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

We look at power in the Spirit and ministry funding.

 

 

 

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

 

4. CHARACTERISTICS OF KINGDOM PEOPLE (Continued)

 

 

9. LIFE OF POWER

 

The vexed question of 'spiritual gifts'!

Under the current kingly church system spiritual gifts are closely controlled, to be exercised by the king and princes, not ordinary 'pew people'.

We are controlled by a misunderstanding of the application of the principle of 'good order' spoken of by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14. We take the sensible advice of Paul about the restriction of prophecies and tongues speaking and interpretation in larger gatherings to mean only the 'elevated experts' should be allowed to participate at all times. In fact, the way our church meetings are organised encourages spectatorship rather than participation, just as we are used to at a big football game. The crowd (congregation) may cheer (hallelujahs), but only the teams (worship team, prophets, preacher, etc.) play, under the watchful eye of the coach (pastor). Most often the pastor is a 'player/coach' in the church situation.

However, the more we develop a kingdom understanding and lifestyle, the more we realise the truth of the first words of Paul in chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians, that set the scene for the discussion to follow. We are ALL to seek spiritual gifts.

 

 

1 Corinthians 14:1

 

 

Indeed, every follower of Jesus has been given spiritual gifts. 

 

1 Corinthians 12:7

 

 

Christianity is a participatory, living organism, not a spectator sport!

Some time ago I attended a seminar by Rodney Francis and team of 'The Gospel Faith Messenger' ministry, Visit the GFM website here where a group of people from many different church situations, hungry for more of God, were encouraged to utilise their spiritual gifts, particularly the gift of prophecy.

Small groups were held where EVERYONE was encouraged to prophecy over the others in the group. The results amazed all who took part. The accuracy of the words was amazing. Both to the receivers and the givers! Most had never tried to prophecy before! If we are simply content to spectate rather than participate, these gifts will pass us by.

The closer we get to God, the closer He gets to us, and the more of Himself and His ways He reveals to us. Closeness to God is not limited to the realm of the professional. He is waiting with arms outstretched for every follower to embrace His ways, the ways of the kingdom.

Within the formal church there is little opportunity for the majority of Jesus followers to exercise their spiritual gifts. Indeed, I have observed that kingdom seeking people, when exercising their spiritual gifts,

 

 

1 Corinthians 12:8-10

 

 

are often rejected by others, working in the human spirit, for the revelation and understanding they have. We need to seek out others with a desire for more of God.

Walking with Jesus is to be a life of power. We are all meant to walk in the power of the Spirit of God. We need to seek and develop these gifts in our life, learning not to be content with what we have.

 

 

1 Corinthians 12:31

 

 

May we apply the promise of Jesus today.

 

 

Matthew 7:7-8

 

10. SELF FUNDING - THE BETTER WAY

 

This will cause controversy, but it needs to be said.

People are given ministry gifts, to be used to develop the saints to do the works of service and evangelism, resulting in unity, maturity, indeed Christlikeness.
 

 

Ephesians 4:11-13

 

 

This obviously has not happened - yet!

We can all think of a thousand reasons why.

But I will suggest here, at the risk of being lynched, that a primary reason is that our leadership motivation is based on the principles of kings rather than kingdom. Kings must have subjects in order to be kings. Subjects need to be kept in subjection in order for the king's kingdom to remain and to grow.

 

 

 

Kingdom leadership motivation however, is to develop others towards maturity through the application of the lordship of Jesus in their lives. Dependence is to be upon God, not man.

The heart of the problem, as in many things, is money!

Regarding leadership remuneration, there is both a good way and a better way. Paul was very aware of this in his own life.

Payment for the 'elders' (Please note, not apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers, for these are roles, not positions.) are justified. This is most clearly expressed in the Amplified Version.

 

 

1 Timothy 5:17 Amp.

 

 

So, if you are being paid for being in ministry, you are acting Biblically.

However, in the next chapter, Paul brings up some of the problems that payment brings.
 

 

1 Timothy 6:5

 

 

Now this is an extreme situation. However, in my travels, in places where jobs are scarce, I have seen many situations where people have started up churches in order to obtain an income.

In general though, the motivation of most paid leadership is far more worthy, particularly at the beginning of a ministry. But, as time goes on and followers increase, there is an increasing temptation to protect 'your' flock, for they are the source of your income. So one becomes more circumspect in what one teaches or preaches, in order not to offend 'the hand that feeds you'.

Paul was very aware of this situation and throughout his letters he often talked about not being a burden upon the people he ministered to by working in his occupation as a tent maker. For example;

 

 

1 Thessalonians 2:9

 

 

The advantage that this gave Paul was that he could preach and teach the truth without fear or favour.

Of course, Paul did receive occasional support from those he ministered to, but he was not solely dependent upon others' provision for his next meal!

Paul understood that this, the kingdom way, was the better way. For through this we can simply encourage people to follow Jesus, to obey the will of the Father as revealed by the Holy Spirit, in their lives.

Today, amongst kingdom people, there is a move away from full time paid ministry towards generating other sources of income, to enable them to speak 'the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God', as true witnesses of God in the community, rather than just at a trial in a courtroom.

I can testify to this personally. For I could not write this, if I was dependent upon my readers for my next meal, for paying my rent, and our other living expenses. Yes, we struggle at times to pay the ministry bills. But the cost is worth it to bring this to you.

I hope and trust you think so too!

 

 

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 4. CHARACTERISTICS OF KINGDOM PEOPLE continues...

 

...with a look at life change and humility.

 

 

A NOTE FROM DAVID

 

I do understand that these concepts may be considered radical and 'way out'. But I just ask that before rejecting them outright, you pray and see if the Lord has anything to say to you about them.

Change is never easy or comfortable, but required of us all, if we are to grow into the image of Jesus.

JESUS: BACKGROUND
Historical Overview

Rome - AUGUSTUS (27 BC-14 AD)


Civil war broke out after Julius Caesar's assassination. Two of the assassins, Brutus and Cassius, led one side. Octavian, Caesar's adopted 18-year-old son, and Mark Antony, one of Caesar's lieutenants, opposed their bid for power. In 2 quick battles, the assassins were crushed. The victory catapulted young Octavian— or Augustus, as he was later called— into the political limelight. Besides the power of his father's name, Octavian seems to have been rather striking in appearance.

 

 

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

161. To lead or be led? The difference is --a- for attitude!

David Tait         

 

 

 

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

 

 

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