It is interesting in church to observe “the hero riding to the rescue” phenomenon. Who are these people? They are those who arrive on the scene as the one who will be the cure-all to any big issue. And if only they had more power and free-reign all will be well. Elders can be like this and so also can others in the church.
How do they undertake their work? There are situations in the church where others are seeking to be involved to minister to those in need. They are seeking to investigate and understand the situation. They are engaging with the people involved to seek to bring restoration, cleansing and renewal of relationships. They are in many ways engaging in the ministry referred to at the beginning of Galatians 6. Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ (Gal. 6:1-2).
However, the “hero” comes on the scene and, of course, he has a special sense of what is to be done. He may not say it, but he is somewhat dismissive of the lesser mortals who in their weakness are seeking to minister into the problematic situation for the Lord’s glory. He reckons they do not have the insights that he has. So he rides to the rescue and applies the appropriate balm (or so he thinks) and leaves believing all will be well. And somewhat smugly contents himself in his competence whilst viewing with disdain those who had not been able to resolve the issue.
Alas our hero often causes more problems than he solves. In fact he probably solves nothing. Two key limitations appertain to the ministry of our friend, the hero:
- He does not seek to engage with both parties or all parties to the difficulty. Generally they have a preconceived solution to prescribe into the situation. This solution likely is derived solely from information provided by one of the parties. Accordingly, he ends up acting favourably to that party.
- He does not find out the whole information. Of course he does not need to because he has the special insight.
And so our hero rides on to his next problem to solve. Oh Philip please never play this role, it is only the fool who plays it.
N.B Although I have presented our hero as a male here; they can also very often be a lady.