Friday, March 4, 2011

Be Who You Are

In a recent radio broadcast interview I was asked the question about how I felt about unity within the church at large? The longer I serve the Lord in ministry, I realize a number of unchanging truths. For one thing, God doesn't need me to get His will accomplished on the earth. The Lord is perfectly capable with using anyone that He desires. I am in awe that the Lord would use me at all. Another thing I have learned is, God is using all different kinds of churches to minister to all different kinds of people. The work that God does through the church around the world is so much bigger than just one group.There is the need for unity. Granted, there are certain essential doctrines that one must never compromise on, with any group or denomination in order for unity to be achieved. I understand this perfectly well. I am speaking more about other issues that go on within the church today. Let me explain. 
One thing that has grown in popularity in recent days is the "Satellite Church." This is basically a church in a particular city that sends a video feed to another town, or sometimes even another state  where people can come attend a service watching it on a screen. They are an extension of the church that they are watching. Many today frown upon such endeavors. They sight the potential scenarios that can occur that may have a negative affect. Although  I personally do not feel called to do that, it doesn't mean that God isn't using that. There are places in the country where you cannot find solid Bible teaching and a satellite church, may be a tremendous blessing. Then there are churches where they put the scriptures up on the screen for the people to see. To the point where a person could come in and never have to open their Bible at all. Again I am personally not into that but I can rejoice if that place is giving people the Bible. Still others have varying forms of a worship experience. Some go so far to have smoke machines, and very darkened settings without complete lighting that will enhance the worship experience. We don't have any smoke machines, but if someone feels like the Lord is leading them to do that, thats between them and the Lord. There are certain teachers at the present time that have gained a tremendous amount of notoriety and following. Although I may not connect with them as some do, if they are preaching the Word of God and are not compromising it, I rejoice. 
I suppose what I am trying to say is what Paul said, "What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. Phil.1:18" I am part of a movement of churches that has had an impact upon a generation, but we need to be careful lest we come to a place of saying as the Corinthians did, "Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ. 1 Cor.1:12" 
I had a conversation recently with a very well known respected Pastor. He is a seasoned veteran in ministry.  I asked him a number of questions about ministry. He said something that completely set me free. He said, "John just be who God made you to be." He went on to say, "teach the Word of God, love Gods people, serve Gods people and you will be fine." 
As the Lord is using all different kinds ministries, with different emphasis and presentation, it is so liberating to me, that I can be who Jesus made me to be.  I don't have to try and do what someone else is called to do. I don't have to feel pressure to get on board a particular bandwagon if its not where the Lord is leading. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. Don't place unneeded pressure upon yourself to be a what God hasn't called you to be, lest you be like David putting on Saul's armor, it didn't fit. Be who Jesus made You to be. 
If we are faithful to do what He has called us to do and not worrying about what someone else is doing we will be rewarded. Spend less time making sure the church down the street is doing what they need to be doing, and more time praying for and ministering to the church God has put you in. That will surely keep you busy enough.