On the Evils of Intervention
Christian Mysticism teaches you to back off.
The quintessential symbol of leadership is the shepherd. Not that everyone hanging around needs that kind of leadership. Rather, the symbol is gentleness. You can’t make sheep do much of anything, only give them a chance to do what comes naturally. If they refuse to follow, there’s only so much you can do. Outside of the parabolic image of the shepherd, we realize the godly leader is a reluctant leader. We only lead when we have to, when people beg for it, and we’re glad to disappoint them by putting things back in their laps.
The single proper place to exercise that leadership is in the extended family setting. While that typically means shared DNA, it’s not really necessary. Shared spiritual values and awareness will do. That’s because the bond is either blood or covenant. We realize that means anyone underage is going to suffer a lot of decisions made for them, but there really is nothing stopping them breaking free at some point. They have to seize the reins of their own life, and the sooner the better. If they don’t volunteer to stay around and be part of the family, you can’t really hold them.
The point is, a godly leader is highly focused on the restrictions which bind him to his turf. He wants as little as he has to take, and is quick to pass the buck, but responsible enough to wait until it’s right. That’s the ideal. Every step of the way, every person has to be convinced enough to stay voluntarily, with the burden of responsibility on working to stay involved. No coasting in terms of engaging this fellowship and family thing. Go into neutral and you are out very quickly. The door is always open, but you’ll have to step through it on your own two feet.
I’ve encountered precious few religious organizations emphasizing lack of controls. The only organization God sponsored was the extended family household; all others not built on that foundation are a human creation, a human idea. Some are frankly hostile to the godly model. I’ve given up on American organized religion; it’s hopelessly lost and cannot even imagine this ideal. I won’t recruit, won’t cajole and buttonhole, or try to keep you revved up and running. I’ll be glad to tell you everything and anything I can put into words. I’ll always listen to your input, even if I can’t use it. But I will most certainly walk according to my own calling, and you’ll have to decide for yourself if you want to be involved, and whether your calling intersects or overlaps mine. You’ll have to decide how much distance is necessary to follow your own convictions. I’m willing to work alone for the rest of my life.
Efficiency in the typical sense is not a virtue, because people’s hearts and decisions are what matters most, and results are just a manifestation.