When It’s Up To Everyone …

Unless someone is sent …” Romans 10:15

“Let the people decide.” That’s what Juan Manuel Santos, Columbia’s president did with his people, asking them to support a measure that would officially end a war that has been raging for 50 years. And the people decided “No”. Shocking the world, the people of Columbia voted to keep fighting because, in the words of one 32 year-old voter: “We won’t have peace, but at least we won’t give the country away to the guerrillas.”

“Let the people decide.” That’s what David Cameron, Briton’s prime minister, did with the question of whether Great Britain should remain in the European Union. And the people decided “No”, in spite of the economic uncertainty leaving the EU would (and has) thrown their nation into.

“Government at the ballot box is a gamble,” says a brief article in Time Magazine.

While there is no singular “should” when it comes to government in the church, there is biblical evidence to suggest that, left to our own devices, we will remain enslaved rather than take the risks inherent in freedom. Whom shall I send? That is the question that comes up as early as Genesis – who will God call, equip, send and hold accountable to lead the people?

The Board of Ordained Ministry for the New England Conference meets this week – clergy and laity, ordained and licensed, active and retired, of various racial and ethnic backgrounds – we will meet to discern together who is called to lead our churches. We walk the fine line between letting everyone have a voice, from the local church right on through to the bishop. In a sense, choosing our pastoral leaders is up to everyone. In another sense, this week it will be up to about 40 of us.

But when it comes down to it, who will you choose to lead? Today at work, in your relationships with friends, acquaintances and the strangers you will encounter, who will lead the way for you? Pray for our church, our Board of Ordained Ministry, and for our nation in this season of choosing. Leadership cannot be relegated to the masses; but the truth of the matter is – in our country and in our church – when it comes to choosing leaders it’s up to everyone.

A blessed Tuesday.

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.