Help For Those On The Front Lines Of Ministry.

Past Updates

Mar 03, 2006
Are You OverLooking Something? Part 1

THE WORDS IN CAPS ARE THE THOUGHTS
I USUALLY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW I HAVE.
I HAVE RISKED SHARING THEM.
I KNOW IT IS RISKY...BUT ....

“I’m looking over a four leaf clover that I’ve over looked before….“

O, NO, NOW I'VE GONE AND DONE IT
STARTED A LETTER WITH AN OLD SONG
NO ONE WILL READ FROM HERE ON.

Scripture is like that…you find four leaf clovers right where you were looking and saw nothing just a few moments ago.

I wonder how many times have you read Ephesians 4;11-12. Here, I’ll write it out for you.

I REMEMBER READING THIS IN SEMINARY
AND THINKING,
"WE HAVE IT ALL BACKWARDS."

God has placed in the church first apostles, then prophets, then evangelists then pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for works of ministry.”


Now what did you read?

GOD HAS PLACED PASTORS IN THE CHURCH
TO RUN THE CHURCH?
RIGHT?
WRONG!!!
THEY SHOULD REALLY READ IT ABOUT TEN TIMES,
ONE FOR EACH YEAR THEY HAVE BEEN PASTORS.


Look at the congregation you are working for and with. Can I ask a few questions?

OOPS, NOW I HAVE GONE AND DONE IT.
I HAVE ASKED FOR PERMISSION TO MESS WITH THEIR WORLD.
I SHOULD NOT DO THAT.
WON'T MAKE ME POPULAR.
SO IS THIS ABOUT ME? SINCE WHEN??
NEVER!!
THEN I HAVE TO MESS WITH THEM
OKAY!


In your congregation…
1. Who are the apostles?
2. Who are the prophets
3. Who are the evangelists (finally a question I might answer)?
4. Who are the pastors (plural, just like the rest)?
5. Who are the teachers (plural again)?
6. Who are the saints?
7. What is the “work of ministry”? (read number one purpose)
8. Do these people (no matter how many you can name) understand it is their job to “equip” the saints to accomplish the ministry?

Okay, that wasn’t too hard, was it?

OKAY, SO IT WAS HARD
AND YOU DON'T HAVE ANSWERS
AND YOU THINK I AM
OFF MY ROCKER--
ACTUALLY THAT IS WHERE I AM SITTING AT THE MOMENT

Didn’t these things end back with the “real apostles”?

What did it do to your view of ministry?
Any change at all?

LISTEN JEFF
CLERGY HAVE BEEN TRAINED
TO BE THE ONLY PERSON
WORKING IN THE CHURCH
THEY ARE THE PASTORS
THE PAID CHRISTIANS

I THOUGHT THESE LETTERS WERE TO HELP THEM?
NOW YOU ARE CHANGING THE RULES
AND FRANKLY WE DON'T LIKE CHANGE;;
HOW MANY PASTORS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHT BULB?
NOT APPROPRIATE
METHODIST?
CHANGE?
PRESBYTERIAN?
SEVEN,
ONE TO DO IT AND SIX FOR A SUPPORT GROUP
STILL NOT APPROPRIATE

Some, like Peter Wagner, have been speaking about new way of doing ministry for a long time. I am seeing a vast number of spiritually seeking people. I am seeing the return of the first century in terms of the spiritually yearning institutionally alienated people. “Church” isn’t working for them. I have heard more about denominations failing, loyalty oaths, supervisors clamping down on pastors to work longer hours and produce results. And all of it is not working. More church plants are failing and church planters are burning out. And those within these declining denominations have lower morale, little respect for their leaders and frankly are tired of the latest fad or program (which was “plagiarized from exiting ideas long ago presented and worn out) being forced on them…what will walking 5000 steps do for you?

DON'T TELL THEM ABOUT THE FORMS
YOU HAVE SEE THAT MAKE A PASTOR
SWEAR "ALLEGIANCE" TO
EXERCISE,
VAGUE MEDITATIVE TECHNIQUES
AND UP THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT
FOR FAILING INSTITUTIONS
STOP THIS NOW.
YOU ARE GOING TO GET INTO TROUBLE!
STOP.

Wagner and others are clear, God is doing a new thing. The effective congregations of the future will have the foundational gifts of apostle and prophet (as well as evangelist, pastor and teacher). The existing congregations and denominations are built on “pastors, teachers and administrators”. Such an imbalance has developed which many (count me in) think is the cause of much of the illness of the main line church. Methodist were much healthier when they had circuit riders who were absent most of the time. One reason many denominations never grew much was the total absence of “saints doing ministry”…IMHO this was the one darkness of the pre-reformation age that Luther, Calvin and Zwingli just could not shine light on, one addiction they could not kick—the centrality of the pastor/administrator/teacher. And to be fair, Wesley didn’t kick it either. Thus the centrality of the sermon in worship, the centrality of the pastor in the community, the centrality of the administrator in the congregation. Or as I was told in seminary: Good preaching brings people: Good pastoral care keeps them: Good administration keeps the boat afloat. That formula is a perfect recipe for: decline in the church; the death of the pastor; and the failure of the church to accomplish its primary purpose.

More next month…..
Jeff

WHAT?
YOU ARE ENDING HERE?
GIVE ME A BREAK!
YOU HAVE THREE MORE PAGES WRITTEN!
DO YOU THINK PEOPLE WILL WAIT?
OR CARE?
RISKY...
YEA BUT WORTH IT
I CAN ONLY TAKE SO MUCH.
MY BRAIN HURTS
MY EYES ARE BLURRY
I NEES A BREAK.
THANKS!
JEFF'S BRAIN