the body of Christ.

If you are a part of a church who elects leaders and have begun a journey with them this year, I invite you to join me in supporting them, praying for them, encouraging them, offering feedback to them, and perhaps most of all trusting them.

We are the Body of Christ together. The church is best seen as the scriptures see us, as an organism, not just an organization. We are called to work together smoothly, with unity of spirit even when we have diversity of thought. This is where the importance of trust comes in, for we trust the process to guide us because we are practicing the presence of God.