One of the New Testament names for the church is "the body of Christ." The Lord used metaphors such as this to illustrate the truth that He is trying to convey. This one, that His church is called to be a "body," indicates that it is composed of many different, functioning parts. Christianity was never intended to be a spectator sport where the multitude of believers watch just a few play the game. Every Christian is called to a ministry. Every single Christian has a part to fulfill if the body of Christ is to function as it was commissioned to do.
I often ask audiences how many know what their calling is, and the usual response is less than ten percent. When I ask how many of those are walking in their callings, the response is usually less than one percent of the entire audience. How much could you accomplish if only one percent of your body was functioning? This must be one of the major reasons for the general weakness and ineffectiveness of the church today.
I talk to many people who want to "go into full time ministry," but when I ask them what ministry, they very seldom have an answer. I have never seen anyone with that kind of a general vision succeed. The more specific the answer to that question is, the more likely that person is to walk in what they are called to.
"Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105), which means that we are supposed to be able to see where we are going. However, most of the time our vision will be general at first, and then get more specific as we proceed toward the goal. Solomon observed: "But the path of the righteous is like the light of the dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day" (Proverbs 4:18). This means that our path should became clearer as we proceed. If it is not, we must consider that something is wrong with our walk.
The general purpose of every Christian is to be like Jesus and to do the works that He did. We will be true ministers to the degree that we are like Jesus. Jesus was the composite of the entire New Covenant ministry in one person. He was the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the shepherd, and the teacher. When He ascended He gave gifts to men (see Ephesians 4:8-12), and now we have individuals who are apostles, others are prophets, evangelists, pastors, or teachers. It takes all of the ministries together to fully manifest Christ. That is why Paul did not say, "I have the mind of Christ," but rather "We have the mind of Christ" (I Corinthians 2:16). No one man could have His complete mind.
Therefore, as we mature we will begin to focus an specific aspects of His ministry, such as being a pastor, or teacher, etc. We may also focus on growing in certain gifts of the Spirit that work with our ministry.
To be able to specialize like this requires that we become interdependent on the other ministries given to the church. And that is part of God's primary design for His church. Any leader who cannot delegate will never be as effective a leader as he could have been. In fact, one of the basic characteristics of God is that He is the ultimate delegator. He made the world, and then gave dominion to Adam.
The Lord Jesus spent a majority of His time preparing His disciples for leadership in His church. It may appear that those who had this authority delegated to them did not do a very good job with it, but He gave it to them anyway. If we wait until someone is perfect before we trust them with responsibility we will never be able to do it. Were we perfect when we were first given responsibility? Are we perfect now? If we are really like Him we will be delegators, and we will delegate to those who will learn most of what they need to know about their jobs through their mistakes.
If we do not learn to delegate we will not accomplish what we are called to do.
Knowing who we are not is almost as important as knowing who we are. If those in ministry do not quit doing what they have not been called to do they will fail in their ultimate purpose. If they do not quit doing what they have not been called to do, those who have been called to those jobs will never have a chance to develop in their callings.
This one factor is the cause of many of the frustrations and divisions in the church today. If we are not allowed to function in what we were called to be, we cannot be ourselves, and there is a terrible frustration and confusion that will arise from this. This yoke of not being able to function is now on possibly most of the Christians in the world today, and it is the cause of many of our divisions and powerlessness.
One can look at the advance of civilization and see that this advancement has followed the pattern of increasing specialization. That is why the development of the assembly line, where different individuals each did just one part of the job instead of each trying to complete the whole product multiplied productivity many times over.
Go to[ Part 2].
Copyright: 1996 by Morningstar Publications and Ministries. All rights reserved.
This article is published courtesy of "The Morningstar Publications and Ministries". If you would like to peruse more articles from the pen of Rick Joyner, visit Morningstar's website. Clicklogo.
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