I’m Tired of Getting Ripped Off By Failure When Being Alone
Personal History: Over the last four decades I have been involved in “church” at almost every level. Some would credit me as being a “good Christian” because I went to Vocation Bible School and sung in the choir as a child, have attended and worked at church camps through my youth, as an adult taught Sunday School, aided in birthing an inner-city urban church, lead two different home churches, participated in leadership in a church plant, headed a youth ministry at my home church and regionally where I lived, lead the youth component of a major city-wide evangelistic Crusade, coordinated Lay Witness Missions in dozens of churches in the Mid-Atlantic region, took lay speaker courses and filled pulpits, earned a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies, been in church leadership positions as an elder, taught Bible courses, participated in prophetic presbyteries, became faculty advisor for a public school Christian club, and even have my own blog site writing hundreds of blogs on the five fold which you are currently reading.
But, to tell you the truth, unfortunately, the inner-city urban church no longer exists, neither do any of the home church where I participated, nor does the church plant where I once was an elder. I resigned from my home church office as Youth leader and struggled as a regional Youth Coordinator. Lay Witness Missions are now scarce if not history. My pastor said I should earn a Master’s Degree so “doors would open”; since earning that degree, no doors have opened. I no longer get invitations to fill pulpits. Our local church no longer has prophetic presbytery teams, thus the almost disuse of that gifting. I write on a blog on a topic from a point of view that is unique to most of the Church, not its current acceptable standard. Some people would credit me as a “good Christian”, but the data, the evidence, appears to show the contrary, a failure.
I have pondered my failures for hours, days, years, ruminating over them, analyzing them, trying to figure out what happened even though I was pure at heart, I thought spirit led, but the accuser, satan, always gets the upper hand by putting me down, condemning me as a “failing Christian.” The reason I have failed is because in almost every one of those positions I found myself doing whatever I was doing alone. Don’t get me wrong; Jesus was with me through them as well as other Christian brothers and sisters, but when involved with an evangelist in church planting, or church birthing, or in an evangelistic Crusade, I flowed evangelistically, but I did not have the support of a pastor/sherpherd, teacher, prophet, or apostle around me for protection, guidance, and accountability. I had tastes of pastor/shepherding in small home groups, but again I did not have the other four giftings around me to share their points of view, insights, and accountabilty. I have taught Bible School, Bible Classes, Sunday School, and even developed my own Christian course, but did not have the other four around me to make the “head”, “academic” knowledge into practical “living out” daily the kingdom of god knowledge to those I taught. I have dabbled in the prophetic, but saw the independent spirit of the prophet if not submitting to the other four five-fold passions and points of view. I even got a taste of the apostolic as a coordinator for Lay Witness Missions by “releasing” those on my team to share their evangelistic testimonies, care for those they stayed with for the weekend, share the truth of the gospel through mini-teaching, and working prophetically by listening to the small voice of the Holy Spirit all weekend, but did not have the opportunity to continue those giftings once our team left.
I have tasted each of the five fold passions, points of view, and giftings in my faith journey, but realize the importance of them in the context of a “body ministry”. I need an evangelist around me to bring life and rebirth. I need a shepherd to care for me and the rest of the flock. I need a teacher to make the writing Word of God a living Word of God. I need a prophet to challenge me towards intimacy with God. I need an apostle to “see over” what the Holy Spirit is doing in my life, then “releasing” me to be free in my passion while setting up an accountability factor through relationships around me.
I confess: I’ve blown it, often. I have failed even when my intentions were pure. I have become self defeated because of the constant bombardment of the accuser, satan, constantly exposing my failures. In spite of all of this, I still have a yearning, a belief, a faith that all this can work, and will work if only the different points of view in Christianity would have one point of view, Jesus, if all the different passions in Christianity had one passion, a passion to “serve”, a passion to be intimate with the Father through Jesus and His precious Holy Spirit, a passion to “lay down one’s life for his brethren.” The golden rule is to love god and your neighbor. Hey, Church! Let’s not only love God, but lets also love our Christian brothers and sisters, our family, by laying down our lives for one another! That is the power of the five fold! You in the Church who have different passions and points of view than mine; I NEED YOU!