Thursday, November 6, 2008

Addicts make the best Church Leaders

I recently attended a justice and compassion seminar put on by the CCDA Institute. One of the speakers Noel Castellanos was talking about the need to develop indigenous leaders in whatever context one does ministry. One of the things that stuck out to me in this session was when he said,

"the best leaders are those who have come from addiction programs."
Often in most church settings today our leaders become leaders because of charisma or some air of super spirituality or a vast wealth of Biblical knowledge. Please hear me when I say that none of these things are bad. The issue here is that often church leaders start by saying "I am good enough or qualified enough to hold this position". Those who have come out of addiction programs start in a very different place. They begin by saying I am a messed up person, and God I am available for you to use this broken vessel however you would choose to.

The truth is that no one lives up to the standard that Christ has called us to. Everyone has failed misrably. CS Lewis said
"Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good--above all, that we are better than someone else-- I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the Devil. The real test of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object." (Mere Christianity p. 124-5)
If we want to be used by God we must come to the table as an addict helping other addicts. It is with this humility that we are in the best place for God to bring us into his presence and for us to care for and serve others. We must ask ourselves if we can honestly say, "Hello my name is _____________ and I am a sinner."?