"There is too much hypocrisy, and we don't seem to be getting any better."
"The programs just don't seem to grab me - it's the same old stuff."
"Church is boring, and we don't seem to be making any progress."
"No one seems to be getting saved any more - we should do something about it."
Maybe you've said something like that at some point in your walk with Jesus, I know I have. Today I am going to compile a few thoughts from previous works with a new spin, so that maybe you'll be saying, "That makes sense to me!"
I have had some exciting devotions as I search for the Lord's heart.
Most of you know that I think the key to church growth is Ephesians chapter 4 - but not in some sort of corporate structure. At the very least, I believe that it means we are have ministers that are co-equal and complimentary in their gifting.
One thing that needs to be settled is this. Ephesians 4:11 uses nouns, while the church uses a mixture of nouns and adverbs. So-and-so is a teacher, while someone else is prophetic. Why aren't they a prophet? There are 5 plural nouns with specific adverbs attached. They are apostles/apostolic, prophets/prophetic, evangelists/evangelical, pastors/pastoral and teachers/teach.
It seems that we are not certain if the actual nouns exist, therefore; we tend to soften our theology by saying that person is apostolic or prophetic and not call them an apostle or prophet. It is a bad interpretation of the passage.
Moving on - so what is exciting about this? What if a seasoned team were to show up at your church, or your home, and not only teach this church model that has been around since the time of Paul, but also demonstrate it? How exciting would it be to see 5 ministers acting as one - working in unison and complimenting each others weaknesses with their own strengths - and equipping the church? That's you!
What would it be like for you to BE the church, and not just attend the church?
On a more personal level, what would it mean to you to have solid teaching, mature disciplship training, all with an increase in love, power and revelation thrown in? What would it mean for you to be recognized for gifting you already have, or receive the impartation of a new spiritual gift, be encouraged and then released in an accountable relationship, so that you could be what God made you?
Me? I'd be doing back flips!
At this very moment a team is forming that needs prayer. You can pray for this apostolic team. There are a couple of more integral people still needed. Eventually we'll need things like a web site, a way to schedule trips, administration, grace, more anointing and wisdom in choosing our next moves. If those are things you do, feel free to contact me.
What's the time table? I don't know exactly. When the right people come together, and God opens doors, that will probably the best indication that we have arrived.
If you are interested in reading more, I have received quite a bit feedback on my 5-Fold Ministry series about Ephesians chapter 4. Here are links so you can read them, if you haven't already.