WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES

 
 
TUESDAY TEACHINGS
 
 

 

RELATIONSHIP V THEOLOGY

A change in thinking in the church, particularly relating to leadership.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

We conclude our look at leadership from the perspective of the people.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

CALL

CALL, CALLING

MINISTER

MINISTER

MINISTRY

 

 

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

 

THE POWER OF THE CALL - continued

 

 

FROM THE PEOPLE'S PERSPECTIVE (Continued)

 

To get the people involved in doing the work requires an understanding that the kingdom of God is not found in a church building, pastor or programme, but within the individual believer. This truth has been known and lost, known and lost, many times over, since the time of Jesus.

The other day, I was coming to the end of once again reading the Bible from cover to cover. At the end of Revelation chapter 21, I read with new eyes of understanding;

 

 

Revelation 21:22-7

 

 

The kingdom is so beautifully described here! It has no temple, no building, no church. It is lit by the glory of God and Jesus. In turn, we too are to be the reflection of the light of Christ to others;

 

 

1 John 1:7

 

 

for we are the kingdom on earth, a shadow of what is to come, but bearers of the light nevertheless.

For the people to become fully personally involved in 'doing the work', this understanding of the kingdom within is required.

 

 

 

Experience has taught me kingdom living CAN'T be imparted

* in large groups, or

* by paid professionals.

Christianity is relational. You cannot be relational sitting in a pew listening to a sermon on a Sunday.

Nor can the kingdom be effectively implanted by a professional priesthood to whom the people cannot easily relate, or to whom they pass off the responsibility for their spiritual wellbeing.

 

 

 

Kingdom living CAN be imparted

* to people individually or in small groups through interactive relationship, or

* by ordinary people with whom one can identify.

The kingdom is spread by osmosis through sharing living experiences, not by listening to sermons once or twice a week, no matter how masterful their presentation may be.

 

 

 

The House Church movement grew out of this understanding. Small, relational groups, sharing one with another. Unfortunately though, many house churches have become mini churches, where one person dominates the proceedings and the whole process becomes informally formalised!

It is not until we get rid of all placing people on a pedestal because of their spiritual gifts and understanding and communicate on an equal level, sharing our successes and failures, and letting the Holy Spirit operate as He wishes in the group, that we will build a kingdom people prepared to do works of service, as the Bible instructs.

Enthusiasm is built through relational involvement and personal encouragement, not through professional preaching.

 

 

 

Interestingly, Jesus is generally regarded as the greatest teacher, not preacher. While there is considerable emphasis on preaching the Word, Jesus was strident that we must 'practise what we preach'! The professional preacher Pharisees came in for particular criticism.

 

 

Luke 11:42

 

 

Teachers, experts, also came in for criticism.

 

 

Luke 11:52

 

 

I would leave you with the description of one group in Australia that is endevouring to avoid these problems. The writer, David Orton, is a leading Australian prophet, but is shown here simply, as another follower of Jesus.

THE VINE

‘The Vine’ here in Mt Eliza, Melbourne continues to experiment with a deconstructed simple expression of church. We have no building, no pastors, no titles, no budgets – but an emerging microcosm of the body of Christ functioning as people who love and care for one another. With no paid pastoral professionals they are doing the work of ministry – wow, it almost sounds biblical (aka Eph 4 stuff).


Not easy! Radical! But something to ponder upon.

 

 

 

As we come towards the end of our discussion on the 'Power of the Call' we need to emphasise again that the kingdom is within each believer. 

 

Luke 17:20

 

 

The role of leadership and indeed, every believer, is to develop the kingdom that is within each one of us in order to be witnesses of Jesus to the world.

We all have spiritual gifts - without exception.
 

 

1 Corinthians 12:7

 

 

In the traditional way of thinking, we believe that spiritual gifts are primarily possessed by leadership. This simply is a lie, one that satan promotes in order to reduce the effectiveness of the multitudes in furthering the kingdom of God.

One of the major reasons members, particularly keen Christians, are leaving traditional churches in increasing numbers is that they are not being encouraged to develop spiritual gifts they have.

I am a great admirer of God's ministry given to my friend, Rodney Francis, (The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry). His ministry role is to develop people in their spiritual gifts, particularly the gift of prophecy. No, not everyone has the leadership gift of prophecy of Ephesians, but as I have experienced in Rodney's seminars, nearly everyone, with positive encouragement, can prophecy over others with an amazing degree of accuracy. To see people who for years sat in pews believing that prophecy is the sole property of leadership speak a word of personally applicable encouragement, at first hesitantly, then with growing confidence, over another, brings a smile to their, and my, face.

 

 

 

The role of leadership is to bring people to maturity in their relationship with Christ, not to make people dependent upon the leadership. This is easier said than done, as many people are more comfortable being under the authority of leadership rather than in submission to the will of the Father.

I would suggest that today we are in the midst of a foundational change from the 'church age' to the 'kingdom age'. The church age was leadership led while kingdom age is Spirit led, with the individual believer taking their instruction from the Father through the Spirit in order to become the bride prepared for the return of Jesus. The role of leadership is to teach the people how to communicate effectively through the Spirit, then release them to do so.

We are coming to understand that the kingdom is a present reality as well as a future hope. We are the kingdom. We are the light of the world. We are Jesus to the world. We are the only witnesses of Jesus the world can see.

 

 

 

In the church age we talked about Jesus, in the kingdom age we are to become Jesus to the lost.  

 

NEXT WEEK: RELATIONSHIP V THEOLOGY - THE POWER OF THE CALL concludes

 

Summarising the fundamental change that is taking place on the church.

 

 

A NOTE FROM DAVID

 

I understand that you may feel that this a radical, way out solution, to the problems facing the church.

In essence though, it is simply going back to 'the church' (assembly, gathering) of the early New Testament age.

Some will say it is not practical in today's world. But if Jesus had wanted a different pattern to evolve, He would have told us.

For all need to be involved in doing the work of the church. This is the only way the kingdom will be established upon the earth. A kingdom of 100% committed believers, doing the will of their Saviour and Lord, Jesus, the Christ.

JESUS: BACKGROUND

Historical Overview

Rome - The Religion of Rome


After the death of Augustus Caesar in 14 AD., a new idea was added to the state religion, a belief that the ruler was divine and a descendant of the gods. Soon every emperor was worshipped as a god during his life and at death temples were erected for him. Many Romans also worshipped Isis (an Egyptian goddess) and Mithra (a Persian god) for more exciting rituals, personal religion and promises of afterlife.

 

 

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

His servant and yours

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A DAVID'S DOODLING

1273. The foolish give seeking earthly return, the wise, to build up treasures in heaven, while the godly give their all out of love for God, with no need of reward.

David Tait         

 

 

 

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