WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES

 
 
TUESDAY TEACHINGS
 
 

 

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH

Changes God requires in His church today in order to produce the perfected 'bride of Christ'

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Stepping out in faith is never easy. It is not meant to be! But we need to do just this when the Lord asks us too, if we are to do what He has for us to do in this life.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

CHURCH
CHURCH
CHURCH GOVERNMENT

 

The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
DEFINITIONS (For serious students only)

 

 

Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue

 

APOLOGIES FOR THE DAY'S DELAY

 

Due to website problems

David

 

 

WHAT IS CHURCH?

 

I started out in full time ministry around 14 or 15 years ago now. (Dates have never been one of my strong points!) Having heard clearly from the Lord that this was what He wanted me to do, then having it confirmed in a precisely practical way He had promised, I was full of faith that the Lord would provide financially for us.

A friend of mine says that if the Lord doesn't provide financially, you are walking in 'hope' rather than 'faith'! While I don't totally agree, I have seen lots of people step out into ministry, not through a genuine call from God, but as a means to obtain an income, or because they don't know what else to do. Certainly not solid foundations!

I did not know how God would provide, but was confident He would. Perhaps through donations from the website or this ezine? Or, just maybe, from a benefactor - likely American! Or maybe from sales of the book 'Eagles Fly High!', that I spent a year writing.

Nothing happened! Received a few donations, but not many, no benefactor, and had to self- publish the book on a photocopier as no publisher was interested!

The Lord even had us give away what remaining cash 'nest egg' we had! No assets left other than our household furniture!

 

 

 

But God works in ways very different to ours. My fully supportive (most of the time!) wife Kathy, was working 4 days a week as a theatre nurse at our local hospital. We changed our lifestyle to live simply and relatively frugally, in New Zealand terms, off her income, which we still do today. No ministry corporate jet! Or flash offices! Actually, operated out of a bedroom in our rented house!

"Why Lord? Why! Surely we should be provided for by the thousands of people we are ministering to! But we will remain faithful to your call."

It is only recently that I have come to understand why God has worked in this way. For my thinking was that of 'kings'. A successful ministry is judged by its size, its wealth, its popularity. For that is how kings, both in the natural and spiritual worlds think. The big American TV ministries, for example, are considered more blessed by God than the pastor in the struggling small church down the road.

However, as the Lord has shown me more recently, this way of thinking is not that of the 'kingdom'.

For the financial support of those you are ministering to comes at a cost - the cost of compromise. Wow! What a terrible revelation to have!

 

 

 

Now I, and I hope you too, can start to understand why the church is in its 'wishy washy' predicament of today. Where compromise with the world has become the norm. For our spiritual leaders cannot tell the whole truth any more for fear of biting off the hands that feed them. If the Biblical truths of repentance and discipleship, of righteousness and holy living were to be forcefully preached, congregations, followers, supporters, would look for another church, another ministry, where they feel more comfortable and less spiritually challenged to change their lives.

Please don't get me wrong, you thousands of pastors out there reading this. I am not saying that you, that we, all have the wrong motives in our ministry. Consciously, not too many set out to deceive 'their flock' for financial security and gain. But we all need to live, to eat, to pay the rent, the mortgage, the expenses of daily life. Subconsciously therefore, the fear of losing our supporters, does have an effect upon what we say and how we act.

 

 

 

Not being financially reliant upon those we minister to, we can share the Word without fear or favour.

The Word of REPENTANCE. The Word of HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS. The Word of COMMITMENT. The Word of DISCIPLESHIP. The Word of SACRIFICE. The words of the KINGDOM rather than the words of KINGS.

For the KINGDOM is fully centred around God and His desires while KINGS have to place the needs and desires of their followers first in order to keep them, and retain their position of kingship.

 

 

 

So it is understandable then, why very many churches are loath to co-operate one with another, for leadership desire to protect their membership base is a priority above all else. It takes a truly enlightened, kingdom oriented leader, to put this protectionism to one side in order to work for the overall extension of the kingdom, even if it does cost money or involve the loss of membership.

 

 

 

It has been proven time and time again that the most effective way of evangelising is to set up new groups, new 'churches'. For new, smaller groups, have enthusiasm, and the desire and ability to reach out into their communities. Yet so few churches are prepared to make the sacrifice of losing their 'best and brightest', their most enthusiastic members, in order to set up a new work.

As for me, I can share these thoughts with you - which you can accept or reject - without having to worry where my next meal is coming from.

 

 

 

You see, we have a concept of 'church' that is at variance with what is seen in the New Testament. We see 'church' as a gathering of people led by a pastor, minister or priest, ideally with our own building, carrying out programmes based either within or emanating from, our building.

When we think of a church along the lines of being, 'Pastor Fred's church that meets in the church building on High Street.' This is kingly thinking, based upon the kingship of Fred with his territory being the church building and his 'subjects' being the church membership.

However this is not God's way.

 

 

THE RELATIONAL CHURCH

 

For God's New Testament church is simply RELATIONAL. Relational in 3 ways.

 

 

1. RELATIONAL WITH GOD

 

Firstly, with God Himself. God is not found in pastor, building or programmes.

Jesus came as the final fulfillment, the replacement of the failed Aaronic priesthood. His sacrificial death upon the cross made Him the final mediator, intercessor, intermediary between you and me and God.

 

 

 

There are to be no more priests. No more kings. Only King Jesus! Our relationship is with the Father Himself, through, and only through, Jesus. Thank you Lord!

Nor is God found in a building.

 

 

Acts 7:48-51

 

 

Pastor Fred does not have a church. Only God is to have HIS church.

Yet we too, like the people then, so often desire to return to the old ways of priesthood and buildings, ignoring the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Programmes are the result of a kingly based system's need to be seen to be doing something, in order to justify a the king's and the organisation's existence. Programmes generally formalise and replace personal relationships. We are instructed to look after the widows and orphans and to feed the poor, to assist the less advantaged among us. While food banks are good, the most effective way of showing our love is still on a personal level.

 

 

NEXT WEEK: TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 3. FROM KINGS TO KINGDOM continues

 

We will continue with the 2 remaining relational aspects next week.

 

 

A NOTE FROM DAVID

 

These ideas are pretty radical for those, like me, who have grown up in a traditional church system.

Unfortunately, the system, rather than God, has become the focus of our lives.

In these days, greater numbers of people are however, coming to understand that the focus of the church needs to change.

I simply place these ideas before you, not as the final answer, but as a means of getting you to think and pray to find out what is 'the way' for the situation in which you are placed.

JESUS: BACKGROUND
Historical Overview


A Roman Milestone: This inscribed Roman milestone standing almost 10 feet tall was used to count the miles along all major roads. A network of 50,000 miles of highways linked Rome's 43 provinces. Many roads are still being used today.

 

 

So until next week.......
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD!

His servant and yours

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Previous parts of this Series (When applicable) are available to be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

 

A DAVID'S DOODLING

707. Too often we try TO DO when God is simply calling us TO BE.

David Tait         

 

 

 

Earlier Series of "Tuesday Teachings" can be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

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