The Releasing of Passion in the Five Fold
Recently I met with my local pastor, contemplating my future upon retiring from being a public educator for forty years, asking him how I would now fit into the local body of Christ that he was leading. His response was to ask me a question, “What are you passionate about?” My response, “teaching!”
I ask you today, “What are you passionate about in your walk with Jesus?” What drives you? What gives you a sense of fulfillment? For some its missions, others evangelism, hospitality, visitations, caring and nurturing, teaching, seeking God through worship, listening to the voice of God through obedience, marveling at the workings of the Church as a whole, etc. There are many things one can be passionate about in Jesus. What is your passion?
I believe one of the keys to the five fold is the “releasing” of these “passions” among the saints. Ephesians 4 challenges us to “equip”, prepare, the saints, the everyday believers in Jesus Christ, for the work of “service.” If we prepare the saints and allow them to be passionate about the work of the gospel through service, we will witness a productive Church.
Often the church has based itself around a certain day to worship, a certain building or place in which to worship, a certain group of people, the staff, to perform needed duties, rather than releasing those who worship, whose bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and who have been called to perform the work of service: the saints, the people who ARE the CHURCH!
This time of year there are graduations everywhere, celebrations of years of preparation, only to now be released. Students who are clueless about survival in the world as adults, but academically prepared, released to become adults, released to use those things they were taught in real world situations. If they have been “prepared” effectively they will become productive. If what they learned has become their “passion,” that passion released will produce “productivity” and they will earn the title of becoming successful. Without passion, they become just another cog in the system.
When you think of Church, what drives you? What are you passionate about? If released, what would you want to do? What preparation do you need to dove tail with your passion so that you can be productive for Jesus? Those are the questions each of us and the Church as a whole needs to be asking!
The church must also ask the question, “What structures my be in place for this to happen, and what current structures have to be removed for this to happen?” In urban renewal, often old structures must be condemned, torn down, and removed, before new structures can be built to bring life back into that urban area. The church does not do a very effective job at condemning existing structures that were once productive but have become “traditions” now blocking “renewal”. Urban renewal always brings opposition from the established entrenched ones, and so does spiritual renewal.
I believe the five fold is a possible structure that would bring renewal to the Church if allowed to be led by the Holy Spirit at the cost of its members be willing to lay down their lives for one another, a high price for the prize. All through these 300 blogs I have written, I have challenged you and I as believers, and you and I as the Church to tear down some old structures, once valued with reverence, but now becoming a blockage for spiritual renewal. I have learned it is easy to lay on the altar the waste, the sin, and the failures of our lives for Jesus to renew, but find it difficult to lay on the altar things that I love, things that have been productive in the past, things that I value, yet they are the very things that must be laid on the altar for the Church to continue to move forward. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal those structures and how to remove them; then ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the new structures you are to be “passionate” about and release that passion.