Vision of Passion Praise

Passion in the Church

What is leadership and how does one distinguish a true leader? Paul gives Timothy a list of attributes “the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.”1 TIM 3:2-7 NIV

All of the above worthy attributes aren't the attributes that leap out at me when I consider the example of Jesus in the Gospels. I don't mean to say Jesus was not sober or respectable, but that the 'respectability of Christ' or the 'sobriety of Christ' don't leap into my mind when I see him in the gospels. No it is the 'passion of Christ' that leaps from those ancient pages. Whereas Paul is describing the attributes of good governorship (overseer-ship), governorship isn't, on its own, leadership. Leadership additionally requires uncompromising passion leading forwards. Jesus himself said “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”MATT 11:12 NKJ. The New International Version's rather insipid translation of this passage renders 'violent' into 'forceful', but for me the best modern term would simply be 'passionate'. “The passionate press in to the kingdom of heaven, by the force of their passion they take it by storm” Tim's-version. The passionate are the ones who 'go in' before the others and thereby lead others in to God's kingdom.

The mark of a true leader is his or her passion for the kingdom of God. Passion on its own can lead you anywhere, and not necessarily in the right direction. Paul was right then to stress the characteristics of good governorship. Good governorship on its own however will never break the status quo. It can give us only a dull, inwardly focused church incapable of changing the world it exists in. Have I just described you or your church? Then get
passionate! It's not possible to spend time in God's presence, listening to his heart beating for this desperate and lost generation and remain dispassionate. That's where Godly passion comes from; from being in His presence.

So why am I speaking about leadership when this page is about passion? Because we who have been saved for some time did ought to be leading others into Christ's kingdom. At least we ought to be leading others, and not just being passively led. We need to be led, but with maturity comes the responsibility to lead. Christ has not created a church with a leadership class, although you'd be forgiven for thinking that he has some times.