X0607...........The Timetable of Ministry.
Question: How long does it take to "get into ministry" in your church?
Does it take a long time?
Well, first of all, this totally ignores what the Bible says about ministry, that it is a "gift given to every one of us (yes, the "5-fold ministry!). The Bibel says that ministry is in everyone, en those that are not saved! God created every person to serve Him. The "names" of ministry (apostle, prophet evangelist pastor teacher) are funtions, annointings that we al possess and that God gives and directs in all of us. Ministry is "in all of us" just as God is in all of us (it says this in Ephesians 4!--read it some time). Ministry is vital, as the Bile says that it is these gifts, operating together, which "edify the Body"--build up the Body of Christ--build God's kingdom inthe earth. In other words it is these gifts, operating together, that get people saved. They are vital, important, and obviously the more we have of them, the more we do them, the more we can build Gods' kingdom.
Yet, in most churches, it takes years for someone to "get into" ministry.
Well, the Biblcal excuses for delaying minsitry come from half-quotes. For example--a minister must be "tested and proved". Does the Bible say this? Yes it does...
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. (1Timothy 3:10)
By taking this word out of context we presume this means that someone "in authority" must test or "prove" someone before they can hold an "office" in the church.
Here is what is wrong with this:
1. the word "office" is not in the Greek text. It was inserted by King James translators (and this is a hint of where we get our wrong ideas about the minsitry timetable)
2. the Bible says elswhere that we are not supposed to exercsie authority one over another among oursleves. there is no person in the church who is meant to be the judge of other peope's minsitry.
Why not let the Bible--IN CONTEXT--tell us what the qualifications are for ministry?
If we did this, and looked at all the parameters set in 1Timothy 3: 1-16, we probably would be able to qualify 85% of believers as ministers! The qualifactions the Bible sets for ministry are really quite simple and make a lot of sense. Not having unruly children, not being drinkers, being honest, not greedy, these all make sense if we are going to qualify people to operate in home ministry. The church in the Bible operated out of the Christian home, it was not a mass assembly of people, but many small groups, functioning in the Gospel.
But we are not really any closer to answering the first question--
Why does it take so long for people to "get into" ministry?
Well if we read the Bible with an open mind we will come to realize that the church we have today is NOT the church which the Bible describes.
The fact is that somebody, somewhere made some changes.
The meeting of Christians was redefined. The functiong of believers together was redefined. The definition of ministry was redefined, and so was the functioning of ministry. An authoritarian format of operating was established (and in fact, enforced by law!).
Do you realize this?
The timetable of minsitry was established by Roman emperors, Dark Ages popes, and protestant kings. People living a long time ago decided what ministry is, and who should be in it--and how someone should be chosen to be in it.
Now you may not believe you follow any of these people, but if you are still following their example, and basing your definitions of minsitry and authority and church operation on THEIR ideas, then you are NOT following the example in the Bible.
And if we are not following the "timetable" in the Bible, we are hindering ministry.
And if we are hindering minsitry, we are hindering God by not doing the service He would like to be done.
So people are going to Hell, while we are "testing and proving" and believing minstry is "authority and rule", instead of service and love.
You know that God is calling you to serve Him.
Guess what--He is calling all of us.