Friday, November 9, 2018

"re-Church"

Considering the tragedy of last week, with the young pastor at a large church in California committing suicide, and after enduring the recent rant of a well-known minister about people “leaving” churches, and not having the same passion or commitment to “the church” as the “pastor”, AND, about folks not giving enough or attending the gatherings consistently enough, I thought it timely to re-visit this earlier post….
I heard some rather alarming statistics recently. Unbelievably high percentages of people in ministry who gave up on what they considered their calling, walked away from their purpose, battled depression and mental illness, felt abandoned as “members” were leaving what they were building, and who also said that many of their families were negatively affected because of the perceived demands and pressures in “ministry”. I totally understand, and get that there is a real enemy trying to take out people who seek to engage and reflect God’s good kingdom work. But could it be that the occupational hazards of stress, frustration, & pressure in ministry are often times self-inflicted, because many people insist on trying to fulfill ministry expressions, focuses, images, and roles never intended by God to be associated with or define church or ministry? Or perhaps the “labels” of ministry that people use so often today such as “pastor”, “spiritual covering”, “bishop”, “apostle”, etc… were not intended to look like “western church” culture has made them to be. I’m pretty sure that the early church looked a bit different than much of what we accept as the norm today, and even vehemently defend as the only “legitimate” expression of “church”, in function and design. Maybe we have mistakenly attempted to live up to the false expectations of others, and the prevalent philosophy of what “ministry” is really about? Jesus was the ultimate model of ministry, and He gave the purest example and expression of the work of His church. He lived un-phased by comparison or competition, totally at rest, joyful, and ministering out of the overflow of His life and the purpose of His Father. He was clear of mind, always living in love, with a complete understanding of what true abundance, success, and life were truly all about. The Kingdom of God is not an American made “corporate”, top down, “caste” system of church and ministry. There is ONE shepherd, and it’s HIS church. What man builds, he has to maintain. And yet most continue to defend the old wineskins and marginalize and criticize those who would point out this reality. #NewThing #NewDayNewWineNewWay #WhoKnew #ThrivingNotSurviving

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