The 21st Century Retooling of the Church – Part LI
“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you game me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison, and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and fed you, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invited you in, or needing clothes and cloth you?’ The king will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of those brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25: 35-40)
Republicans want to cut the budges nationally and in states throughout the country causing cuts in “services”. Half way houses for prisoners, drug programs, mental health housing and programs, welfare programs, are losing their funding, facing the possible closing of their doors. Americans have come to expect Uncle Sam to meet the needs of those down and out, not Jesus. Church, once the center of social life in America with churches on every corner and a defender of social justice in the ‘60’s & ‘70’s, has become a once a week event in huge edifices with high tech productions.
The question that needs to be asked is what will be the role of the 21st Century Church in feeding the hungry and the homeless, prison reform and social injustice, and reaching out to the lost, the sick, and the hurting? I would like to propose the effectiveness of the five fold. It may take all five different perspectives that the five fold has to offer to tackle some of these challenges. It will take the spiritual insight of the prophet, the Biblical soundness of the teacher, the nurturing of a shepherd, the rebirthing of an evangelist, and the over sight of an apostle to lead an united front in addressing these fronts. By seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance, new ideas and strategies can come in place leading the Church back into a positive influence that can change the world.
Through apostolic over sight, new strategies of evangelism can be birthed by the evangelist. The shepherding passion and point of view of the five fold would seek creative ways to meet the needs of the poor, the sick, and the hurting. The prophetic would seek the spirit’s guidance in leading the way while being checked by the Biblical principles taught by the teacher. New ministries through new strategies using new techniques can be administered in unity through the five fold.
It just may be the Church’s role in replacing Uncle Sam when meeting the needs of the hungry, the thirsty, those in prison, those alone, those needed clothes. As the church to may be stripped of its “affluency” of wealth, it may gain back its “influency” by meeting the needs of Mathew 25, changing the world.