Those That Serve—March 12A, 2017

Vol. 2, No. 12 – 2017time

Recognizing the grace given to me, (they) gave me the right hand of fellowship. Galatians 2:9

A true leader comes to the point at which they become a solidarity with other true leaders. Solidarity is rooted in the Latin—”for the sake of the whole; involving everyone. It is the manifesting of community interests and responsibilities and standards; the knitting together of innumerable hearts” (Webster’s Dictionary).

Think back to your child growing up (or think of yourself if you do not have a child). The stages include dependence, independence, and finally a maturing that moves the child to inter-dependence. It is that way with leaders as well.

Leaders should mature to the place where there is no competition among them. Leaders and following leaders are in the work together. The picture is actually biblical; one body subject to one head. The eye, ear, hand, and feet are all inter-dependent.

The two self-willed, independent leaders (Paul and Peter) came together in an act of maturity and common goals. They shook hands, and embraced the warmth of fellowship as they worked to achieve God’s plan through their leadership strengths.

In the Near-East, the handshake, the clasp of the right hands, was making a solemn vow of friendship; it was the mark of fellowship/partnership. The handshake was customarily done publically, allowing for accountability. It represented a true partnership.

Several years ago, my wife Donna and I were part of a ministry in the Amish area of South-east Pennsylvania. The common agreement among the Amish (and from the Amish to the “English”) was a handshake. It was a contract; no paperwork was necessary. When the agreement was spoken, the handshake occurred, and the parties were accountable one to another. The practice is still current. The handshake is the token of teamwork, agreement, respect, and relationship. It was unheard of for there to be resulting division or discension. There was absolute unity, cooperation, and even “brotherhood.”

When I played in the high school, college, and community orchestras, there was a conductor. Each instrumentalist operated in unity, cooperation, and even “brotherhood.”

It is troubling to watch disagreement and discension occur in families, churches, institutions, businesses, and government. It ought not be. Agreements ought to be reliable among participants. Leaders and following leaders ought, above all, be models of reliability and unity.

If you are not a member of a unified organization, you are missing one of the great blessings of life. If you are a member of a unified organization, you are blessed. The Scriptures teach us how leaders and people should work together for the common goals.

The NT is not a hodgepodge of conflicting theologies  . . . it is a harmonious, beautifully variegated unity. These five men, having shaken hands in comradeship, between them produced no less than 21 of the 27 books recorded in the NT—William Hendriksen

Recognizing the grace given to me, (they) gave me the right hand of fellowship. Galatians 2:9

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