Saturday, May 1, 2010
Manna vs. Wonder Bread - Some More Thoughts
Matthew 5:42-44 (NIV) 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Do I really need to list the enemies of God and the church which includes you? Take a ride through Galatians Chapter 5.
And church, it is time to wake up to a leadership model that brings us to maturity - not in our faith, but in our ability to be effective for the Kingdom of God; carrying out the Great Commission..
Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
So, what if we launch a whole new church model? What if you are an apostle or prophet? Even if you're a pastor, a teacher or an evangelist, then what? So many are not functioning in unity. There are too many para-church ministries that are profitable (who would leave)-- ones that should have been part-of-church. And too many denominations. Do you think we could talk them into splitting the glory?
The difference between a formula and model is this. The formula is a patterned way of working, while a model is a principled way of working. One has rigid steps and methods, the other is flexible and allows for Spirit led input.
There are many loaners out there, people-- well people like me, that care about the Kingdom, and see the American church in disarray. We have tried to plug-in, got our newcomers gift at that door, and now the candy is gone, the coffee mug is lost, and the CD is at the bottom of the pile. Sure, we did the beginner's class, and the spiritual gift assessment... hell, I wrote the the darn thing! What about us? What about you?
Are we spectators or disciples? Are we going to church to get, or to give?
I am wondering if the church will adopt this new way of thinking? Or will what is left of the church as we know it, just go away? What if we start a new work, will we just have another Christian Ghetto? You know, a place where there is limited opportunity, people hurt each other in the name of Jesus - where power, money, and titles become the goal of discipleship? A place where no one really commits to another, they just say hello in the men's room and will pray fr you if you show up at Bible study. Hmmm....
I have a few thoughts - hey, isn't that why you read my blog? In order for this 5-Fold thing to work, we have to get buy-in from someone besides ourselves. Because they are foundational, apostles and prophets need to start linking up and committing to get something going. Make a commitment to local expression in your area. Me, I would try having a small-group that follows the 1 Corinthians 14 format... well just to get things going. We need to be led by the spirit. We need God's vision, not ours. In the process, we need to remember the following principals of biblical Christianity. If we don't, then we are just another sad religion in the Yellow Pages.
-1 Love/Covenant - We are to love people. This is outlined in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. It involves being kind, not making a list of wrongs etc. HERE is more on love.
-2 Power/Gifting - We need Holy Spirit power, and nothing less! I like the Quakers, they only did something when God moved, and otherwise they waited. We need to impart gifts, and receive those that are not like ours. It is about body building, therefore; every part is needed. HERE is more on spiritual gifts.
-3 Teaching - Good biblical teaching is essential. If you can't teach, pray for a teacher! For God's sake, don't rehash a bunch of junk that you read in a book, or have heard over the years. People are looking for manna, not Wonder Bread! We need to address relationship, witchcraft, covenant and so much more.
-4 Mentoring/Modeling - Do you have a gift? Teach someone else how to do it better than you! In the past year, some of my heroes of the faith have died. Just recently one had a serious heart attack, another some sort of gastric infection - it makes me wonder who they have left the double portion to? How about you, who are you leaving a double portion of your gifting to?
-5 Accountability - Can you just stop being a jerk, and let someone love you enough to be involved in your inner most secrets?
-6 Fruit - We need to be fruit inspectors. If those we are in contact with are not feeling connected or loved, than we better take a close look at how religious we are.
Anyone want to join me?