“All the believers were together and had everything in common.” Acts 2:44
Many consider Acts 2:42-47 a “snapshot” of what it means to be the New Testament Body of Christ. Its hard to argue with this. All of the elements are there… discipleship, outreach, benevolence, evangelism, etc, all in the context of compassionate community. Of course, it seems each of our ministries gravitate toward one or two of these more than the others, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as God places us in His greater body to accomplish His will. Still, would it be too much of a stretch to say that we aren’t quite getting the whole picture? As a servant leader creating community in and among our lead teams, and thus our church families, is often sacrificed on the altars of just about anything and everything else, all in the Name of Jesus and this thing we call church. I wonder if in doing so we aren’t neglecting to truly have “everything in common?”
Here’s the leadership lesson – have “everything in common.” By this I mean the things that can’t be measured in the kinds of tangible stats we are most prone to track such as attendance and giving. Yes, these are necessary and even essential to keep on many levels. However, I’m talking about intangibles like unifying around common interests, common hurts, fears, faults, failures, temptations, even sins in a safe, accountable, caring context. Let’s get practical. Allow me to do so by putting one of my many masterful leadership mistakes on display…
I wish I could have back any number of chats at Starbucks (make mine Grande Chai Soy Latte with a shot of caramel), lunches at Moe’s, retreats, and meetings of all kinds with those God has blessed to put on my teams over the years. Inevitably I have let my “Type A” get the best of me. In no time I and the rest of the gang were visioning, planning, stratagizing, problem-solving and generally, “Taking care of business.” If I could go back I would take at least 50% of that time and just focus on creating community among the leadership family… just connecting. How would I do this? I would listen more. I would ask more questions and provide fewer easy answers. We would laugh more… cry more. We would get less done. We would have no agenda. We would talk about nothing remotely related to how we were going to inspire and influence the masses and just once have nothing to report to the Board except that we love being a leadership family and spent too much of our leadership development budget on chocolate chip scones. We would just hang out and do something crazy like really get to know the person behind the title and role. We might even try to get spouses and kids in on it with a few more cookouts or hikes. Something tells me that if this were more of a priority, that all would have been both more inspirational and influential in the long run because… well, who cares why? Besides, we would have been healthier and could have modeled and spread the same among God’s people. This is a little more in line with Acts 2 by creating uncommon community in today’s driven leadership culture.
These days I am still compelled to vision, plan, stratagize and generally take care of the Lord’s business as much as ever. However, now I see just how important it is to create the kind of leadership community that truly models having “everything in common,” and not just the tangible stats that looks good on the web-site, worship folder, etc. Sure, some may question from time to time if we are doing enough as leaders. My answer now is, “Probably not. But we are becoming more in Christ than we ever thought possible.” Now thats, “Taking care of business.”
Let’s do coffee,