"Separate Ministries"
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"Separate Ministries"

Posted: 2010-04-07 11:00:57 by: David Nelson

"Separate Ministries"    by David Nelson    4-6-10
There are many Christian ministries working side by side all over the world, each ministry believing that they are forwarding the cause of Christ. It is true that each ministry may have a separate or specific calling from the Lord. Of course, each of them has a name, a founder, and most have one main person who directs the ministry and who understands what the ministry is trying to accomplish. One of their goals is to try and get as many people as possible to connect with them, either to be involved, to help further their cause, or to help them financially. The money that is given to each ministry is to be used to keep that ministry going, to make more progress, or increase their effectiveness. The problem is most of these ministries are separate, they are not acting as one church, one in heart, connected, melted together in the Lord as one. What does the Lord want us to do that we might be one Church?
Let's say I, as the leader of Prophetic Ministry Iowa, went to visit the leader of another ministry and I said to them, "How can we work together?" Let's say we even had many of the same goals (truly Christian, Bible and Holy Spirit goals). I might say to that leader, what have you heard from the Lord, come and share with our group so that we can benefit from your spiritual gift, so that we can be more what the Lord wants us to be. Of course we want to benefit from all the spiritual gifts from your people too. But we want to give you our gifts also. How can we give you what the Lord has given us? Will we ever be able to give our gifts to each other? Or will each ministry tend to keep to itself with its own leader, its own people, its own self government?
That is what we have today, separate ministries, not really connected, not really working together, not really one.
Here is what I see as part of the solution (some of the Bible solutions) to help bring ministries together. First of all, if there is one city then all the ministries of that city should be the same church (if they are born again followers of Christ). I know this sounds simple but it really is Biblical and a precious thing in the Lord's eyes. Should there not be the church of Des Moines, Iowa? Or the church of your city? Should we not all share our gifts with one another even though we meet in different places? Also, if our hearts were one like the early church was (in Acts) would not we share our money and our things with one another too? "No one said that anything was their own but they had all things in common." This sounds like it would be very hard to do in our day but does it not go to the heart of what it means to be one? Also, if there are apostles, prophets, or evangelists in that one city or in your city (who truly have spiritual gifts from God), they must be accepted into different gatherings to give their gifts and teachings and vision to all. These travelling ministries (gifts) are needed in every city. In addition to these things the New Testament churches they were not set up as one man ministries, but each church was to have multiple elders or leaders. We are not to have one man rulers over each church gathering or ministry.
These few ideas that I have given above have been heard before and even tried before. But can you see that these important things are lacking? We are not one church in each city. We do not share our gifts in each others groups. Are we still thinking that it is "our group" instead of we all are the Church, the Bride, the Congregation of Jesus? Each ministry keeps a tight reign on its people and its money instead of sharing with one heart with the whole church. We need to find out who the true traveling ministries are (apostles, etc.) and receive from them. Every ministry should have multiple leaders not just one man. In the Bible there also was a "Levite" company that may have included many types of ministries (those with special callings to serve the Lord, perhaps full time, in areas such as music or teaching, etc.), if these "Levites" are neglected the Church of Christ also suffers. Is any tithe money going to bless them? Maybe the Lord is taking care of them by Himself but shouldn't the Church be working together?
As it is now each ministry has a tight control of their own affairs. They may say they want to work together, but where do we see it really happening? Every ministry wants to keep their people separate and their money separate from other groups. They don't want any people to leave their group or any money to leave their ministry. And so we see separate ministries "talking" about unity but not melted together as one Church. But let me give you one last thought that may be higher than all the others.
We need a supernatural love (created by God in our hearts) and a real spiritual discernment to attain to the unity I have expressed above. His love in us will cause us to accept someone (or anyone He wants), because they fellowship with the Father we will be able to have precious fellowship with them. This connection with them will not depend on what they have learned or how much they have attained spiritually. Their relationship with the Lord connects us in a relationship with them and we sense that we are getting missing pieces of the puzzle from them to understand the Lord's bigger picture. In other words, we will discern that God has brought us together for His purposes. The Lord Himself loves people and is willing to walk with those who want to know Him and who are willing to learn and grow. He doesn't cast out people based on how slow they learn. God allows people in His circle who are getting to know Him and who are open to learn. Should we not also discern those who do know Him and who are willing to learn and grow? Only the Lord can teach us this kind of love, this is the kind of love He shows to us and to many others. But what about our high standards and our dedication to the truth He has already shown us, we do not want "love" to water down the precious truths He has shown us.
The people we are to love may not see everything exactly the way we do at this time. But think for a moment, how much truth is in the heart of God, has He shown us everything, does He still walk with us even though there may be things we don't see yet? God does not compromise His truth by walking with us, but in time He will show us more when our hearts are ready. He loves people who have only attained part of the truth and He is in the process of teaching them more. If someone is holding to a dangerous teaching, if they really know Him, He knows how to correct His true children. We too must have discernment and love to see who are His true children and help whoever the Lord leads us to help. We do not compromise the truth we already know by loving and helping others to walk closer to Him. And the Lord wants us to receive from other's gifts and be connected as He leads.
Ponder these things, and see that the Lord will build His Church,  placing living stone next to living stone as He fits us and knits us together for His greater glory.


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