OK, so I’m not a great fan of Christian, or indeed any form of religious leadership that inhabits, or attempts to inhabit, our psycho-spiritual space. After having passed through some extreme, leader-based sects in my time, together with my brotherly brushes with the clergy of more traditional faith expressions, I’ve come to the conclusion that leaders are as screwed up as the rest of us. The difference being though that their position means they have to hide it.
Many of us who have taken upon ourselves the role of leader within a faith tribe are by nature a little schizophrenic. We are two or more people walking around the various playgrounds of space-time existence. We smile on Sundays but groan and moan at home. I guess our multiple sub-personalites adapt to our social environment like some form of psycho-spiritual chameleon. Behind the projected strength and confidence of leadership often lies layers of confusion and self-doubt. My late friend, Roel Kaptein, once told me that in his role as a counsellor to Dutch Reformed pastors they often confessed to him, “I no longer believe any of it”. This lock-in to a professional system of belief, whilst wanting to run away is the stress-filled situation that many, once enthusiastic leaders now find themselves. Is it any wonder that such folk turn to illegitimate sexual encounters or the fiddling of church finances as an outlet for this somewhat unique state of affairs.
So is there no hope for those of us who feel or have felt called by Divine Love to be leaders. In other words is Yeshua’s claimed instruction to Peter, “Feed my sheep” a genuine desire of Divine Love or a projected self-delusion. Did the Nazarene see his group of disciples as potential leaders? Well yes and no! Please let me explain.
It’s interesting to note that the above instruction given to Peter was post denial. The call to feed was given to a broken man, one whose rampant pre-crucifixion ego had well and truly been through the painful process of disillusionment and despair. The Model Obstacle on the road to Jerusalem had chickened out and denied the Galilean around the fire of confusion. The fisherman had been through his own crucifixion of sorts -a severance with the psychic energy of ego that had caused him to join the Kingdom revolution. Peter’s relationship with the Nazarene had well and truly changed. No longer was he rivalling with incarnated Divinity for pride of place in a world shattering religious theocracy. No longer did he want to share the limelight with the latest messianic superstar. Hadn’t he cleared off back to the Galilee to pick up the pieces of his mothballed fishing business. The religious dream was well and truly over for him, even with a resurrected Master standing in front of him.
It is to such a one that Divine love issues its call. A call to feed rather than a call to lead. The days of religious hierarchy, whether official or charismatic, is well and truly over. The only recruits for the Divine feeding programme are those who have tried and failed to live up to the role of leader. The ego attachments of religious dreams have fallen away. The ambition of being someone in the religious affairs of man have well and truly gone down the tubes. Once our mimetic rivalry with the Divine and other desire transmitters has ceased in the brokenness of disillusionment we are in a place to really understand. The feeding of starved psyche souls can only be accomplished by Spirit Breath, the Divine energy that holds everything together in space-time and beyond. The channel through which Source flows is the non or ex-leader. The Joseph, who has done his jail time in the dungeons of despair and isolation. The dreamer who has allowed his dreams to drift away into the memory realm of unbelief.
But what exactly is this feeding process of which Yeshua spoke?
Well, I’ll look at the nature of that in my next blog.
Meanwhile, why don’t we unhook from our leadership identities. Alternatively, let’s not set gifted folk up on a religious pedestal of either their or our own making. The feeder channels of our psyche-soul are usually to be found right alongside us, in the midst of our broken but shared humanity.