The Lesson of the Lid

I found a video on Saturday and I’d like you to take a second to watch it and the read a couple thoughts I have below it.

1. When thinking about the principle of the lid, its application in our churches is obviously that the leadership of the church is “the lid.” John Maxwell, in a chapter aptly entitled “The Law of the Lid” makes the statement that “A group of people cannot rise above its leadership”. In other words, you are the best your church will ever have – at least in theory. Now it’s certainly true that every church has those who stand out above the rest, but for the vast majority of your church people, you are the best example they will probably ever hope to become like. If that is true of you, how high are you setting the bar? As I spend time thinking about this in my own life and church I realize that I need to set it higher. It’s rather convicting isn’t it?

2. When we worked with the IMB we were required to process through a document entitled an “end-vision.” The purpose was to envision what we imagined the church among our people (the Dagara) to look like fully formed and then to work backwards to where we were at the beginning. The point was that you had to build in at the beginning what you wanted at the end. The lesson of the lid teaches that same principle.

What about you? Are there things you know need to change in your church life but you allow them to remain the same because change is difficult? If you really hope to have something in the end – at a place of completed formation – it’s important to realize that it has to be there in the beginning.

The lesson of the lid is a difficult one to swallow sometimes, but it’s an important one to consider. I hope you’re thinking about it today.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

HT: Donnie Spivey

Micah is a husband to Tracy & a daddy to Grace, Kessed & Haddon. He’s Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Most of all, he’s a debtor to grace.

3 thoughts on “The Lesson of the Lid

  1. When we arrive at that place that we believe that we can put a lid on what
    Christ can do in His Church, we give ourselves too much credit. Human
    leadership roles are essential because that is the design that God has
    chosen for His Church. But I have shared with our congregation many times
    that it is never a question as to whether or not God’s work will be done,
    only if we will get to be a part of what God is doing. I have written to you
    about the pitfalls I saw in Independent Baptist circles when I was growing
    up in the mission field of Iowa, but there are also some very valid
    viewpoints to be found among them. God does not need our convention. God
    does not need our executive director. God does not need a committee. They
    need Him. I do not know what the details will be concerning the firing of
    the ED, but I can tell you one thing for certain. God is never divided. He
    is One and it is His will and His word that we be one. If that is not
    happening then the cause is sin. The politics of pride, the need to possess
    rather than to be a possession of God, to see the Church as the means of
    grace rather than the messenger of grace. I could go on and on, but the
    simple truth is that in order to be divided we have let self enter the
    picture at some point. We often see ourselves and those things we are a part
    of as being far too important. If everything that I am a part of collapses,
    God is still God. Our fiends in the United Methodist church forgot that
    truth a few generations back and they have been dying ever since. If God
    can’t work through a structure, He will work around it. If God is the Lid,
    the sky is the limit.

    Just a thought that encourages me when the works of man seem to make it
    difficult for me to see the work of God.


  2. David-

    Good thoughts. In fact, more than good they are humbling thoughts.

    You are right about God being the lid and capacity for the unbelievable with Him at the top. I think there is a real place where we have to assume responsibility as example setters but I am thankful that God can work beyond us. I love the fact that nothing (i.e. Exec. Committee’s, faulty pastors, fallible church members, etc) can stop Him.

    A good reminder, man! Thanks.

  3. Good clip and comments, and very good analysis by Dave above. I, too, am glad that God can and does overcome our weaknesses. I have also realized the “law of the lid” as pertaining to those in leadership, mainly myself and the example I am setting. It is a poignant reminder that I cannot lead others to where I have not been myself. Thanks for the reminder.

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