Caterpillar to Butterfly: Pyramidal Leadership “over sees” Church Activities– TO – Relational Leadership “Sees Over” What The Holy Spirit Is Already Doing

From Caterpillar to Cocoon to Butterfly – Part XI

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 for the church.   Today we will look at the principle: Pyramidal leadership “over sees” church activities (caterpillar) TO Relational leadership “sees over” what the Holy Spirit is already doing. (butterfly).

Caterpillar: We discussed the influence of “power” in a structural governmental system in a previous blog.  With “power” comes the issue of “control”.  In a pyramidal structure, power always comes from above.  It is important for those in power to “oversee” what is happening below them.  Their position is kind of “all knowing” or “all informed”.  The Papal and Cardinal influence in the Roman Catholic Church is an example of this kind of power structure.  Papal Bull is the official communication from above in that structure.  Protestants often have “official papers” passed at their “annual conferences” to issue their decrees to be implemented by their clergy to their parishioners.  In large churches, senior pastors “oversee” how their institutional structure operates.

Butterfly:   I believe the relational linear five fold model will allow everyone to function on an equal plain of influence. The apostle is only one of the five and does not “head” nor “lead” them.  His passion is to “see over” what the Holy Spirit is doing and “release” those passions that would be most effective toward ministry at hand at that moment.  He doesn’t do it, nor control it, only “seeing over” it.  The apostle’s passion is his vision or point of view of seeing “the big picture”, the body of Christ as a whole, thus giving him the “sight”, the “vision” of what the Holy Spirit is doing relationally in the midst of His people with His people to His people.

The Differences: Currently, under the hierarchal, pyramidal, institutional structure, power and control are dictated from top down.  This has also developed the clergy laity split over the years.  On the other hand, the linear relational structure evens the plain, encourages giving and taking from peers, and has apostles who “sees over” what the Holy Sprit is doing among them, encouraging them by “releasing” them in the passions to do what they do best.

Implications Today:  Personally, I have been under the leadership of a pastor who wanted to know everything that happened in the small groups “under” his leadership which became a control issue.  Later he wondered why no one would stay at his church.  I have another Christian friend who fell under a strong control pastor.  He said that when you see him, he was like a majestic steam roller, gleaming in the sun light, and as long as you ran beside him you were fine, but don’t fall in front of him. He fell! The CEO business model most American churches follow functions on a trickle down power/influence pool from the top down which fosters “control” with oversight where you report to those above you. Unfortunately, I have seen church denominational higher up officials threaten their congregations with taking away their church property and entitlement if they did not follow dictations handed down from the denominational leadership, another sad example that control can create.

Conclusion:  It all depends on the “point of view” and what one does with it.  If one “oversees” those under them from a superior position with power, control, and influence, the creativity and freedom for the Holy Spirit to operate becomes stifled because the “system” will not give up its control.  With a linear relational point of view using a five fold model, the plain is equal, each giving and taking, and the apostle “sees over” what the Holy Spirit is activation while releasing the others in their passions. It all depends how you see it!   Can you trust the Holy Spirit and relinquish control and be content to just “see” what He is doing, or will you want to hold onto the control you have which will quench the Spirit. The choice is yours.