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Personal & Relational

A Personal Invite

Discipleship must first and foremost begin with an acceptance to a personal invitation to a life with Jesus. It is this simple. One cannot say he is a disciple of Jesus without having an intimate relationship with him. Discipleship must have an element of life on life. People are nurtured in relationships, not in the transference of knowledge or any content. Moreover, Stevenson enumerated vital principles that influence effective discipleship in the 21st Century.  

Aside from being relational, discipleship must also be biblical, applicable, accountable, and reproducible. The word of God should remain to be the central basis for making disciples. There is no better way to follow Jesus than to read about who he was, how he thought, and what he did. Discipleship must bring impact to others. If not, then it is merely a religious practice. Discipleship also holds the followers of Christ accountable to a life of faith in their daily lives. Lastly, genuine discipleship can only happen when disciples make disciples. It’s a multiplication process.

Movement across generations

In the article “Twenty-first Century Discipleship: A Biblical Theology for Changing Times,” written by Dr. Michael J. Wilkins, he described the changing waves of discipleship across different eras. Like the ocean waves, he noted that the waves of church movements that impact us today are usually generated by far away and long ago.

And, to ride them effectively, we need to know as much as possible about the forces that have brought them about and how they impact us today. Moreover, Dr. Wilkins noted that discipleship is not a recent or unique phenomenon. More than 2,000 years ago,  Jesus Christ entered human history and called out to men and women, “Follow Me!”  

Just like what Phil Stevenson has emphasized, Dr. Wilkins considers discipleship as one that originates with a gracious call from Jesus to enter into an intimate relationship with Him. It begins with intentional evangelism that challenges people to count the cost of accepting Jesus’ call to life in the kingdom of God. Across forces and times, discipleship is simply living in this world with Jesus Christ. It’s about conforming to his image through the Holy Spirit’s power. Moreover, it would help if you allowed yourself to be nurtured by a community of believers. You also need to fulfill your purpose to make disciples.

Moreover, Dr. Wilkins considers other essentials of discipleship in the present Century aside from being generated by Jesus. The Holy Spirit initiated and empowered people for discipleship. God’s Word continually guides. They are also nurtured in communities of faith. Christians must carry it out by sojourning in our everyday, watching world.

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An Effective Model for 21st Century Discipleship

An Effective Model for 21st Century Discipleship

Jesus showed us how to do church and small groups

Jesus modeled discipleship in a very personal and relational way without any sign of complexity. The Messiah called each disciple through a personal invitation. He only used simple words that opened the doors to a transformed life to everyone whom he invited.  

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him

 “Follow Me” are two simple words that are very clear and personal. Jesus did not say, “come to me and follow me only if you do this thing or if you know that doctrine.” He did not invite people to come and join his causes or the principles he believed in. Rather, Jesus said, “Follow ‘Me.’” Jesus called out his first disciples to a relationship with him. This simple invitation of Jesus should remain the same for all generations.  

21st Century Church

Discipleship in the 21st Century should follow the way Jesus modeled it. It must first and foremost begin with a clear and compelling invitation. Moreover, there is something more to discipleship than just the invitation. Phil Stevenson describes the invitation of Jesus as clear, consistent, and challenging.  

When Jesus invited Peter and Andrew, they left their nets at once and immediately followed Jesus. They had to let go of what they already had to discover what could be there in Jesus. In contrast, Jesus extended the same invitation to a wealthy man who had so many possessions to let go of, so he responded to the invitation by holding on to what he owns and knows at the expense of living the unknown with Jesus.

As it was in the 1st Century, so it is in the 21st Century; Jesus is inviting us to respond to the opportunity extended by Jesus to follow him. Those who respond set out on the path of discipleship, following the way Jesus modeled it to them.    

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Why Your Church Needs a Small Group Ministry?

Reasons for Establishing a Small Group Ministry

In his article, “10 Reasons Why Your Church Should Have Small Groups”, Daniel Threlfall identifies the importance of small groups. First on his list is that small groups foster close relationships and basic community. A small group atmosphere is good for establishing friendships since individuals tend to talk more in small groups.  

