I want to begin by saying the title “How to Start a Work for the Lord” reflects man’s human nature and 1500 plus years of religious indoctrination. The truth is we are chosen to serve him before we are in our mother’s womb. How does the Lord know we will be faithful and have a heart towards Him? I don’t know except He is God and Creator and only He really knows His creation. The idea of working for the Lord is used so flippantly today. The truth is most leaders work for a congregation like it was a job. It should not be so. Serving the Lord should come from an overflow of our relationship with Him. I posted this on Facebook yesterday:
“Nearness to God produces the works of God, Works (Rituals) do not produce nearness to God.” JLB
Serving the Lord comes from a burden and a passion for others that is birthed from our resting our heads upon His bosom. If you spend time with God, you will hear and feel God’s heart for others. This burden will cause you naturally to act on His behalf as His hands and feet upon the earth. That is my pet peeve with these prayer houses that are filled with believers who claim to abide in His presence, but their self-centered life shows no sign of the Lord’s compassion for others. It’s just more of this “all about me” culture slipping into His church.
If you haven’t been called, please don’t go. Certainly the Lord needs no more volunteers and hirelings in the church. Nowadays the church is so dead that if someone is born from above and begins to act with the excitement of a normal Christian, someone will tell them they must have a calling for full-time ministry and try to send them off to a cemetery (sorry that’s a misspelling should read seminary). LOL!
The truth is all Christians are ministers, and all of us are called to full time ministry. The problem comes from the culture again trying to get us to separate our life by considering the time in a building as spiritual and the time outside the building as secular.This is pure worldliness and nonsense.
“Today, because of the segmented worldview taken for granted in the west, our “church life” is separate from our “career life,” which is separate from our political life, which is separate from our relational life, and so on. For many Jesus as Lord relates to being King of heaven in the sweet by and by and no more. The notion that his Lordship would actually extend to ever corner and crease of temporal existence seems extreme—religious fanaticism. It was not so when Paul wrote those words. Jesus is Lord reached into and redefined every molecule of existence.” Steve Crosby
See a great article on this subject also by my friend Loren Rosser https://godsleader.com/full-time-ministry-myth .
Definitely choosing to follow a true calling from the Lord is that of “a road less traveled”. I want to jot down a few basic but profound principles that have helped me follow Him and not religion in these almost 30 years of service unto my God.
1. Put your Faith in God.
If He called you He will see to your needs. We were taught “where God guides He provides.” Then we were told we needed to go get ordained, go to seminary, and prepare a good resume. Somehow those two statements don’t equate. Either God has us or we are at the hands of men and their fickle whims. Don’t put your faith in any titles or degrees. Remember, God chose fishermen for apostles, not the theologians of His day.
God called me by an audible voice and said to me, “Go my son because I AM with you.” At that moment the world’s system of measurement, logic, and rationale where drowned out by the voice of the Creator. I knew that I knew that no matter what my human eyes could see or not see or what my mind knew or did not know, God had my back. All hell has come against me in these past years, but it’s hard to stop something divine that is birthed in heaven by some temporal circumstance that happens on earth. I suggest you get to where you know that you know whose you are and who called you before you say yes to serving the Lord.
2. Don’t let others limit you.
Recognize that you are being called in the 21st century. Probably 50 to 75 percent on any congregation has no idea of what it means to be born from above, have Jesus as Lord, or what it means to be a NEW covenant creation. The church has become a business patterned more by the marketplace than by the pattern of the apostles and prophets. Most Christians live their life for a shallow weekly experience that doesn’t express itself much the rest of the week. Most Christians know 90 times more Bible verses than their lives can prove by emitting the fragrance of the risen Christ. I say all this to say, “Don’t let the noise of these modern day Christians limit you by their perspectives, ideas, and past observances.”
You are called to live OUT OF THE BOX of religious observance counter to this present culture, and under the governance of King Jesus, the head of the church by way of the Holy Spirit. To put it simply, you will be misunderstood, rejected by the majority, and seen as an outcast. But lift up your head; you are the Lord’s pioneer and forerunner! What an honor!
3. Don’t be a Lone Ranger
You are not God’s gift to Christianity all by yourself. There are others like you that he is calling. They don’t have to have the same doctrine you do. If it happens to you like it happens to most, you will not believe 90% of what you believe now in 10 years. You need a spiritual father, but don’t go looking for one; let the Lord bring one to you. This will happen more by relationship (teaching and care) than by position and authority. Likewise, find your tribe and community. Not that you approve of dividing His Body, but you will find solace there, and it will keep you safe from chasing doctrinal tangents. The Lord spoke to me about a month ago when I was complaining of all the division and debate concerning scripture in His Body and he said that:
“The Body of Christ, “The real Church He is building,” inherently has the answer for all the ills now plaguing His Body.” In short, only the church can heal the church. We all need some type of healing.
I say this so you will always strive to love instead of separating over doctrine. We all come from different parents and grew up in different surroundings. We are all being made in His measure. We are cooking in the Lord’s oven and some have been there longer and some mature at different speeds, so give your brothers a break. We are all uniquely created, gifted, and shaped for a particular service, but we must first love all or else we are nothing.
Like it happened for Barnabas and Paul, it is in the womb of these relationships that the Lord will confirm your calling and ministry to others. It is among this family and presbytery that apostolic sending happens.
Ps 68:6 God sets the solitary in families; NKJV
How to Start a Work for the Lord
Finally, let me share a short word about goals. Knowing the current misplaced values of the Church on titles, numbers, finances, and size of buildings, let me just say they mean nothing to the Lord. Those opulent mini-kingdoms of men will burn up like toothpick castles on Judgment day. There are no positions in the Lord’s Kingdom, so you are not working for human promotion. Your only goal should be to daily impart the fragrance of Christ and to be an example of the Lord’s nature to a needy world. Listen to the Holy Spirit; He will lead you daily to the hurting so that you may love and care for them as the Lord would. Your example is everything. Remember more is caught than taught. Remain teachable until the Lord calls you home.
May the Good Lord who called you lead you to your people, and may He get all the Glory for everything you do!
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