What is a mascot? According to Dictionary.com a mascot is defined as: “a person, animal, or object adopted by a group as a symbolic figure especially to bring them good luck.”
What is a leader? Same source but it says: “a person who guides, directs, manages and inspires others to follow.”
It got me to thinking… as a church leader of God’s people and one who is responsible for helping others to become His, am I a mascot or a leader? That is, in the church am I simply a symbolic figure that has been adopted by a group of people hoping that I will help them find happiness, make them comfortable, ease their troubles and bring them good luck in life? Or am I someone who guides, directs, manages and inspires people to follow the One I am following? In the church, it seems to me to be a difference between a job and a calling. A mascot has a job, a leader has a calling. A mascot is a representative of the people. Therefore he or she tries to please them and make them comfortable and happy. A Christian leader however is representing Christ and see his or her calling as pleasing Christ whether that makes the people happy or not.
Maybe, for me, A.W. Tozer said it best: “In order for the Church to be on mission we must have Christ honoring prophets in our pulpits again instead of just mascots. These leaders will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.” Of God and Men, 11-13.
It makes sense doesn’t it? Why would we devote our lives to representing people that will never be completely pleased when we can lead them to see the ONE who knows all, sees all, loves all and will eventually give them perfection?
I for one don’t want to settle for being a mascot.