Here’s a powerful question for people that consider themselves Christian leaders to wrestle with. I believe the answer to it reveals a lot.
How would you feel and react if someone joined your church who people, in general, looked up to as an example of Christ more than you?
Would you feel threatened? Would it wound your self-esteem?
This situation is a common one when fallen humans get together, and it reveals who in a group attaches their self-esteem to status and position. It reveals who haven’t quite grasped what it is to be a community of people centered around, consumed with and only concerned with Jesus.
This was an issue for me as a young man. It took failed relationships and wise guidance to show me what was going on. It continues to take a constant pursuing of my new identity and security in Christ, along with constant evaluation of my thoughts and feelings to keep me in check. I believe I’ve made progress, but I always have to be on guard.
A community of people centered on Christ doesn’t care who He works through at what times and in what ways. They see themselves as many vessels living together as one vessel and they would welcome anyone else into their midst that could contribute to bringing more of Him into the community.
As a new creation, the church is not a popularity contest. It’s a group of co-equal partners making the King of the universe more popular through their unity.