Ministry Building & Partnership

I'm an equipper and an igniter. Anything I do is designed to be a supportive and empowering instrument to the people I provide any type of ministry help through partnership.  I come along side.

What If?

Let me ask you a question.  If God called you one day to do something for Him outside of the common understanding of ministry inside the church, would you know what to do?  Most of us are conditioned to think that ministry is tied to the church in the church for the church during church.  And while it's true one of our first priorities is to be a family in the church and serve one another, what if I told you that God actually is a God of abundance and how that looks is actually very different?  In fact, what if I told you that as both a king and a priest, you have a way of serving God by demonstrating Him to the world around, believer or unbeliever, that is unique to you in partnership with similarly minded and called people?  What if I told you that?  What if I told you as part of God's ekklesia, you ARE the church. [1]

For many decades, and possibly hundreds of years, many believers have come to believe that to "serve" God means to become say, a pastor, a teacher, theologian, or some other church minded reality.[2]  For those of us not "called" to these positions, our position is to attend church, give, love, and sit in a pew and hear the Word of God every Sunday (or Saturday) in-between the meet and greet.  Some of us may serve in men's or women's ministry.  Others may serve in the nursery or in the capacity of serving youth under a Youth Pastor.  Some may go on missions and some churches may even have street ministries of preaching.  None of this is terrible, but it does confine our "church" doing to church events and church schedules and neglects the life of being Christ by simple faith and simple action 100% of the time in all that we do 7 days a week.

Others will reduce the Christian walk for the non-clergy into small realities.  Religion says we are just to love people, be nice, help the poor, and try to be less selfish and argumentative.  Once again, nothing wrong with that, but there is more for the "laity" in the church involving the good news of the gospel.  Our "doing" has to line up with our "being" and both of these create Christ reality.  There is more than just going to church weekly; there is being the church all day every day.

So, what if you are called to "ministry" by starting a clothing business, by creating art, or by running for political office?  What if you have felt strongly called to serve God by becoming a teacher, lawyer, or say, a doctor? Serving God isn't just a Sunday (or Saturday) thing, or being nice at work, but actually serving God to bring in the revelation of how He does things to where you are at speaking truth in love and being light and salt in all areas of your life.  You become the living witness of Christ in everything you do!  God has a righteous way of doing things, and the body is very diverse in calling and support.

Jesus said something interesting in John 14.  I'm going to use The Message translation.  He has just told His followers He is going to go prepare a place for them and then bring them where He is.  This sparks a dialogue as Thomas (I believe a bit exasperated) is like, Jesus! 

We don't know where you are going so how could we possibly get there ourselves - HELP!  Jesus gives the infamous, "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one can get to the Father without me" statement.  Where does Jesus point them too?  Where He is going - to be with the Father.  He's getting them to the Father.  To see Him then, is to see the Father.  But this is a little lost on Philip who asks to see the Father.  This sparks more reassurances, more repeating the truth, and a slightly bigger statement - if I can use the word "slightly" and not reduce the abundance of God dramatically.

After explaining He is in the Father, the Father in Him he states:

"The person who trusts me will not only do what I'm doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I've been doing.  You can count on it.  From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I'll do it.  That's how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son.  I mean it.  Whatever you request in this way, I'll do." (see John 14:1-14, emphasis mine).  

Right after this passage break, Jesus starts talking about sending the Spirit of Truth.  Suddenly, Jesus will be living in us and we will have a new friend in the Holy Spirit. (see the rest of the passage here - John 14:15-31).

I've come to believe those greater works and the Holy Spirit simply go hand-in-hand.  Why bring it up? - So they won't be alone and so they can go do what Jesus is doing.  But what was Jesus doing?

It's true that He did miracles.  But also some of what He did is found in Isaiah 61. We know from Luke 4:16-21 Jesus quoted the first few lines of Isaiah 61:

"He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,

God’s Spirit is on me;
    he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
    recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
    to announce, 'This is God’s year to act!'

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, 'You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place'" (The Message).

But does it end here?  What about Genesis?  What about what Elohim gave the first two peeps to do and in what authority?  What about being light and salt?  What else did Jesus do?  Well, He did what He saw the Father doing.  He humbled Himself and committed all He did to serving the Father which led to serving others.  Can I say His lifestyle is our lifestyle and not be too ridiculous?

So now what?

Citations & Notations
[1] Over the centuries the church has become the name for a gathering place believers go to in order to worship God, fellowship with one another, and hear the word preached.  If you're not Protestant, it's a building where Mass is held and believers receive communion from a more formalized priesthood.  Protestantism has their own version in the form of a pastor.  In the 1st century though, the church, or in many places in the NT, the ekklesia, was the group of people, "the called out ones."  In other words, we are God's temple together and individually at the same time.  Hence, Jesus can make crazy statements like, "Where two are three are gathered in my name, there I am" (Matthew 18:20).  Notice, it's where we are gathered.  So, if you gather in a house, on the street, at a bar, at a coffee house, at work, or at school, there He is if you're doing it as a group as small as two or three and in His name.  The concept of church as a building became far more rooted in the 4th Century under Emperor Constantine.
[2] By church minded I mean serving God is tantamount to only serving in church-based ministry in the church in roles of pastor, pastor's wife, evangelist, theologian, etc.  To be called to ministry is to be called into the church to serve in the church and only for the church even though missionary work and helping the poor is in this equation.  We often don't see that being a teacher in a secular K-12 is an actual ministry.  Being a doctor is an actual ministry.  Taking a political office, even entering in to entertain, can be a "calling."
**Little crown photo by Ashton Mullins on Unspalsh