The second is that small groups provide a comfortable environment to welcome nonbelievers to the Christian faith.

A natural and understandable fear common among us is fear in forming relationships, especially if it involves sharing our faith and beliefs with other people.

However, inviting someone to a small group meeting provides a way to involve a nonbeliever in the church. A nonbeliever is more likely to ask questions, get answers, and form relationships with a small group of believers. Thus, small groups can be a powerful missional tool, allowing for the greater spread of the gospel among nonbelievers in the community.  

Third, small groups provide a good way to care for the needs of people within the church.

When a small group member is struggling, it is much easier for the other group members to notice. They can already provide assistance. The structure of a small group is essentially a community of friends of the same faith. As a result, friends are meant to help one another, especially if they are friends in Christ.  

Fourth, small groups allow Christians to live out their faith instead of becoming churchgoers and mere Gospel listeners.

Since members discuss the Sunday preaching, talk about their personal and spiritual battles, and/or pray for one another during meetings, small groups provide a setting for Christians to live out their faith.  

Fifth on Threlfall’s list is that small groups provide focused prayer for one another.

Threlfall noted that in a small group meeting, each of the present people took a few minutes to tell others about their particular challenges or concerns. Then, as soon as one is finished, the person next to him will take some time to pray for him. Small groups are a great place for prayer meetings.  

Sixth, small groups offer a comfortable atmosphere for openness.

One admirable thing about small groups is that members often meet in the comfort of their homes, where people can open up, listen, learn, and grow. Threlfall pointed out that this is the same with the first disciples of Jesus who are meeting in houses or being part of a household.  

Seventh, small groups allow for mutual edification among believers.

Believers tend to depend upon the leaders for spiritual food and nourishment easily. However, the Scripture states otherwise, for God also gives spiritual gifts to all believers, not just to the preachers and leaders. The whole church benefits from it.

Every Christian should minister to other Christians with their gifts, and this happens most naturally, effectively, and purposefully within small groups.   

Eight, small groups encourage better learning.

Listening to a Sunday preaching is a great way to learn the Word, but it is easy to become detached from the message, making us passive listeners. This is not the case within a small group. As a few people gather together, every individual is expected to be involved and to participate. Active involvement is an effective way to learn better.  

Ninth, small groups are a source of encouragement and accountability.

It is easy to go in and out of the church and not be noticed. This is common with megachurches, but it also happens in an average-sized church of 100 or 150 attendees.

People come for each Sunday service but do not get themselves involved. These individuals need accountability in their lives, encouragement in their walk with God, and/or help in some way in which small groups can provide.  

Lastly, small groups cultivate leadership within the church.

Someone is necessary to lead a small group meeting or at least facilitate the discussion. Thus, there is a need for leaders other than the pastor. Small groups provide opportunities for leadership development among members within the church.

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jesus-Called-The-Twelve

Jesus Called The Twelve – First Small Group Ministry

Small Groups Were Fundamental

When we study the structure of how the early church did ministry, we will find that small groups have indeed existed since the time of Jesus. They did not tag them as “meetings.”

When Jesus started his ministry on earth, he sought out several people. They are twelve disciples – Christ’s own brand of a small group.

Jesus gave these men the honor of being the first disciples and Jesus’ ministry. They paved the way for Christianity to be as it is now.  

In the Bible, the first mention of anything is considered monumental. The first mention of the word dictates its true context. In the same vein, Jesus introduced discipleship in the context of a small group.  When Jesus called the 12, it represented the first form of small group ministry and discipleship in the Bible.

A Small Group of Disciples to Mentor

During the first century, it was common for leaders – be this in religion, philosophy, or politics – to have a dedicated group of followers and apprentices.

In Judaism at the time, it was common for rabbis to have their own set of apprentices following after their footsteps.

Normally, interested students would approach a rabbi they admire and ask if he would mentor them. If he agrees to take them on, they will only be considered a part of the rabbi’s group.

However, Jesus did the complete opposite and chose seemingly random people with not particularly noteworthy occupations. It was common for the rabbis to mentor the brightest pupils about the Jewish faith, so having a group with many fishermen was outside this norm.

