Tension. When I say or think that word I become, well tense. There seems to be so much of it these days – if you don’t feel it you obviously don’t listen to the media talking heads as they explain for us their view of the past presidential elections, health care, taxes, racism, sexual identity, etc. (As I make the list I find myself getting more and more tense!!!)
But what if living in the tension is where God is calling us as Christians to live? As I study Scripture I find that God invites us to live in tension – after all Jesus did. Think about it, He was not only the divine Son of God but he was also the human Son of Man.
Think about the tension around the temptations in the wilderness or the constant tension he must have felt, as he knew one of the twelve, Judas, would betray him. I can’t help but think about the tension that night in the garden when in prayer, and sweating drops of blood he prayed that the “cup” would be taken from him and then in the next breath prayed that the Father’s will would be done.
Jesus not only lived in the tension but he also invited those who want to follow him into moments of tension as well. I think of the statements like if you want to be first you must be willing to be last (Mark 9:35), if you want to lead you must serve (Luke 22:26), and the one that really challenges me, I must be willing to lose my life to find it (Matthew 10:39).
In Romans the Apostle Paul talks about the tension of the law vs. grace. In James the tension is between faith and works, while throughout the New Testament the tension exists between the teachings of God’s sovereignty and man’s free will.
In the world of fast paced change in which we live, most churches find themselves in the tension of living between “what has been” and “what needs to be”. Church leaders who are able to effectively identify what the “needs to be church needs to be” and then effectively leads the “church that has been” toward embracing and making the needed changes will be those leaders that position their churches to reach future generations.
What tension(s) are you as a Christian leader living in? As a church?
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Wayne has served the Church in local churches ranging in size from 50 to 4,500, in two denominational roles as well with an international missions organization. Through these varied experiences God has developed in him a deep passion for His Church and the leaders that lead her.
Wayne’s calling is see the re-missionalization of the Church in North America! MORE>>