When any man receives the call of God to preach, the thoughts of the church come to his mind naturally. What will be the Church that is entrusted to him? What will be its emphasis? What will be the driving force motivating that church?
For me, the single biggest emphasis continues to be one of discipleship. My church attendance history showed that churches willing to recognize that members in the congregation are often called of God to have a special ministry are few indeed.
The church must recognize, and be willing to train up those that are chosen of God to have some special ministry.
I see no reason whatsoever why the only churches that grasp this essential truth are often the same Christ-denying liberal “churches” that preach a weak or false “feel-good” Gospel that denies the need of repentence, denies Biblical Separation, and wallows in a mire of Ecumenical feel good filth that is setting the stage for the emergence of the AntiChrist, who will easily take over and corrupt true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ shortly after the Rapture. –me.
Indeed, the most ready to accept this concept is the Purpose Driven churches. They draw in an unrepentent, worldly crowd, give them a false gospel, allow them to remain in friendship of the world… when you examine these churches in the light of the Bible, it’s clear that they are at the very least out of God’s will. That’s the nicest way to put this. And yet, they seem to be the only churches that are grasping this truth!
in the 19th century, if a person arose in a Baptist congregation who showed an ability to study, teach and preach, at the very least, they’d send them out to plant a church. Baptist Churches got very off-the-path in the 20th century, and deviate even farther in the 21st.
This is an essential truth. Some have calculated that the Bible outlines 27 different gifts and callings. While some of those are no longer in use today (prophet, tongues, interpretation, word of knowledge, etc). Some still are: Hospitality, charity, mercy… we see people in our congregations who have a heart to help the homeless, and we do nothing. Put them in charge of the food pantry! Already got one person in charge? Let them disciple the next one. It’s a sign to you that God is preparing to increase your church that way, by the increase in the homeless looking for help.
Someone has a heart for helping pregnant women to decide not to abort their baby? Get them a ministry. God is about to use that area in your church.
Someone wants to be a youth teacher, or a mentor? Great! Get that going.
The very fact that one Internet Baptist Bible College (a free one too, I might add) is doing so well with pastoral candidates shows that most churches are abrogating their God-given and God-required responsibilities to train up pastors, evangelists, church plantors, worship leaders…
Is this not in many ways the sin of Nicolaitanism? By putting a division between pastor and congregation, we take a step in the inevitable road to Rome, by setting precedence for Popery.