In my Relationship with my Brethren
Being your leader, I am your brother and your servant.
are co-equals in our dignity as children of God. We are
equally important in our calling as co-workers in our community.
As your leader, I will not lord it over you, but will only
seek to serve God and involve you in this task. In this
I have been given authority by God, which authority I will
use as a servant, always conscious of my own unworthiness.
I will be authoritative but not autocratic. I seek nothing
but to glorify God and to participate in building His kingdom
on earth. This is your privilege as well.
sinful, I may not perfectly discern God’s will, or
strictly follow God’s ways, and so I will make mistakes
or say and do things wrongly. I look to you to correct me—openly,
directly and honestly. I welcome fraternal correction. I
will not resent it. I will not be onion-skinned. I will
accept correction as your manifestation of love for me.
the vast extent of my responsibility, I look to you to help
me. You can do this in various ways.
feedback proactively and unhesitatingly. Then trust me to
act on your input as the Spirit leads me.
me to be a father to all. While we have our pastoral-organizational
structure, allow me to go to anyone for anything, and allow
anyone to go directly to me for anything. Sometimes you
might feel “bypassed.” Again, trust me, enough
to have confidence in my wisdom to discern whom to engage,
and in turn whom to direct to our structure for proper engagement
by others. Our structure is for pastoral and not for bureaucratic
purposes. Let us learn not to cling to legalism like the
Pharisees. At its worst, legalism blocks compassion.
give me straight talk. I will respect your opinion. Do not
beat around the bush. Do not couch your words to the point
of missing the point. On the other hand, accept what I say
as straight talk. I have no hidden agenda. Do not try to
read between the lines, as there are no messages there.
If you feel something I have said is not quite right, just
tell me so outright. Then together we can work towards clearing
we are discussing a difficulty you are having with someone,
I might appear to focus on your shortcomings or faults and
make you think I am favoring the other party. Know that
when I in turn talk with the other party, I would then be
focusing on his/her shortcomings and faults. Call it a style
or strategy. The important thing is for you to know and
understand that I play no favorites. I am just trying to
be objective, and using the occasion to form you.
am always ready to listen. I am always open to your inputs.
Never hesitate to tell me anything you think is of value.
But please do not think that if I do not act favorably on
your input, that I have not listened to you.
I play no favorites, I have no greater loyalty to one against
another. My loyalty is to God, and then to the brethren
who follow and obey God. I accept you with all your shortcomings
and faults. I will try to help you become a better person
and grow in holiness.
look for no honors or acclaim. I need not be extolled. But
the Lord does look to your showing respect to me as His
may not be very expressive in my social relationships. But
know that I love each of my brethren deeply.
we do is God’s work, and what we live is God’s
way of life for us. I will always need your prayers.
Feb 25, 2008