One huge negative compels me to write today. I am sorry because there are positives as well. That one negative is, being expected to measure up to a standard of excellence that is expected of everyone.
There was an ethos to live up to, a vision to achieve. They were “building people of excellence”. An eighty hour work week was the ideal. If people did not like what they seen and heard, to go away. The implication is that we do things our way. A fortress mentality. But, what happens when you inevitably do not measure up, or if you do? And by someone else’s standard. I mean, is this for everyone? And is there guilt at not measuring up? Then, people were asked to submit to the leadership and be “blessed”. This was the final straw. Now, it was becoming controlling, one was being asked to come under obedient submission to the so-called authority. To become prosperous I presume.
But the measure of a church should be the measure shared of Jesus Christ — who loves me not for what else I can do, not for how much work I will do, and not for how many dollars I can make. Prosperity is the impossible standard for many, the domain of the business or company, but they will tell you to think big. For Jesus, the measure of success was not how much the wealthy young man had, but by how much he was willing to follow Jesus. The Christ who does not impose a vision or direction, but asks the question. Where we are free to be ourselves while listening and learning from Christ alone. And one to another share a mutual appreciation and spiritual intimacy because of Jesus in our lives.