Caterpillar to Butterfly: Accountability To Leadership – TO – Accountability Through Relationship

From Caterpillar to Cocoon to Butterfly – Part VII

In this series we have been asking the question, “What happens with metamorphosis during the cocoon stage?”  How, structurally, do you get a butterfly from what once was a caterpillar? In my Aug. 20, 2011’s blog, I listed several forms of transformation that I see occurring inside the cocoon of change.   Today we will look at the principle: Accountability comes through pyramid leadership (caterpillar) TO Accountability comes through strongly built horizontal relationships (butterfly).

Caterpillar: To whom are you accountable? In the current church world it is probably to your “overseer”, alias pastor, elder, or priest. Although, relationally, you may not even have a level of personal friendship with him, he still will come and bring correction into your life, especially if it affects his local body.  It could be the pastor, or a staff member, or an elder or deacon, but you only see them “when in trouble”.   So you say, “someone needs to take care of the sin in the camp.” When the charismatic movement brought revival in the early 1970’s, five men saw the excesses in the movement, and wanted to set up a discipling, pastoral, shepherding component, thus creating what has become known as the Shepherding Movement. Although their initial motives were pure, because of abuses by those in leadership, the movement has taken on a negative connotation.  “Control” became the issue.  That can be the danger of a pyramidal hierarchal type structure where those on top dominates and controls those beneath because of their position of authority.

Butterfly:  To whom are you accountable?  In a linear world accountability is determined by the degree of relationship.  The deeper the relationship, the deeper the accountability based on “respect”.  Respect is something you earn with time and relational investments.  The longer you know someone, the better you get to know their character.  With proven character, respect becomes automatic, and accountability is established.  Accountability is then built on a linear, horizontal level.  Those you respect are your peers, not the powers that be above you. 

The Differences: Position giving Power are the agents of pyramidal dominance in a hierarchal accountability model, while Position and Character are the elements of a linear horizontal model.

Implications Today:  Recently, I was talking to someone about a Pharisaical concern they had and (see blogs about Pharisees’s yeast) wondered why their leadership wasn’t “policing” the situation! I thought, “Is the church a Police state?” I have been in church leadership and know that you can spend all your time “putting out the fires” that constantly swirl around you.  It is all time and energy consuming, sapping you, taking you from the very things you should be doing to advance the kingdom. When institution gets large, personal relationships with leadership is diminished just because of the numbers.  Position by office then becomes predominant when “enforcing” discipline.

Conclusion:  Just look at the model of parenting.  Some parents spend time with their children, invest their energy in their children, built a relationship of respect, honor, and trust in their children.  When discipline is needed, although children never like to be disciplined, they actually respect their parents for doing it.  If the relationship was nurtured in their childhood, they will continue to have that relationship throughout their lives.  Cat Steven’s “Cats In The Cradle” song vividly paints how an over achieving, career driven, self centered parent who only looks at their children as a “responsibility” not as a person to develop a “relationship” finds themselves as lonely in their elderly stage of life as their children found themselves in their youth.  Discipline was enforced by these parents by parental “position” of “authority over” the child. “Remember, I am the parent; you are the child,” was continually proclaimed over their children.  The church needs to have a metamorphous in the way they looks and does discipline in this metamorphosis stage.