What “Church” Should Look Like
When those who are called and gifted by God work in humble partnership to lead the people of God, there is no chaos or confusion.
The ideals for being in ministry are far, far different than those of secular corporate business. The ideals for ministry are found when those called and gifted work together as a team for the common goals of doing God’s works. As each individual works within the framework of their gifting, they overlap in their spheres of influence, supporting and encouraging each other in service. None is better or more privileged than the other, although some may be more public than others. The source of their harmonious unity lies in their individual and communal connection to the inspiration and unction of the Holy Spirit. Those in God’s ministry are a more fluid and flexible team than the rigid structures of secular corporations.
It is when people are chosen to lead the body of Christ simply because they are male (or white, or tall, or strong, or anything preferred by humans) and available that we end up with confusion and sometimes a loss of faith. People lose faith because the non-anointed individual seeks to lead by coercion, demands, and charisma instead of the Holy Spirit moving the person to speak and direct according to what God knows the people need. Further confusion arises when one individual seeks to be the head of the whole church and delineates directives for all other ministries. In effect he removes them from the line of Godly authority in the Holy Spirit.
God’s ways of leading are different than the corporate business world. In the corporate business world there is a top and a bottom. The top gives directives to the person(s) on the rung below him, who in turn are authorized to give directive/demands to the person(s) below them. The top leads according to what he deems is beneficial and fulfills his purposes. God’s ways of leading are to get under a person and lift them up so that they are benefited, and God is benefited by benefiting us. God’s ways of leading are to call, equip, anoint, and gift. God does this in teams. The five-fold ministry is a team of leaders who have different functions. The apostle does not direct or demand from any of the other team leaders. The original apostles had a different job in that they established the church, so to a degree they were more directive as God led them. Today’s apostle does not direct the prophet, who does not direct the evangelist, who does not direct the teacher, who does not direct the pastor/Shepherd in their individual giftings or responsibilities. The team gets their directives both individually from God, and in joint counsel with humble petitions to God. Their job is always to serve and not be served. They are servants of God, serving his people.
The response of those being ministered to is to listen with a mind to being persuaded of the truth and to honor, respect, and assist them in whatever they need. This is the humble ’one anothers’ of Christianity. Those who lead are responsible for what they say, do to, and teach others. Those being ministered to are responsible to be willing to receive and to go to God for confirmation. Each individual is responsible for what they choose to believe.
The ’law’ of the body of Christ must be God always first and foremost with devotion of the whole being, body, mind, and soul. The necessary results of obedience to that are that we love ’one another’ (check again the allelon’s of Scripture) with the same honor and respect we have for ourselves. Remember ’no man hates his own body but loves and cherishes it.’ In this, all the laws and requirements are fulfilled. No anarchy. No confusion. No chaos. The body of Christ is not a ’dead’ corporate organization, but a living organism.
The ideals for marriage are similar in that they are melded in their likeness of being very human (as Adam exulted, ’now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh’) and beneficially supportive of each other (submitting one to another in the fear of God) in their differences of man and woman. The common goal is to function as one entity (teamwork) without loss of individuality. With Christ as their mutual lifeline and source for everything, and the Holy Spirit as empowerer and very real guide to receive God’s directions, this can be achieved.
The differences in the marriage is that two shall become very one. The idea is not for one will to be given full activity while the other will is subjugated and thus must die, but that both wills must die to the degree that is required for them to harmoniously become as one. This is achieved by both partners individually and jointly seeking the One who is the source of their being, Christ. When there is confusion, they seek God. When there is trouble they despair of, they seek God.
And again I say: in my opinion, those who settle for the hierarchical privileged and subjugated models are missing out on not only huge blessings, but a means for God to assist in bringing each person to a closer relationship with Christ.