Jesus’ Small Group Had Different Personalities

At the time, there must have been plenty of men who were seemingly qualified, educated, and teachable, so there must be a reason why Jesus chose these particular twelve. Interestingly enough, they came from backgrounds various enough for us not to detect a pattern.

The first he called out were brothers Peter and Andrew. They were fishermen. Jesus called the brothers James and John next.  Jesus came across them when they were still fishing with their father.

Though their occupations were not blatantly mentioned in the Bible, Philip, James, and Thomas, there is evidence they were also fishermen since they were fishing when Jesus showed himself to them after his resurrection.  

On the other hand, Matthew was a tax collector. In that culture, Jewish people despised this profession. Jewish people considered them traitors. They believed tax collectors were corrupt. 

Meanwhile, Simon used to be a zealot, a religious sect that instigated protests and rebellions to overthrow the Roman government.

The opposing views and personalities in this group show us that Jesus did not choose them based on their credentials or righteousness.

Bible commentators can say that these disciples lived rather ordinary lives before they chose to follow him. Advanced studies of the Gospels show that none of them were especially students of the law. 

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Highlight: Beware of the Birds

Highlight: Beware of the Birds

God is the Sower. Ultimately, nothing grows if He did not plant it. He uses people to establish His purposes. Most of the time, He can use you to share the Gospel with your friend. However, it’s also only God who can make things grow. 

Sometimes, we are the field by which God sows things. Unfortunately, there are times when we become the birds who snatch away the good that God has planted in the hearts of others.

Who are the Birds?

The church can attract different sets of people. Sometimes, the people are like the birds in the parable of Jesus.

Jesus uses these parables to warn us. There would be members of the church who can steal or kill or destroy what God has been doing. The enemy is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Every Christian must be vigilant. In fact, even Christians can be stirred in the wrong direction and become birds at one point in their lives.

Some people may also take advantage of the church community. They become members not because of their faith but because they want to be served. They want to benefit from belonging to the church. However, since there is no genuine repentance and Lordship in their lives, it ends up in chaos. Church leaders must be vigilant that “birds” do not steal the seed that has been planted for the church to grow. Birds snatch up the seed. They steal the seed so they cannot take root and bloom.

As true believers, we can take comfort in the fact that we can ask for wisdom from God. We must be careful to weed out such people so that they don’t steal away the fruits that have the potential to grow in our lives. God can sow a prophetic word in your heart, but birds (fear or doubt) can snatch them away. Nevertheless, birds have a purpose in the story.

Jesus still allowed the presence of Judas Iscariot as one of his chosen twelve even when he knew that Judas was bound to betray him (Jn. 6:70). This shows us that Jesus, in fact, allows or permits evil to coexist with good under his sovereignty and use it for his purposes. 

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Breaking Down the Parable of the Mustard Seed

What does the mustard seed teach us?

Countless churches and Christians today look to the parable of the mustard seed. We must take cues from the values that Jesus was presenting to the early believers when he spoke of it.

Still, the parable has important facets that we can only understand if we have the same context and knowledge as the ones who initially heard it.

While most had come to understand and appreciate how the mustard seed was the smallest seed known when this parable was given, there are elements that we do not inherently know due to cultural differences.

Agriculture was an important topic for the listeners of Jesus. The listeners knew the specific traits and functions of the different kinds of seeds.

For instance, apart from the fact that the mustard seed was known for its size, its quality was also something that was to be noted. Apparently, it is also famous for being an irritant.

Should it touch a person’s skin, it can cause contact dermatitis. The place of contact will turn red and feel as if it is burning. In modern times, we mix it with vinegar, oils, wine. People need to mix other spices with it before the public can commercially consume the seed.

Small in size but with great potential

Legend tells us that when Darius, the king of Persia, invaded Europe with his army, he sent a bag of sesame seeds to Alexander the Great to symbolize that there are as many soldiers in his army as there are seeds in the bag. Stepping up to the plate, Alexander sent back a bag of mustard seeds to Darius as a way of saying that while their army may be many, his army is biting and fiery. Such was the case for the mustard seed – small in size but large in potential. 

