By Not Known
It has often been said that one becomes like who he or she follows. This
suggests that people influence one another and that we are shaped by certain
charisma in its broadest sense. The proverb “birds of the same feathers flock
together” further suggests that people often click around some strongly felt
commonalities. Putting both factors together helps us to better understand the
dynamics of peer influence and identification. It also makes us aware of
influences that divide and those that unite.
The Church in Corinth experienced a similar kind of dynamics at play within
her congregation. People formed cliques around Paul, Apollos, Cephas and
even Christ. They appealed to the different charisma of each leader especially
their superiority of speech and of wisdom (1 Cor 2: 1). They united with those
who shared the same opinions about the leaders and divided the church along
a ‘charisma.’ line. At the heart of their factionalism was a concern not for the
purity of truth but pride. How much of this remains true in our churches today?
Paul appealed for unity in the church. He did so not by dismissing the quality
of individual leaders although he was thoroughly honest about his own
weaknesses and inadequacies (2:3). Instead, he called all groups to come
under one influence and identification – the Holy Spirit (2:4) and the message
of Christ crucified (2:2). In actual fact, their leaders were not divided but
united. They were not charismatic according to the opinion of their beholders,
They were truly charismatic according to the Spirit of God because they
boasted the same one message of Christ the Lord crucified (1:31). Such
wisdom and knowledge was not attained and proclaimed by individual’s
exertion of their charisma, but by the Spirit’s demonstration of power (2:4).
A truly charismatic leader is not one who appeals by attractive looks,
captivating voice, eloquent language and alluring personality. He is not even
one who thinks he has an extra endowment of the Spirit to dream dreams and
see visions. A truly charismatic leader is one who preaches nothing more and
nothing less than Christ crucified clearly, simply and plainly – the message
that truly unites people to Christ and divides those against him.
Let’s us be truly charismatic!