God is a God of strategy and Purpose. He does not make mistakes. When we are called to a specific local church it is for purpose. And once we get there, are job is to pray and to stay and correct mistakes along the way. How is control or your local church organized? The pastor is the spiritual head of every church, but how each local church is organized and who decides what, is unique to each church. There are as many leadership styles as there are churches. The way your church is organized can only hurt you IF you do not understand how it operates. So understanding YOUR local church and how to navigate it, is important.
Remember, God is specific. When He pulled me into heaven in encounter at 8, He could have shown me any part of heaven. He chose to show me a strategy room. The angelic meeting in groups to discuss what they would do to accomplish the detailed plans Jesus had for each person.
IN a local church, the WORD and the HOLY SPIRIT are in charge. The pastor is the under shepherd who has the task of knowing the Word and hearing the Holy Spirit give the vision for the church, and then how to organize it. But in that mix, he will have people that work with him. Might be family members, might be staff, old friends, new friends, and they all will have their own church background, personality, leadership styles and seasons they are still developing in. So, you will find a unique mix of ‘how things are done’ at any local church. Sometimes decisions are made in committed, sometimes one person decides. Sometimes you know WHO decides what, and HOW, sometimes that is purposefully kept hidden. Sometimes all areas of service excluding the pulpit are open for people to serve in, sometimes only a few. Sometimes those areas are clearly stated, sometimes you must hang around long enough and learn by observation.
All churches go through seasons and growing pains, and especially if the Lord has added you for purpose, you need to pray and find out from Him directly what YOUR place and space is. The Lord is very specific, the angelic is supernaturally committed to moving in our lives to help bring to pass those details Jesus has for us. He is a God of extreme purpose, Psalm 139:16 purpose and Acts 17 purpose. He doesn’t make mistakes. When He calls you to a local church supernaturally in an audible voice, He Himself will back your position up there. We all have real places and spaces we are legitimately DESIGNED for. These places are not after thoughts. We fit those places and no one else does or can. The place was designed for US and we for IT.
At every church or ministry or business or school or your own family, the most precious resource, the most valuable asset is PEOPLE. People are amazing and can do a large variety of things, we are creative, can think and solve problems that you can’t, we each carry our own ability to hear the Lord. The people in the church are the biggest asset to the church. Every Local Church has to have basic structure and boundaries. Set aside times for services, and prayer. Things that happen in the church and things that don’t, like dance parties, selling bazaars, etc. No, the church is set aside for the gospel and the things that will help equip and educate the believer. Some churches add support groups, kids Bible clubs, and Para-Church ministries that fall under the mandate of the church to serve, and others do not. Local churches are organic organizations that develop and expand over time. So a church this year, might not look like the same exact church 10 years down the road.
Also, when local churches first start, they can err on two sides of the ditch. They can have NO or little oversight, everyone coming in and doing whatever they feel is best, OR they can have OVER control, and have every decision and ministry within the church micromanaged, to the detriment of the church developing and expanding. Either way, if people stay and pray and continue to work together, the Holy Spirit works those things out over time, in a way that eventually will bring that church to the mature place the Lord is calling it to. No two churches have the exact identical thumbprint or call or vision. Even churches that are called and planted in the same town or region. Even churches that are Faith filled, spirit filled. We have to be careful to not get SO specific that we start leaving people OUT. That will be counterproductive. Especially if people are being put out that the Lord Himself added, that is not a death blow to the church, but it does mean that some core ways the church is operating needs some adjusting. It should not be impossible for the people the Lord calls to your church to be added and included in meaningful ways within the church. And no church or ministry is designed to be a ‘my way or the highway’ church. There needs to be respect and honor for the pulpit and the people who fill the pulpit, there needs to be submission and a willingness to follow the leadership of the people in leadership, but on the leadership side, there needs to be the knowledge and understanding of how to incorporate and include the people that the Lord calls. Both sides have roles to play in the church running at its best.
With mature believers who know the Word and the Holy Spirit and have a life of serving in a local church come into YOUR church, the best thing to do is pray and give them something to do. They will not need to be micromanaged and especially if they are older and mature, it will be frustrating to them to do that. It will stifle their ability to hear the Lord and create and expand. If the Lord adds mature believers to your church, and you give them responsibility you will find they will do right by you and expand your business or ministry. When we got added to the spirit filled church, I looked at what was being done in the community already through the church and what wasn’t. And then prayed and asked the Lord what I could do that was NOT already being done. I have always had a bent about me that LIKE to develop and create something NEW. When I saw there was no hospital ministry and yet both the church and I personally believed in the healing power of Jesus and liked to lay hands on the sick, and teaching on healing, I met with the pastor to ask if I could develop or start this ministry for the church. I expected a ‘yes of course’ but instead got a ‘no the Lord didn’t talk to ME about that.’ So did I leave the church? NO I developed the ministry myself, which was a lot of fun, and stayed at the church, so I could learn what the Lord wanted me to about submitting to spiritual authority. There are reasons He has for us to be at every church, and sometimes it is just to learn how to be under authority, so that we can carry the maximum authority with us in the venues WE are called to minister and operate in. We might not be called to have ANY direct service in that local church outside of praying with the group and supporting the general vision of the church. The Lord might have a specific ministry He put IN US that He wants to develop but needs us planted and rooted and under the authority of a local church to do it.
Always defer and back up the pastor of any church. They fill a unique role and a REAL role in the spirit. Keeping yourself under their authority protects YOU against the adversary having an open door in your life. Do not micromanage your people. If you do, people that are true leaders will leave, and only followers who want to be told what to do will stay. If you are called into ministry yourself, it will be a little trickier to be at a local church. The more you pray, the more you will see and hear things the Lord is calling YOU to, but if there are no open doors to walk those things out IN the Church, you need to be responsible before the Lord to pursue and develop them anyway. And then just be available to serve generically any way you can in the local church. Greet people, etc. But do not expect to be used in your calling at that church. It might happen or it might not. There are many variables. Each of us needs to pray and be able to hear the Lord and His direction for each of our cases.
Give people the same leeway you want yourself to experiment and try new things and test out this decision and that in the local church. If a pastor has made an erroneous decision regarding, you in some way. Do not get bent out of shape. Keep and maintain your spirit of unity and bond of peace. Defer to the decision out of humility and deference to the Lord, adjust what you need to on your part and then continue to walk in the purpose God has for you. People are just people. We are to regard no one except after the spirit, but at the end of the day, pastors are PEOPLE first. And people should be cared for, understood, given mercy and God’s love.
There is no decision that a person can make that can separate you from Jesus or His purpose and plan for your life. Honor the person and the office of pastor and allow the Lord to work things out. Stay under that authority and allow the Lord to talk to people on your behalf. The bottom line for all of us to LOVE JESUS with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and to be WHO He has called us to be and to walk before others in humility, admitting when we are wrong, and adjusting. Pray, stay, and adjust mistakes along the way.
Join us for the next segment of ‘WOMEN and the local church’ YOU are ESSENTIAL, we will see you for that clip on our next edition of Victory in the Word!
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