Only Unity In Vision Through Diversity Can The Church Meet Today’s Challenges!
With all the negative adds during an election year, all the faults and weakness of America is exposed to the world. The United States has its challenges, many that are huge in nature and scope, but the candidates all promise change if elected, stability if they become Commander in Chief, learning from the past, and prophetically looking to hope for the future, while promising oversight to the ideals of the Constitution. Sounds like the Five Fold to me: birth (evangelist), maintenance & growth (shepherd), learning from the past and teaching of our founding principles (teacher), hope for the future (prophet), and oversight for the good of America (apostle). Even secular government understands the power of the five fold in creating a well-balanced effective form of government to serve its people! Why doesn’t the Church recognize that same power and practice it?
Four years ago, Obama ran on the motto of “change”; this year Romney ran on the motto of “real change”. Change is the promise to kick off both campaigns. Evangelists thrive on change, on birth, and on rebirth! “You must be born again”; you must be willing to change. The politician knows you can’t move forward unless there is change. The demographics of the country change, and so must the way the country is to be govern. The Church also knows it cannot move forward unless there is also change. Societal demographics change, yet for centuries that Roman Catholic Church maintained only Latin for their Masses, the format for Protestant services are still basically the same since the Protestant Reformation under Martin Luther. The evangelists majors in birth and rebirth. Who better to move the Church forward than the evangelist if we want revival. Every Revival Movement in Church history is birthed in the evangelistic spirit. The Church needs to equip, develop, and release those Christian brothers and sisters whose passion is for birth, rebirth, the evangelistic spirit.
Who is going to take care of the elderly, the severely ill, the poor, the homeless, the rejected and dejected members of our society? Because we have Social Security, Medicare, and Public Welfare in place, we “expect” those services and rely on the government to “maintain” them and “take care” of those in need! If you want to lose an election attack those institutions where people have become dependent on their services for basic survival. Government understands the importance of taking care of its people; the Church needs to also understand that principle. Those in most churches “depend” on the “pastor” and his staff to take care of those in need in their congregation, so they can avoid direct contact with those in need amongst their brethren. Every church, without exception, needs the pastoral/shepherding element if it wishes to keep and maintain its sheep. The evangelist may birth, but if what was birthed is not maintained and experience growth, death will occur! The church needs to equip, develop, and release those Christian brothers and sisters whose passion is to help their fellow brethren and those in need to grow in Jesus Christ through practical daily applications.
Knowing ones history, ones strengths, and ones principles that is the backbone of its existence and applying those truths to move forward is the strength of a teacher. Educations is always at the core of national political election, because education is always the investment in one’s future, its strengthening of its presence, and the power of unleashing future potential. The Roman Catholics understand this principle establishing a parochial school system in American to instill Roman Catholic ideals in its youth. The Church as a whole must embrace this truth, realizing that through education the Church will maintain, develop, and strengthen itself for the present as well as the future. The teaching gift of the five fold is so desperately needed to implant, develop, grow, and strengthen, equip, and release those brothers and sisters in the Lord in their calling, their destiny, maturing them toward the image of Jesus Christ while developing Church unity.
Hope is essential for a country to continue to develop, and government has learned that role; ask F.D.R. & Churchill in the leadership roles they played in their countries during World War II. In times of darkness, the prophetic voice is needed not only for correction, but to resound the “Word” of “Hope”. The Constitution of the United States is a written document outlining the ideals of America, but if the people do not make the Constitution a “living document” which is applied in everyday life, it is useless and legalistic. The same is with the Church, for if it takes the Law, the Bible, the Logos Word, the written Word, and is not willing to make it a Rhema Word, a living Word, then their religion is legalistic and worthless. The Church needs the prophetic life to continue to make relevant one’s faith.
No country is strong unless its leadership is strong and has the capability of “see over” what is happening to its people in good times and in bad, then release those forces, those people, those services, those government programs needed to keep their nation strong and solvent. The same is with the Church, but unlike the C.E.O. mentality of leadership that the American business model has projected: a leader who is in control, is dictatorial, who believes the buck stops with him and his ego. The Church needs leadership that is humble, based on service and selflessness, who is willing to release others rather than doing it himself, who is willing to see what the Holy Spirit is doing in the Church’s midst and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit to be subservient to that voice in obedience, recognizing the Holy Spirit’s control, not their own.
Again, government recognizes the power of the five fold: birth, maintenance & growth, education, hopeful application, and proper oversight. Ephesians 4 outlines the same principles for the Church to follow in “equipping”, or preparing, its members, the priesthood of believers in Jesus Christ, through service to develop individual maturity into the image of Jesus Christ, and corporate maturity through unity to usher in the return of Jesus, the groom, for His Bride, the Church. Church, let’s not only recognize the need for the five fold, but begin to utilize the truth Ephesians 4 has to offer.