 

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why the megachurch is criticized

Why The Megachurch is Criticized

The Risk of Disengagement

Despite these efforts, the megachurch has been constantly criticized for the sheer number of attendees per service would mean that there will be people who won’t get engaged or given enough attention.

Additionally, the setup of the worship service with a high stage and a large number of congregants can give off the impression of a concert.

Consequently, the attendees are mere spectators and faces in a crowd. Thousands more choose to attend for the thousands of people who choose to commit to the megachurch and get involved. They do so simply because they get to live in some anonymity. They cannot do that if they join a smaller church.

A large number of attendees attend each service. Therefore, some locations can host more than 5,000 people at a time. The multiple services run each weekend.

The majority of the people are scrambling out of the venue even before the service has ended. There isn’t really time to talk with friends afterward, nor can people loiter inside the hall because everyone has to be cleared out, and the room must be re-done completely within 15 minutes.

 Some consider megachurches’ worship time as mere experiential performances. Similar to rock concerts, the music team leads worship with fog machines and synchronized lights.

We are guilty of pointing a lot of fingers in the way of megachurches for their strict programs. The traditional churches would claim that these megachurches leave no room for the Holy Spirit.

Moreover,  they would accuse the megachurch of the “specularization” of something that is supposed to be sacred.

Is it too personality-driven?

A harsher criticism is that megachurches follow a largely questionable ideology. 

For instance,  megachurches are largely leader-driven, with one specific point person that most churches look up to.

This can be the senior pastor or the president of an organization of ministries. But while this leader is almost certainly of ministerial position, this leader is a minister who cannot attend to everything. Most attendees have probably never met the leader in person.

The purpose then of the leader is to embody a vision and get the members to act on this. The criticism for Christian celebrities is present. It adds to the seemingly impersonal setup of megachurch services. 

Opening Doors for More People

At the end of the day, megachurches have done their part in making ministries and discipleship available for all who attend. To balance out the distance between the senior minister and the general attendee, they have employed small groups, also known as Bible studies, care groups, or fellowship groups.

As a solution to the increasing number of attendees, the megachurch has chosen to empower its leaders and allow them the authority to shepherd and disciple their communities within these groups. In this context, they really get to build relationships with each other and discuss their personal problems, along with Biblical truths. Those who attend small groups are active members. Most megachurches make it a foundational requirement for volunteers and leaders. In this scenario, the small group leader then takes on the role of being a minister to his or her members.  

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The Church Caters to the People

The Diverse Church 

Megachurch leaders designed today’s church ministries to cater to the needs of the particular context they are in.  As a result, they have a variety of congregations. The preaching style and the genre of worship music already vary within churches in a city.  For example, if we flesh out the details of their congregation, we will find stark differences in every church. However, megachurches have an advantage over other churches. They can cater to a wide array of needs due to their very nature.  

Social observers have time and again likened the megachurch to a shopping mall. The consumer-driven ministries are viewed as seasonal offerings. Consequently, you can liken them to specialized boutiques. People come in and out of the mall depending on what they need. 

On the other hand, people can think of the core ministries as anchor stores. Their existence continues to draw people to enter the church even if the need for seasonal offerings falls. This structure provides members a continuous supply of activities to suit their needs and tastes. Meanwhile, it also gives active volunteers the option to choose which particular ministry they want to serve. Therefore, in the megachurch, there is something for everyone. 

Ministries in the Traditional Church

The traditional church has a limited number of ministries, and perhaps the only art-based ministry they have is the choir. However, in the megachurch, people are given more opportunities to use their natural talents in the arts.

Aside from the music team, most megachurches also have dance troupes, video presentations, and interpretative dancing. Those gifted in making visual arts can use their talent to create posters for the weekly sermon and special events, and the painters create backdrops for the stage. Several churches are even known to do elaborate stage plays and musical performances during special events and holidays, involving the children doing Sunday school as they do. 

The weekly worship services held by the megachurch further prove the variety. While local churches only commonly hold a weekly Sunday service, megachurches conduct various services throughout the week to cater to different people and leanings. For instance, there will be Wednesday services for working young professionals, Friday evening services catered to the youth, Saturday prayer meetings, and Sunday services are separated by language for multi-racial congregations.

