Rock Stars and Spiritual Leaders
Today’s reading: 1 Corinthians 2:6-6:20
My selection:I Corinthians 3:1-4
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?
My reflections: One clear sign of spiritual immaturity is exclusive allegiance to a teacher or preacher. There is nothing wrong, in itself, with allegiance to godly leaders, but what Paul is indicting is an exclusive allegiance that leads to divisions in the church. Groups form around a Paul or an Apollos and there is jealousy and strife between them.
One clear sign of spiritual maturity in a leader is the unwillingness to encourage that kind of exclusive allegiance in those to whom he ministers. Paul saw that even those who said “I follow Paul” were not spiritual people but mere infants in Christ, unable to receive solid food. Paul demonstrated his own spiritual maturity by pointing his followers to Christ, and away from adulation of a mere servant of God.
My challenge: Do you identify yourself exclusively with one teacher or leader so that you create divisions in the body of Christ? Beware. If you are a leader in the church, do you seek to encourage that kind of identity with you? Beware. The glory belongs to God. A faithful minister is a servant of God, not a rock star building a fan club.
Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Corinthians 7:1-9:27