Well, Halloween is just around the corner. I'm looking towards the time when churches all across the country will hopefully come up with some sort of way to reach out to the local community. I'm not against handing out tracts and doing some sort of ministry outreach. I've found it funny in the past to hear that various youth groups go to these haunted trails. Kinda defeats the purpose...
In any case.... one thing i'm looking towards is the time when your talking to someone and you start to tell them their life story. When you start to dig in deep and instead of just ministering the superficial need, you get deep. You find out why they have the issues and problems that they have. You find out they have an addiction to porn or a smoking addiction or gossip like crazy (yep, gossip is a sin just like being addicted to porn... ((thats bound to stir up a hornets nest))).
I think that having some sort of outreach to the community is great. It pulls people in and gets conversation going. But when that person comes in in a wheelchair or crutches, what happens? I am personally all for eradicating the handicap spots. Get the person healed! That is the job of a 'Christian', being one who is a disciple of Christ. This bogus theology that those gifts have ceased is just that... bogus. I have found NO WHERE in scripture is says that.
I think that hopefully one day, when the church comes into maturity, that you casting a demon out of someone will be like giving them a glass of water. You won't have to sit there for hours on end figuring out what the world is happening. You'll simply be talking to them and you'll be like "oh, and by the way, that spirit of greed that is one you... out now in Jesus name. I was at the mall the other day..."
Am i out of my mind? I don't think so... i may be out of YOUR, but i think i'm thinking pretty clearly. The only reason why that idea might scare you is is because we're soo used to the idea of the church not operating in power. We're soo used to just having our nice little services w/o making much of an actual impact.
I'm personally really tired of it in my own life. It's something that the Lord has been challenging me on for some time now. I believe that the church is slowly coming into a maturity in the Spirit that healings and deliverances and other workings of the Spirit will be common place. We won't be shocked when our 5 year old is laying hands on someone in the supermarket and this person is actually healed!
I often tell people to get their little children involved in this stuff. I mean, who in their right mind is going to turn down a 5 year old when this little child asks to pray for them. Ok, so there might be a few people.... but just think of this...
Your in the store and a little child comes up to you and says "I see you have a cast on. Would u mind if i prayed for you?" and not only that but they begin to tell you your life story.
I love the fact that its about faith and not feelings. I prayed for a guy once and the only thing i felt was really tired. It was a Friday afternoon and i just got home from bible school. i wanted to go in and lay down. but no, God had a child he wanted me to minister to. and i'm personally really glad i felt nothing. because that means it wasn't me doing it... it was God reaching down and touching this person. I've prayed for countless others and absolutely nothing happened. Which bothers me at times b/c then i start to question my faith.
The bible says that these signs accompany those who come in the name of Jesus. They lay their hands on the sick and they recover. Doesn't anyone else wonder or question this stuff?
I really hope that this has gotten your thinking cap going. I mean, at times you gotta wrestle with this stuff and just get a holy frustrated with it and just really have it out with God. God likes that i think. Or He at least likes us coming to Him.
You know like the 5 fold ministry gifts aren't for us to get all puffed up with and walk around like we're someone. They're for us to train others up and see the kingdom of God come down! For me, pastor is a position, not a title. Apostle is a position, not a title. True ministry giftings are not for people to get puffed up over. They're for us to lay down our lives and see Jesus exalted. I fully believe in honoring men and women of God. but i don't like pedestals. thats why i like serving at church soo much. the job gets done and i move on. i'm not doing it for a pat on the back... i'm doing it to see others ministered to. i pray for others for them to be released into their calling and get their lives straightened out.
This past week was a beginning of training for my new job. Our trainer told us that we as the worker bees are the real workers. without us, the CEO and the people up top are out of a job.
wow, you get the ball rolling and you never know what will come out. (and for you FIRE grads/students.. i know i sound like Gladstone or Dr. Brown a lot. hehe. i try not to but you know....)