Worship styles can also differ as the worship team adjusts this based on the crowd they are serving. Overall gives people the option to choose a particular service and time that works best for them.  

Targetting Specific Groups

This also helps the megachurch narrow down their statistics and connect with their target groups of audience.

The youth attending Friday services will find it easier to know their crowd and make friends. In contrast, the internationals attending language-specific Sunday services will immediately feel a sense of belonging, thus making it easier for the leaders to reach out to them.

The singles ministry won’t have too much difficulty gathering people for relationship-themed training and events as most people are already together in one service.

In contrast, those who joined the dance troupe have an automatic set of acquaintances they have something in common with. 

Family-centered events such as Mothers’ Day Outs and game nights provide both parents and children the avenue to build relationships with their own age groups and life stages. Since the megachurch is large, the narrowed audiences per service and ministry provide the avenue not to make people feel as if the large overall congregation swallows them up. 

Interestingly enough, even with the apparent segregation of different cultures and life-stages to make people feel more like they belong, megachurches also excel in integrating these people and blending different social statuses, races, and life groups. As such, a megachurch experiences higher involvement and participation rates from its members than other churches.

There is the value given to volunteerism and social activity. Because the structure itself needs hundreds if not thousands of workers to function, even the non-committed members find themselves helping out. And eventually, it is through their volunteering that they become planted in the church even more. 

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The Problem with Megachurches

The Megachurch

What is it? A megachurch is a congregation with more than 2,000 attendees. The existence of megachurches has long been debated and argued over throughout modern church history.  It’s not just the ballooning number of church attendees. A megachurch has other elements such as contemporary worship and programmatic ministries. It also has charismatic leadership, membership relations, and integration of all the latest technological advancements.

 This kind of structure has seen a rise in modern Christianity. However, it goes against what traditional churches looked like in previous centuries. There may have been congregations with large numbers before, but never this much, all simultaneously. The megachurch completely took over the American Christian scene in the 1970s, and the numbers have since grown and multiplied.

In 1990, there were 300 megachurches in the United States, and by 2010, this number has grown to 1,600.

This unprecedented growth rate implies that the megachurch has, in fact, become a new organizational norm in Christianity as it supplies the needs of the modern culture and society. 

Is it just a trend?

The trend brought celebrities and notable influencers into the fold of Christianity. Nevertheless, others would digress that this is simply because being part of certain megachurches has been viewed as trendy. The sheer size alone would intrigue people. The megachurches are dabbling into television and social media. The church members would eventually become self-generating. Studies attest to this. Large gatherings of people create a social vortex. It can draw the interest of others. Interestingly enough, even the controversy surrounding megachurches causes people to attend and look at the cause of such social strain.  

Is it just the numbers?

For instance, the World Changers Ministries undertook an 800-seat dome in the 1990s for its Atlanta congregation. This drew much attention and concern from the local neighborhood associations. Eventually, the criticism ended up featured in newspapers and TV reports. This, in turn, qualified as free publicity for the ministry, and an increase in attendance was observed thereafter. However, while an 8000-attendee congregation appears controversial to some traditional churches and critics. There are plenty of other churches with larger numbers. America’s largest megachurch is that of Joel Osteen, with over 52,000 members. This may seem large, but it has nothing in number compared to South Korea’s Yoido Full Gospel Church, with over 800,000 members.

Consequently, this large number would make it difficult for the churches to keep track of all the members. Nearly all megachurches have organizational structures that aim to provide support and services to everyone involved. They employ what is known as the “seeker-sensitive approach,” that is, the practice of being deliberately welcoming to newcomers through informal set-ups and active engagements. Parking lot assistants begin the experience by courteously assisting everyone who comes along, and ushers take it a step further by heartily smiling and pouring attention to the people who walk into the sanctuary. More volunteers would accompany them to their seats and get to know them as they wait for the service to start. 

Is it effective to get people in the church?

