|Work of the Ministry - Great Commission #37 - Joyner|
The Work of the Ministry -
The Great Commission, #37
Week 37, 2014
A map will not help us unless we know where we are on the map and where we want to go. Before we can get to where we're going in fulfilling our purpose, we must first know where we are and where we are going. Then we can easily see the next step.
Let us briefly consider how future leaders of the church are now being prepared compared to those in the early church. Most seminaries do a good job of laying a foundation of sound doctrine. However, ministry today is built mostly on knowledge and how to present it, such as good teaching and preaching principles. Certainly this is a necessary element of ministry, but there is far more to being a New Testament ministry according to Ephesians chapter 4, which is to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. What is the work of the ministry?
The basic work of the ministry that we are called to as members of the body of Christ is first to be the extension of Christ on the earth today. His body is what He works through now, just as His literal body was what He worked through when He walked the earth. He wants to do everything through His people now that He did when He walked the earth.
When Jesus walked the earth, He taught, healed the sick, and set the captives free. He trained His followers to do what He did and then sent them out to do it. Today most of the ministry of the church involves teaching, with some charitable work, and a few that also include healing and deliverance. With those that include healing and deliverance, it is something they do, but rarely release others to do. Some do a little more by training people how to pray for the sick, prophesy, and be the evangelists we are called to be, but where is there even one place that all are being equipped and released to do the whole work of the ministry?
John Wimber may have been one of the most effective leaders to break this mold and train and release people to do the work of the ministry. The Vineyard Movement that he raised up sent great shock waves throughout the worldwide body of Christ as multitudes were trained, equipped, and released to do the works that Jesus did. While this was happening, The Vineyard Movement was the most exciting in the world to be a part of.
The Vineyard Movement was messy as the people learned and matured, just like the Lord's own meetings tended to be. One thing The Vineyard was not was boring. I was in more than one meeting in which a raging demon-possessed person would come screaming and thrashing about. Yet each time, the person left "in their right mind," free. In many meetings, we witnessed extraordinary miracles. Such grace from God was upon The Vineyard for a time that there was a sense of awe and wonder greater than the world's entertainment could match.
There is nothing more interesting than God and nothing more exciting than watching Him move. There is nothing more boring than religion, and we are about to be delivered from religion to follow the Lord, not just men. We can also be sure that He has again saved His best wine for last.