Journaling – Church ministry
This is a personal journal post.. Keeping track of when the Lord is speaking
It was on my heart to talk to my Pastor about the 5 fold ministry in the Church. Not just specifically my home Church, but the Church in general. There seems to be a lot missing from some Churches, in accordance to scripture. More specifically, the gifts of the Spirit in the Church. We discussed praying for the Church.. Praying that those who God has selected to receive such gifts, that He reveals to them.. That He gives a word of knowledge and wisdom to the leadership, as well as those selected to be used by Him for His glory. Here is the text that surrounds this Journal entry –
1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
1Co 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1Co 12:12 ¶ For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.
1Co 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
1Co 12:19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1Co 12:22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
1Co 12:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
1Co 12:24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
1Co 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
1Co 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
1Co 12:27 ¶ Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
1Co 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
6/14/11 3:01am –
Received an emailed daily devotion by Rick Warren. It speaks on this matter –
“From him the whole body … grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:16 (NIV)
A church needs more than just a pastor or a worship leader. Whether it’s a new church or one that’s been around for years, it takes all kinds of people to grow a church.
Are you good at math, organization, or working with children? How about sign painting? All of these abilities are needed. So what can you contribute to your church?
When Kay and I started Saddleback Church, we had one service with 15 people that grew to a core of 60 people by the end of the first year. These people weren’t preachers or teachers; they were just normal people doing different kinds of normal things. Thirty-one years later those people are still at the heart of our church. And if you ask any of them if the time and abilities they have contributed were worth it, they would tell you “yes”.
Serving the church is probably the most important and significant thing you will do in your life, because the church will outlast everything. Your job and hobbies will not go into eternity. Even nations and governments will not go into eternity. The church, the family of God, is the only thing that’s going to last forever.
The Bible says, “When you meet together, one person has a song, and another has a teaching. Another has a new truth from God. Another speaks in a different language …. The purpose of all these things should be to help the church grow ….” (1 Corinthians 14:26, NCV). Everybody should bring what they are good at to the table, because no one person is good at everything.
You have God-given gifts and abilities that the church needs. Whether it’s your home church that you’ve attended for years or a new church plant that’s just getting started, what will your contribution be?
6/14/11 5:36pm –
I receive a writing from a Pastor that he wanted assistance with editing –
Taking our stand on the Word of God III
Text 2 Corinthians 4
Christian leadership is a spiritual journey that takes a form of swimming upstream. This calls for effort, determination, and God’s help for a remarkable advancement in our upstream journey. It is not a journey we can be successful alone without God. The men and women of God in the past took that journey. The only effective tool that will get us through the journey is our weapon, the Word of God. The sword is put into use by taking our stand on it. Those of the past who failed to take a determinant stand on God’s Word have failed. They start fine, but when the opposing forces and waves of life intensify, they lose heart and are forced out of the upstream race. Had they taken a determinant stand on the Word of God, they would not have failed. The central message of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4 for leaders is for us to take the stand on God’s Word because just as they were pressed beyond measure, we also will be. The interesting thing is that those pressures (challenges) cannot stop us or destroy us as we take our stand on God’s Word. 8We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; 9We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed;10Always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, so that the [[a]resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our bodies.
If we close our eyes for a moment and start picturing fish swimming upstream, we can better understand the lesson we are going to learn here. If we actually witness fish swimming against water current, there are 4 things we will discover. The first thing is that there are various levels of opposing water currents and other forces that fish must overcome in order to move forward. The second thing is that not all the fish can overcome the opposing force. The third thing is that the opposing force is a combination of more than one force (a unified force). The fourth thing we notice is that not all kinds of fish are found traveling in an upstream environment.
With the above four items, we find how this can be related to a journey of leaders in their walk with God. Just as fish have to face unified opposing waters and other associated forces (wind and waves) in order to continuing moving upstream, leaders also have unified forces that need to be overcome in order to advance in what God has called the leader to accomplish in life.
Let us now take these four things one at a time and see what we can learn about the experiences of fish. We shall relate them to a leader’s journey of life.
