Some people you know on only one level; the local barista, a taxi driver, the policeman pulling you over for speeding. Its a pretty simple relationship, because you’re the driver and he’s the cop.
But what if the cop who pulls you over is a guy from your soccer team? Or your barista is a member of your church? Or your taxi driver is the husband of the couple you’re doing marriage counselling with?
In those situations, you have to be clear about what “relationship hat” you’re wearing… you’re not wearing the soccer team mate relationship hat, you’re wearing the driver/officer hat.
You can really stuff up a relationship when you try to wear two hats at the same time; “So officer, remember how we won the final together!?” doesn’t work.
I think this is really helpful in church staff teams, where we’re all close and good friends in Christ. Sometimes we need to say things to each other on the basis that we’re “Christian brothers” only. Other times we need to say it on the basis that we’re “employees” only.
This also plays out in share houses. Flat mates need to get used to saying things like, “Hey, I need to have a conversation with you, not as a friend, but as a flat mate.”
He wants you to learn how to drive properly.
We need to keep explaining to Christians what it means for Jesus to be their Lord. Having Jesus as our Lord does mean he needs to rule over every aspect of our lives. Jesus does want all our lives, not just the scraps or even most of it… he wants to rule all of us.
But that doesn’t mean Jesus wants to take over driving your life. It might feel like you’re letting go… but really you’re just choosing to drive the way he tells you to.
Churches have various groups within them, and you could call each of these groups a little church. But that’s not what we’re talking about. That’s not dual church membership.
If you are part of a Growth Group, that Growth Group and especially its leaders are part of a congregation/campus, and those congregations are part of the church which the Holy Spirit makes certain men/elders responsible for. The group of 10-15 you meet with are not an independent group. The leaders have been “appointed” by the church eldership. When you submit to your group leaders, its an expression of submission to the elders who appointed them.
And refusing to submit to your group leaders is an expression of refusing to submit to your elders/pastors.
So if you’re in one churches’ small group, but you go to another church on Sunday… which elders are you submitting to? Both? or Neither?