For over 100 yearsnow we thechurch has beensending out missionaries to be pastors of churches, andthus God’s order has beenreversed. Our methods as a “Church,” have not beenscriptural. Hence, theworld is majorly stillevangelized in spite of all our efforts. How will thechurchequipthenextgeneration of leadersforthetask of proclaimingthegospel in the global world that is evennow upon us?
Paul, thegreatestandmostsuccessfulmissionarytheworld has everknown, did not become a pastor, or a bishop. Hetravelled, preached, wonconverts, organizedchurches, placed them under leadership, andpassed on. Hedid not attempt to changethemannersandcustoms of thepeople. The Gospel, wherenecessary, didthat. Heplacedresponsibility upon thefaithful, madethechurchesheestablishedwere self-supporting and self-propagating, andthat from thevery start of his mission. He founded nocolleges, builtnohospitalsanderectednochurchbuildings. Thefaithfulprovidedfor their ownneeds.
Our “Divine”call is to “Go ye thereforeandteachallnations” (Matt. 28:19), however, thiscommanddoes not, in thissituation, specify of whatthisteaching is to consist. Accordingly, thechurch must have a clear direct message, despite thefailure of manychurchesrelative to thisduty has ledmanyfolks to the belief thatthechurch is nothingmore than some an exclusiveclubthatenduresfornootherpurpose than to entertain its followers. Because of thewashed down Christianity of thepresentday, it is unknowneven by numerousbelieverswho are nominally Christians that there is a message of helpandhope which has beencommitted to thechurches.
The Modern Church Problem
While in seminaryand my earlierdays as a youngminister, I made a carefulstudy of missionary methods. In manychurches, I findmissionariesacting as pastors of Independent churches, a thingunknown in Scripture. In one church, forinstance, I visited-a number of leaderswhohadbeen long-term members, in somecases, 20, 25 andeven 30 years, installed a strangetraditionthattheyprayed over themoney with one pointedfinger, That fingerafterwardwhenpointed at you, becomes a symbolicblessing. The Pastor hadsettleddownand after preachingforsometime, hadwon a number of converts, whomtheyhadorganized into a church. During all theseyears, theyhadremained themselves in charge of themselves as pastors. Consequently their influencehad not beenfelt beyond theconfines of their localwork.
Youth of the Church
In manychurches-I visited I found a number of missionarieswhohadbecomepastors, whowereunwilling to allow their youth, gifted thoughtheywere to go into themotherchurchandmentor. They (youth) were not allowedroom to growandmostimportantwedid not train them correctly in order to evangelizeotheryouth of thecommunity.
I do not mean to insinuatethatthesechurcheshave not donegoodwork. But after 20, 25 and 30 years of service we have to acceptthefactthat in our communitiesand in our country in which we havelaboredforsolong, and in somecaseseventhelocalcity (nextblock) in which theyliveandpreach, is still (un)evangelized and crime filled. What a tragedy! Theybecamepastors of churchesinstead of evangelists.
Whatthen should theyhavedone? We all should havefollowedtheexample of Paul. We should havekeptthe evangelization constantly in mind, adoptingthescripturalmethods that would havemadethispossible. Themainbusiness, the one andonlybusiness of theevangelist, is to trainworkers, andputresponsibility upon them. We should always be appointed as evangelistsorteachersaccording to their giftsandsentforth to evangelize. We should not be ordained as pastorsandeldersandplaced in charge of churches, until theygainedprovingground in evangelicalism. Everychurch should not be self-governing, andjust as a hivewhenitrepeatedlyswarms not producingyear after year….then a successionplan should be made!
I know, you may or may not agree with allthat I havesaid. But one thingyou cannot deny. Thusfar, wehavefailed greatly to evangelize the “Faithful.” Thenwe must admitthat something is wrong. I thinkwe must allagreethat our plan isn’t working. Thenwhy not consideranother? A plantriedandtested by the Early Church. Aplan through which the Holy Spirit can operate. God‘s plan. God‘s way!
Peace, and Love
Pastor, Gregg Greer
Gregg L. Greer a Public Speaker, Pastor, Writer and Social Activist. Gregg L. Greer as the Editor of One World, and One World Today internet journals. you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.