"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Why Jesus Never Did What We Do in Ministry Today

Here's Part 1

So, while waiting for the Father to start things for his ministry, Isaiah 53.2 says Jesus just "grew up before him" (the Father)". He "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" [Luke 2.52].

He never desperately went around the neighborhood looking for someone to invite to his ministry. He never did any visitation work.

He just grew up.

I used to do things the traditional denominational way. I'd go around the neighborhood, introduce myself as a pastor and invite folks to my bible studies, prayer meetings and then later to church. Sometimes I forced them, pestered them with my visits, or made them feel guilty if they didn't come. But then one day, in my quiet time, God showed me something in his Word.

I saw how Jesus never did any of the things I was doing. Neither did his apostles in Acts.

That served like a bright bulb that suddenly lighted amid black darkness. What did Jesus and his apostles do then? Like Jesus, the apostles simply "grew up before Him." They roamed the streets of Jerusalem with Jesus, literally lived with him everyday, absorbed his ways and character, and did nothing until the Father said it was time.

They didn't decide a date or schedule when ministry should start. They simply grew up before him like a tender shoot. And then one day, the Holy Spirit came and everything began.

So, that's exactly what I did. I mean, I quit traditional and denominational church, stepped out in faith, and started to just grow up before Him like a tender shoot. For two years, I had no ministry (no job, no money) and we lived by faith (we still do). I prayed and meditated the Word of God so I could grow up before Him like a tender shoot---exactly what Jesus did.

I didn't worry about ministry or where I'd get my church members or how my church would "grow." That was the Father's concern. If he called me, it means he has prepared something for me.

Abraham was only one man when I called him. But when I blessed him, he became a great nation. [Isaiah 51.2].
Jesus Starts Preaching and Discipling

Later, we see Jesus starting to preach and heal and drive out demons. Then, he called his disciples, picked them personally. 

Jesus never promoted his ministry or invited people to come to his worship service, conference or crusade. People just came to him, as people did to John the baptizer's desert ministry. They went there of their own volition. How did this happen?

1. First, Jesus lived the life of the Father. He served as Light.

"...the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." [Matthew 4.16]
2. Then, his life fulfilled Scripture. In other words, he lived out the Word of God daily. He applied the Word to his daily life so he'd have the life and character of the Father. And people around saw this powerful testimony. Ministry should be heavily backed up by spiritual feeding using the spoken Word of God.

"...he went to live in Capernaum...to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah," [Matthew 4.12-14]. 

3. His preaching was powerful because it came with heaven's full backing---signs and wonders and healing. In contrast, churches today use gimmicks, fanfare, entertainment, advertising and marketing---the ways of this world, not the ways of Jesus.

"Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him." [Matthew 4.23-25].
Now, this is not a formula for building a mega church (mega church, by the way, is the new idolatry of most pastors today). The verses above was how Jesus did church ministry and the apostles followed it. If we are true followers of Jesus Christ, we should do everything according to his ways.

It doesn't matter if you end up with a big or small church. God decides that. After all, it's his church, not ours. Like in the parable, it's the prerogative of the vineyard owner to give you ten, five or one talent. And how big you grow the talent does not reflect your greatness or superiority over others. In the end, you're all given the same appraisal---"good and faithful servant."

Those found faithful with more will be given more. But again, Kingdom policy says more does not mean superior. It simply means, you have received God's grace to produce more. The ability comes from God and he alone is to be praised. Remember what Jesus taught on this:

So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, "We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty." [Luke 17.10]

In fact, you can be found faithful even with your less. The rich put in large amounts in the offering box while the widow put in a meager sum. But Jesus appreciated her and was unimpressed by the big offerings of the rich.

Many ministers with big ministries today often act like they are superior to those with smaller ministries. They feel smaller ministers should listen when they speak. John the baptizer had a bigger ministry than what Jesus had, but he felt he should be the one baptized by Jesus.

Greatness in the Kingdom is not how you have more but how you live and behave as the least. Jesus said, a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. In short, in God's eyes, success is not how you have more---though it's good to have more, so you can share more with others.

Neither is it how you have less.

But success is how you remain meek and simple, either with more or less, realizing all you have is by God's grace alone.

So Jesus simply deepened himself in the Word and lived according to it daily, then the Father moved the people to be attracted to him. Jesus never pursued anyone to make then his church members. Rather, people came to him in hopes of somehow becoming his disciples.

This is how Christian church ministries should be done.

Now, to answer our question---why Jesus never did what we do in ministry today: he never did them because you cannot use the ways of the world and end up with God's Kingdom.

[Continued here...]

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