I was challenged today over the role of Charismatic leaders in the Church.
There is a feeling that the only way to draw people into the Church is through Charismatic leaders. No, I’m not here talking about “Leaders filled with the Spirit”, but leaders who personable, and have that magnetic personality that draws people to them. Those Charismatic types that seem to be able to fill a Church by their very presence. I was challenged today by this idea, and that it is the people with the collars who are meant to fulfill this role.
I made the point that not everyone was charismatic, and pointed to the point that St. Paul was not known for his Charismatic leadership. I further made the point that St. John showed the signs of a Charismatic leader, the soaring poetry, the descriptions and the imagery. I was told that this was a difference of opinion.
Now, differences of Biblical understanding asside, there is something about the idea of a truly Charismatic leader that I find uncomfortable. God gives us the skills to handle that which we are called to do. The thing about Charismatic leaders is that often people are called to them, rather than called to what they are preaching on behalf of.
It also places, again, the emphasis of growing the Church firmly on the shoulders of one person. This doesn’t, then do justice to the notion that we are all sent as disciples, and it is to all of us that the duty falls.
I wonder, then if it is this idea that they want to follow a Charismatic leader, than actually seek to do some of the heavy liftin themselves that is most important.