Meism says “Me first.” It is the opposite of the weism that says “Team first.”
The danger of meism was so great Jesus refused to tolerate it on his team for even a moment. When the mother of Zebedee’s sons, James and John, asked Jesus if he would grant her sons positions of authority in his kingdom, Jesus made it clear greatness in his kingdom involved serving not being served (John 20:20-28). James and John erroneously thought their teammates were supposed to carry them on their shoulders.
On the night before his crucifixion Jesus prayed for future disciples–that means you and me. He could have prayed we would be strong in spirit or clear in presentation. Instead, Jesus said, “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one” (John 17:20-21). He prayed we would be united–like a team.
A moment later he prayed something that clarified what he had just said. He requested, “That they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:23). Jesus prayed we would experience weism at the spiritual level with each other and with the Godhead.
While I don’t understand how God can be one while existing as three distinct persons, I do understand that the Godhead exists as a perfect team. Each member knows his role and together they are one. While we can’t experience such perfect unity, it’s the standard we’re to strive for.
Whenever a team is pulling together we say, “They’ve really got spirit.” That sense of unity is a taste of what God wants to give every team. What I’m trying to establish is that the whole idea of a team flows from the nature of God. He is the very essence of a perfect team. The Father, Son, and Spirit all work together in harmony. I think our desire to experience “teamwork” is evidence of the fact that we bear God’s image. And he alone is able to help us relate to him and one another as the members of the Godhead relate to one another.
Weism isn’t something that happens naturally. We’re all a little like James and John–we’re more concerned with ourselves than with others. That’s why you must practice servant leadership and ask God to help your team lay aside personal agendas for the sake of the team and the dream the team is pursuing.
MamasBoy,I’m jumping into this ctaversnoion a little late, but better late than never right?I totally understand what you are saying and probably partly agree. The objection that I foresee is not that the Apostles had some sort of special ability that we do not have. I believe all Christ-followers are embodied by the Holy Spirit, and are all gifted in different ways both by the Holy Spirit and naturally gifted. The only objection I can think of is how our current leaders are chosen today. My experience is pretty much limited with the SBC; so I will refrain from applying this to others but generally in the SBC we chose our leaders based on educational qualifications. I wonder if this is why we so often have leaders who mislead people. I think what you are saying might work like it did in better if we recognized leaders who were mature in the faith, rather than mature in the education.To give a modern day example, I consider Alan to be one of my leaders/elders/whatever. I don’t want to puff him up or anything, but I believe he closely matches the characteristics put forth by Paul in . We do not necessarily agree on everything, but I consider his advice whenever he gives it. Often times we discuss issues, I believe I have even convinced him of a position or two. I do not meet with him on Sunday mornings, I meet with a different group. I do not consider the man who leads the group on Sunday mornings to be my leader/elder/whatever for various reasons. But he is being paid to do the job.This is where the tension comes in, in my opinion. We have leaders who are not really leaders, being paid to lead us. They do things that are not of the Spirit, they lead in directions away from God, and then we get people who scream that the Apostle’s must have had a special ability. I think rather that we are looking to the wrong people, we are hiring people who are educated, rather than people who are leaders. (obviously there are people who are being paid to be leaders based on their education, but who are actually leaders too)I know this is a bit of a rabbit chase, but ultimately this causes divisions, splits, etc. basic disunity in the body.Anyways, that is my two cents.Great ctaversnoion everyone!God’s Glory,Lew
I think the authority and power Jesus gave the disciples apply to us. What we need is the faith and courage to assume the power and authority Jesus gave us.In regards to leaders, as always, leaders possess a varying degree of wisdom, gifting and godliness.