Various bodies of water have various degrees of water current. The larger a body of water becomes, the greater the current is expected to be. For example, a stream’s current cannot move a load like a river can move. In the same way, we can expect the strength of the ocean’s current to be stronger than the river’s current. The currents in these various bodies of water are the forces that the fish in those waters must overcome in order to move against the current. The same thing can be seen in the lives of Christian leaders as we also have various challenges in life. These challenges can be geographical, economical, gender, nationality, color, relationship, loss, health, finance, family, disunity, and so on. They too vary in size and in intensity. Just as the size and depth of a body of water determines the level of the opposing forces, these challenges can determine how big the opposing force is against leader’s who are swimming upstream. Many leaders are held back from swimming upstream in their bid to fulfill God’s calling just as some fish are held back from breaking through the opposing current, waves, and winds.
We see that not all fish can swim upstream through opposing currents. Why can’t all swim upstream? One factor is by their nature, they are not equipped for such a level of force. Another factor is that they are not meant to be traveling in such an environment. Similarly, in Christian leadership there are challenges associated with different offices in ministry. If we are in the wrong office, then we are in the wrong environment. As with fish, we may lack the grace associated with equipping us in order to overcome the challenges. For example, if we are not called to be a pastor and we force our way into that office of ministry, there will be challenging currents, waves, and winds that will keep us from swimming our way upstream.
The third thing we notice about fish is the opposition they face swimming their way upstream. It is a combination of currents, waves, and winds coming at various angles. In some cases, the wind may take the form of a storm. All these are unified forces that a fish must overcome in order to swim upstream. In the same manner, we also have challenges associated directly with ministries. Such challenges include limited resources, dealing with difficult members of the ministry, false accusations, rejections, and indirect challenges like family, finance, other relationships, etc. These are some of the challenges we may face where God has placed us to work.
The fourth thing is that we do not find every kind of fish traveling in an upstream environment. If they attempt it, it will cost them their lives. There are special fish that are equipped for such an environment. In the same way, there are specific areas God has planted leaders in the body of Christ to operate. Each area has a specific anointing that equips those who are planted in the environments. This anointing is the grace that takes them beyond their human limits in order to advance their journey upstream against every barrier. Someone who places himself or herself in that environment will not have the anointing that equips them to operate effectively in the environment. He or she will fail because a calling of God cannot be effectively fulfilled via human strength. Just like a fish that is not equipped to travel in an upstream environment, we will not be productive fulfilling our mission in life if we assign ourselves positions in ministry we know clearly that we are not called for.
The above illustrations of fish swimming upstream and their relation to the journey of leaders are things we should not over look. These challenges take many forms and if we are not sensitive to them, they can knock us out of our Christian race just as the currents knock fish out that are too weak to swim. They are left on the banks of the waters or forced down stream. In the upcoming teaching, I will elaborate on the message of Paul to Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 4.
While meditating on this matter, I’m realizing that not only the gifts, but the guidance/direction for the members to do the work of the body is led of God and not of self. It is a fine-line and something that must be paid attention to.. I have to be wise and walk in the counsel of the Lord and not in the counsel of self. Even though I have a heart for God, a heart to help, and a heart for the lost.. I cannot lose sight that it is God who brings forward the increase, not me. It is God that ordains things, it is God who sets up the divine appointments, and it is God that establishes each member’s work in the work of the ministry. So in the end, it is all done via the work of the Holy Ghost. It is God, working through the Holy Ghost that will reveal, guide, direct, and so on. I must be wise and not follow the dictates of my own heart, which are very deceptive. Then I read this daily devotion by the late David Wilkerson –
God’s purpose for every one of his children is that we surrender to the reign and rulership of the Holy Spirit:
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). In other words, “If he lives in you, let him direct you!”
I want to show you what it means to walk in the Spirit. I have not yet fully arrived in this glorious walk—but I am gaining ground!
We have heard the expression “walk in the Spirit” all our lives, but what does it really mean? I believe the 16th chapter of Acts is one of the best examples of what it means to walk in the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Ghost provides absolute, clearly detailed instructions to those who walk in him. If you walk in the Spirit, then you don’t walk in confusion—your decisions aren’t clouded ones.
The early Christians did not walk in confusion. They were led by the Spirit in every decision, every move, every action! The Spirit talked to them and directed them in their every waking hour. No decision was made without consulting him. The church’s motto throughout the New Testament was: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit has to say!”
I began ministering in New York City because the Holy Ghost told me very clearly: “Go to New York City and raise up a church.” And he told me when to come. No devil or demon could move me from this—because the Spirit gave detailed instructions. I remember standing between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, weeping and raising my hands. The Holy Ghost said, “In this very area I am going to raise up a church. Obey me, David. Start a church in New York City!” Times Square Church is not an accident. It is the result of clear, detailed instructions from the Holy Spirit!