Critics would say that this is a futile attempt and that the church is trying too hard to be welcoming. To a degree, they claim that such techniques together with the program prove to be an enchantment of sorts and the attendees go to chase an emotional high; however, reviewing its impact will show that even those who are normally uncomfortable with regular church settings will find themselves warming up and open because of these efforts.  

The merging of professional marketing strategies and the sacred word of God comes across as profanity for some, but against popular belief, most megachurches maintain a conservative theology. In a sense, the megachurch is simply employing what the apostle Paul modeled, which was to reach those who were lost,  

20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. (1 Corinthians 9:20-22) 

Reaching the Youth

The intention is to do something new for a new generation.  This may be why megachurches appeal largely to professionals under the age of 45, with more than half of the attendees surveyed to at least be college graduates. If we place this information in economic tiers, it should come as no surprise that middle-class, well-educated families have been drawn to megachurches in hoards. The distinctive effort put in by megachurches to appeal to the current generation and the way they seamlessly utilize smart business practices and sound theology appeal have proven to bear fruit based on the continuous growth they reap.  

Several traditional churches do not like megachurches because they view them as threats. A common misconception is that megachurches steal the members of other churches with their modernity, but statistics show that this is not the case.vi Megachurches grow because they are encouraged to invite others as they have been invited. The overall experience they are given makes it easier for new church attendees to stay. 

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COMPENSATION

COMPENSATION FOR PASTORS

Those responsible for pastoral compensation need to understand it is unbiblical to “keep a pastor poor to keep him humble.”

Different passages instruct the churches to encourage their pastors through fair compensation. Many American churches undercompensate their ministers. Unfortunately, many families have had to struggle through years of financial hardships. This poverty that pastors experience is not because of God’s will for them to experience financial hardship, but it’s because church members are not generous.

Those responsible for pastoral compensation need to understand it is unbiblical to “keep a pastor poor to keep him humble.”Such a view is damaging and divisive for the church community. Paul wrote about how the church must care for certain Christians.

17 The elders who do the church’s work well are worth twice as much honor. That is true in a special way of elders who preach and teach.

18 Scripture says, “Do not stop an ox from eating while it helps separate the grain from the straw.” (Deuteronomy 25:4) Scripture also says, “Workers are worthy of their pay.” (1 Timothy 5:17-18) Notice how Paul quoted the Old Testament (Dt. 25:4) and the New Testament (Lk. 10:7) in this passage. In Galatians 6, Paul instructs: “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor” (Gal. 6:6).

Failing to provide a fair wage to our pastors damages their ability to care for their own families (1 Tim. 5:8), and the Lord will hear their cry (Jas. 5:4).

Why would anyone in the church believe that the pastor is required to work under poverty-level wages for the Kingdom of God? Do you think it is God’s will for His ministers to suffer like this when He made ways to provide for His priests in the Old Testament? The biblical pattern is already clear.

Sometimes, it is the insecurity and distrust of today’s society that corrupts the system and makes the church community uncomfortable with blessing the pastor. The local church must encourage their pastors not only by submitting to their biblical leadership (Heb. 13:17) but also by suitably compensating them for the care they take over the souls of the church.

The biblical pattern is already clear. Sometimes, it is the insecurity and distrust of today’s society that corrupts the system and makes the church community uncomfortable with blessing the pastor.

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SUPPORTING THE WORSHIP OF THE LORD

SUPPORTING THE WORSHIP OF THE LORD

Leviticus 7 reveals final directives for the ongoing support of the ministry at the tabernacle. If there is a worship service with offerings that are overseen by God-called ministers, then there is also the responsibility on the part of the worshipper to contribute to the material aspects of the worship service.

Using the specific word “portion” means the author is attributing the portion of the gift exclusively to ordained ministers.

The meat from the peace offerings is one of the main means for supporting the work of the Lord. As an Israelite who is making his offering, he gave the breast and thigh of the animal to the priest as their portion of the celebration. In Leviticus 10:35, the word “portion” occurs only in this passage in the whole Testament. “Portion” is directly translated to mishchah; the same term also means “anointing oil”.

The word is carefully selected by the author because it is translated as “anointed” in verse 36.

This verse pertains to the ordination service of the priests who received an anointing oil as a sign of their unique role. Using the specific word “portion” means the author is attributing the portion of the gift exclusively to ordained ministers.

