I had lunch with four men the other day that lead others. They came from a variety of backgrounds, in fact, as the first three of us introduced ourselves we were a lawyer, a police officer and a convict. Yet, despite the diversity of our stories, we each find ourselves in places of influence in faith-based organizations. We each serve as pastors.
One of the men was telling of when the Lord called him into a life dedicated to ministering to others. He was compelled to start a church and believed that the call was with a promise. The promise was something like “church is different” from the way that the man had previously accepted as the way to “do” church.
We are in a unique time and the things that church as a noun has become will need to give way to the ways of church as a verb. The separation between the professionals and the attenders will have to be closed. The entertainment of a Sunday morning in the place of a challenge unto multiplication will have to end.
It’s time for the church to be mobilized and the only way for that to take root is to unseat some of the subtle contradictions. We don’t tend to the presence of God in a building for others to be attracted to. That is a description of the Mosaic temple. The temple is now us and we carry His presence where we go. The temple is mobile, not a static attraction.
Since the temple of God is within every born again believer in Him, the qualifications for ministry are simply Him. We are ministers of reconciliation because of Him, not because of a job at a church or a degree on a wall.
These realities are important related to identity and purpose. Church attendance is important for encouragement, equipping and multiplication but people aren’t going. They don’t go because they are called in to be impressed with the pastor and programs, but not commissioned to go and pastor others. They see themselves as inferior compared to the professionals in the context of faith so they give their attention to things they can feel better about.
You know something else those pastors I mentioned at the beginning of this post said? They admitted among themselves that “we don’t really know what we are doing.” They admitted the trust they had to have that God would work it out because none of us have mastered His stuff.
Most people don’t feel equipped to share the hope of Jesus, the healing of His Blood or the presence of Holy Spirit. That’s OK. The pros don’t, either. Do it anyway and come alive in the purpose of a King.