In concert with the 2008 Bejing Olympics, my Faith Community, Christian Life Assembly, is running a Spiritual Olympics series, complete with messages, service opportunities, and medal ceremonies for believers who have overcome significant challenges in their lives and are faithfully walking the Discipleship road. It’s an awesome vehicle for motivating believers to walk the Discipleship talk.
This morning, I woke up thinking about discipleship, the Florida Outpouring, and Todd Bentley. While it’s clear to me that Todd Bentley fell short of the goal, he is still the Lord’s servant, and a lesson for the rest of us, who are either sitting in the pews napping or otherwise preoccupied with our own pursuits. It’s time for all of us to put on the Armor of Salvation, get off the bench, and plunge into the River of God! The harvest is ripe but the laborers are slacking!
He has called us all into the harvest fields. His Kingdom is not about a few “superstars” and their personal circumstances. He has called us all to be disciples! And being God, He will take anyone who steps up to the plate–even the most wounded among us, as long as He hears our yes. It’s true though, He has a hard time getting good help! I get that. Human character being what it is, we’re apt to let anyone but ourselves do battle for the Kingdom, rather than risk our own reputation and comfort.
It’s not all ordinary believers’ fault though. Truthfully, leaders throughout the two thousand years of church history have worked to make sure the faithful remained passively plunked down in the pews–tithing, serving in the low places, and “obediently” following their instructions. Anyone who was bold enough to speak up risked being ostracized or worse: put on trial as a heretic, an Inquisition, beheading, burning at the stake, or some other fatal reward for their outspokenness.
Leaders have aggressively coveted the places of honor, and the applause of the faithful, making sure that professional ministry remained a “leadership only” function. The trouble with that structure is that it is not the discipleship structure Jesus told us all to follow!
Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:18-20
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. Mark 16:15,17-18
God has called Shepherds and Christian leaders in this age to abandon the hierarchical prisons of former times and open the floodgates of the waiting harvest to believers of every tribe and nation, every age group and ethnic origin. It’s time for all of us to be about our Father’s business!
Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Mark 16:20