The order of distribution of the gifts communicated the divine means by which they practice aspects of the worship is provided.

In Leviticus 10, the worshipper by “his own hands” brought the gifts to the Lord (v. 30).

The worshipper sets apart the fat with the breast and lifting up the breast heavenward and this motion represents the declaration that these gifts were transferred from earth to the divine realm.

The distribution of the animal’s parts communicated the way by which God supported operation of the sanctuary, which we can relate to the famous Christian saying, “if it’s God’s will, it’s God’s bill.”

The Lord described burning up the fat, which was the portion that was reserved exclusively. The worshipper personally hands over the breast part to the priestly family for their portion. The worshipper also took the right thigh and gave it directly to the officiating priest for his personal portion.

The distribution of the animal’s parts communicated the way by which God supported the operation of the sanctuary, which we can relate to the famous Christian saying, “if it’s God’s will, it’s God’s bill.”

The layperson was offering contributions to the Lord, not to the priest per se. However, it was the Lord who reassigned the select portions for his ministers so that they can obtain their daily livelihood.

 This provision for the servants at the tabernacle was continually supplied by the Lord (vv. 34, 36).

The truth of the matter is the priests had no other means of income. As most pastors today, they were totally dependent upon the Lord to provide for their needs. How did the Lord provide for them? He used the contributions to Him to be shared with His ministers.

The New Testament Scripture supports this pattern of ministry support in the pragmatic aspect of sharing the Gospel. Paul acknowledged that Christians in the New Testament church must give to the Lord all they are and all they have. They give out of the means as the Lord has provided for us (2 Cor. 8:3-5; 9:9-11).                                       These gifts to the lord would be used to sustain His ministers and to enable the church’s mission.

Paul’s epistles showed how he taught his churches to give liberally from their resources (1 Cor. 9:13, 14)

As believers, we benefit from the bodily sacrifice of Christ and from the worship of the Lord by His church. We have the duty to make a contribution to the work of the Lord. However, some church members are simply disobedient to this call and neglect the work of the Lord. It’s a heart issue that each individual Christian must deal with.

How can we say we have truly given ourselves, our families, and our destinies into the hands of the Lord if we cannot entrust the Lord with our finances. Is money even an issue to the God of the Universe?

 

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

1) Call 515-604-9266

2) Go to startmeeting.com, and use the login: BishopJordan

 

 

GROWING YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

In every area of life, feedback from others is fundamentally needed to help us grow and develop our gifts and skills. There is a saying that goes, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions!” This is also true concerning our spiritual gifts of prophecy and discernment. At the end of the day, if we don’t know how to improve and sharpen our spiritual gifts — and the manner in which we use them — we will not reach our truest potential. It’s not that we are the source of these gifts, but it is that we’re the stewards of these gifts that we seek to grow them.

It’s not that we are the source of these gifts, but it is that we’re the stewards of these gifts that we seek to grow them.

Feedback is important because when we recognize and acknowledge our blind spots, we are able to address them. We can never identify our own blind spots. Moreover, we also learn from the wisdom of others who are already ahead of us on the journey. Our ability to communicate clearly to others what God has spoken to us is sharpened when we receive feedback from elder prophets. Moreover, Godly feedback provides confirmation of our prophetic insight, which benefits us and those to whom we are ministering.

Through feedback, we can assess the degree to which the ministry is helpful. You can also ensure that there is no gap — or misunderstanding — between what you have heard from God (regarding His heart and purposes for a person or for a situation), and what the person has actually received and understood through your prophetic word.

Ministry feedback can come from the following people:

  • A person you share a prophetic insight with;
  • A leader, pastor, or spiritual overseer in the situation you are ministering in;
  • A mentor or fellow team member.

What are the benefits of ministry feedback you’ve personally experienced and how did it help you grow?

Do you have fears or anxieties with regards to receiving feedback or constructive criticism from prophetic leaders, senior pastors, or fellow prophets? What are they?

 

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

1) Call 515-604-9266

2) Go to startmeeting.com, and use the login: BishopJordan