By Laura Kreger, 1 Peter art by Martin French
This Call to Worship, designed to lead us into uniting our actions, intentions, and emotions in loving response to God, was originally given during our 1 Peter Sermon Series on 6/1/16 at Imago Dei Central City Campus.
There's a recess game you've probably played called "Simon Says." A teacher or maybe a bossy kid gives a series of orders. Simon says touch your nose, and everyone must touch their nose. Simon says spin in a circle, and everyone must spin. But if the leader doesn't include the phrase Simon Says, and you do the action anyway, you're out of the game.
In his letter to the church, Peter tells Christians to submit to their leaders. Submitting sounds like doing whatever the bossy kid tells you. Who aspires to that? But Peter describes submission as humility - as not thinking you're better than anyone.
And leaders are called to be humble too. Want to know a secret? Leaders usually don't know what they're doing either, but they do have the guts to stand up and try to figure it out. To all the women and men who lead something in this church, thank you. Elders, pastors, deacons, teachers, leaders of small groups, ministries, projects and teams. Thank you for being brave. For sharing your time, for inspiring and challenging us.
For making hard decisions, like using our offerings to care for people, even when it means keeping the ridiculous stained-glass white Jesus we inherited.
So for the rest of us, how do we follow these leaders? We encourage them to not quit. We support them when they take risks. We allow them to rest and remind them to pray. We expect excellence and forgive failure. We ask them to lead us to Jesus.
We also have a responsibility to them to speak up. What doesn't seem right, what needs aren't being met and how can we help? Do you want to see more women in leadership? More older people? More younger people? More people who look like you? Maybe that means it's time for you to lead.
Our church leaders are not our saviors. And the Savior we do have, well, he washed feet. He played with the grubby kids. He ate dinner with criminals. He saw the people that everyone else ignored. In everything, He submitted to the Father.
Imago Dei Community, sometimes we serve different roles, but we are equally humbled by one mighty and forgiving leader who doesn't play games, who has the utmost care for our souls, who never casts us out. Let us be open to wisdom. Let us Follow Jesus.
Laura Kreger is a poet, writer, editor and member of Imago Dei's team of liturgists who contribute our Calls to Worship each Sunday. For more information about creative liturgy and how to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.