You have heard me many times say, that I have made a career out of noticing what is missing in ministry. Let me list a few things that I have predominately pointed out over the years.
- Prayerlessness: Our ministries, and our families, in general, lead lives that are not prayer oriented, but are more action oriented. Getting things accomplished, and operational, is more important than time spent in communicating with God. Prayer is not a quick thank you Lord for this food, but it is again, a lifestyle of staying in God face about everything.
- A Lack Of Holy Spirit Guidance: We have learned to organize, plan, and strategize so well, we often do it without a dependence on the Holy Spirit. In fact, today there are people telling us that the gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased when the scriptures were canonized. How foolish a thought, the days are more wicked and evil, so how much more do we need everything the Holy Spirit has to offer the Church in order to defend against it and aggressively be proactive in this anti-Christ world of ours?
- Biblically Illiterate: Most Christians know little about the foundations of the Bible, the importance of Israel, the prophetic scriptures, and judgments of God, just to name a few. The balance of teaching people to know how to love, and how to fight in the same sentence is missing. We do not prepare believers for a world that is on our doorstep, because we preach what is popular, and acceptable.
- Worship as a Lifestyle: People think music is worship, or the style of a church service is worship, and yet God is looking for people who live out a style of worship that is daily, calling out to His name in trust and honor
- Leadership Structure: We have built ministries and churches around personalities, and not character. Personalities drive most of our ministries, and it is the gift that these personalities display, that is drawing people. Now, there is a fine line here, because God gives gifts to people, to teach, lead and equip people to do the ministry, but those gifts were never intended to become the reason we support a ministry. A gift is given by God’s grace to a person who is to use that gift to serve others, and not to become famous. There should be a plurality of leaders who lead a congregation, made up of leaders of all ages, genders, and have a variety of spiritual gifts observable. I am not anti-pastor, I am cautious about a personality driven ministry.
- Family Dysfunction: Marriages are more cultural than Biblical. Little time is given to prepare for a lifetime of relationship, and even less time is given to maintaining it. Few marriages have mentors, and experienced marriages to pattern their relationships after. Parents take on more of a cultural view of parenting, and avoid some critical characteristics of godly families. Do candidates who are preparing for marriage know God’s standards for marriage, and do they know how to maintain a marriage relationship according to the Bible? What about marriages already in trouble, are there forums of couples with good marriages where troubled marriages could go for advice and council? (Not a counselor, but groups of good marriages where real advice is given from experience)
- True Fellowship: We love the churches we attend until there is a problem, and then we divide up the spoils and start new churches. To divide a fellowship over secondary issues, or over personality conflicts is inconceivable by Biblical standards. (this does not include churches who violate scripture and need to be deserted)
- Humility: many ministers live closer to Narcissism, than their worldly counterparts. There is a sense of entitlement, an unconcerned for others, but an overreaching sense of privilege for themselves. Ministers begin to think they are anointed, yet, if missing humility, you are missing the grace as well.
- Generational Disrespect: there is a worldly attitude in the church that declares that age is a disqualifier for growth because older people don’t lend much to the dynamics of a growing church. Their perseverance and wisdom is often marginalized in favor of a more youthful agenda.
- Misguided Understanding of Ministry and Church: there is a misconception about the definition of church and ministry, and how they relate to each other. For example, in some churches women are not allowed to teach men, yet, in a ministry outside of the local church, they can teach everyone. That implies there are various standards for the believers in Christ? Are we not all one, but have different functions? There is only one Church, and one set of rules that govern all believers, regardless of the forum in which they find themselves.
Okay, the question was asked, “Are We Out of Balance?” Your assessment would be important to me, so let me know your thoughts, and concerns.
Again, I am not looking at examples in the Body of Christ that are exceptional, which I a sure there are many, but what I am observing are these ten that are the most common reasons why believers are out of balance.
Keeping it honest and truthful….K