Hi Scot, your paragraph from your article, sums up the lament that has plagued my soul from an Australian church perspective:

“Most religious groups not only have a strong, charismatic leader, their religion is anchored in an originating strong leader. That is a Messiah.But secularist organizations thrive on voluntary efforts and cooperative actions instead of imitating churches with their strong charismatic leaders.”

I discussed this very point with my mentor earlier this year. We mused and lamented over the stories of abuse that come out of Willow Creek, the cover up of abuse at Hillsong, as well as our childhood denomination, and we couldn’t help but think the wider Western church had been sucker punched. The celebrity and Messiah complex leadership that has plagued much of Western Christianity, has not only enabled toxicity and abuse, it has caused denominations like the one I came to Jesus in, to lose touch with what made them unique and a move for God to begin with. Not only that, this kind of leadership while it looks attractive, it ends up chasing volunteers away.

The Australian church, even though Hillsong comes from here, is by and large influenced by what happens in the church in the US. Christian A. Schwarz highlights through his work with Natural Church Development, churches with an empowering leaders (Empowering Leadership) will naturally attract volunteers, as church leaders who empower, disciple and help their “disciples” to discover their gifts, calling and equip for service.

Anyway, that’s my two cents worth.

I’ll be adding “Reorganixed Religion” to my growing pile of “must reads”.

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Thank you Waz. Leaders will lead but character formation shapes the leadership.

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Character formation, or spiritual transformation, no less much the same, is is a tragically overlooked necessity for life in the Kingdom. I know the late Dallas Willard wrote and taught extensively about that.

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A matter of ownership?

YHWH told Moses - “I am who am”.

Bill W has changed many, many lives with a Higher Power.

Jesus talked about “The Father”, but dodged any kind of title for Himself, except, perhaps, “Son of Humanity.”

Our “ownership” of God, is being abandoned and ignored in order to have a more holistic relationship with a Higher Power.

We don’t need to abandon our beliefs, just our perceived ownership/Copyright/Patent...

Where there is vitality, there are humans truly following Jesus’ Way, Truth, and Life.

My experience, personally, and as a pastor has shown me this all too clearly.

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And thank God for Bill W! I don't know where I would be without that man! The 12 steps have changed many lives.

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Bob Smietana has made this very clear.

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