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                                                  BIBLE STUDY - ORDER IN THE CONGREGATION.

With ‘order in the congregation’ we refer to setting up a plan or system that will work in running/maintaining a local congregation. The local congregation will never be perfect. There will always be differences between members, no two members are alike. 1 Corinthians 12:14 to 18; ‘For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

Every born again person has a duty and responsibility to see that the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached. It is not only the pastor or minister’s duty. We will all receive reward for what we have done here on earth. We are going to give account if we did nothing for Jesus Christ.

We can be looking at the church from the pulpit side; from the preacher’s eye view or we can be looking from the pew side; the member’s side.

THERE ARE TWO MAIN GROUPS IN A LOCAL CONGREGATION.

A. LEADERSHIP; the senior pastor and his assistants or leaders.

Home cells leaders - deacons and elders.

“Fire in the pulpit, fire in the pew”.

Leadership and membership MUST be linked TOGETHER to be able to function successful.

B. MEMBERSHIP; the congregation.

Different ministry departments with leaders and members.

“There are the active members and there are the pew warmers”.

We are going to look at the above mentioned two groups in the following seven studies:

A1. Leadership; The Senior Leader or Pastor and his assistants.

The true Measure of Leadership is Influence - Nothing More, Nothing Less.

“It’s not the position that makes the leader; it’s the leader that makes the position.”

a. THE VISION AND THE DIRECTION: In the Church context the vision and direction of the Church must always come from the Senior Pastor, through the church leadership to the people. The Senior Pastor must be a genuine leader. He may not be an experienced person, but will learn by putting his hands on the plough. ‘Practice makes perfect’. What a person does on a disciplined, consistent basis gets him ready, no matter what the goal. If you want to play a piano, practice every day for at least 2 hours. The same dedication is required for you to become a great leader. If you want to be a leader you can do it. Everyone has the potential, but it isn’t accomplished overnight. It requires perseverance. Leadership does not develop in a day. Leadership develops daily, not in a day. Sometimes it takes years.

b. LEADERSHIP DOES NOT CARRY ‘BRASS’: When people hear that someone has an impressive title or an assigned leadership position, they assume that he is a leader. Sometimes that’s true. Titles don’t have much leading when it comes to leading. True leadership cannot be awarded or assigned. It comes only from influence and that cannot be mandated. It must be earned. The only thing a title can buy you is a little time - either to increase your level of influence with others or to erase it. I recognize that hard work is required to gain influence in any organization and to earn the right to become a leader. If leadership is provided by a group, it is because with - in that group there is someone who can provide such strong leadership first to the group and through that to the rest of the body. A committee or a board can never provide leadership.

c. APPOINTED LEADERSHIP DOES NOT WORK ALWAYS: Positional leadership doesn’t work in volunteer organizations such as churches etc. In other organizations, the person who has the position has incredible leverage. Most followers are cooperative when their livelihood or salary is at stake. But in voluntary organizations, the only thing that works is leadership in its purest form. Leaders have only their influence to aid them. ‘The very essence of all power to influence lies in getting the other person to participate’. Followers of voluntary organizations cannot be forced to get on board. If the leader has no influence with them, then they will not follow. Successful leaders are learners. And the learning process is ongoing, a result of self - discipline and perseverance. The goal each day is to get a little better, to build on the previous day’s progress.

d. A GOOD LEADER MUST EARN HIS/HER POSITION: A good leader  gains the trust of his people by his character, his integrity, his resourcefulness, his zeal, his good judgment, his people skill and most importantly his anointing from God. As a result, the people grant him the freedom to decide and the authority to supervise and control. A person’s impact is only a fraction of what it could be with good leadership. The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make the greater your influence needs to be. Whatever you will accomplish is restricted by your ability to lead others. By raising your leadership ability - without increasing your success dedication at all - you can increase your original effectiveness by say, 100 %. Leadership has a multiplying effect.

e. LEADERSHIP NEEDS MUCH PRACTISE: Leadership develops daily, not in a day. Becoming a leader is a lot like investing successfully in the stock market. If your hope is to make a fortune in a day, you’re not going to be successful. What matters most is what you do day by day over the long haul. “The secret of our success is found in our daily agenda.” If you continually invest in your leadership development, letting your “assets” compound, the inevitable result is growth over time. The ability to lead is really a collection of skills, nearly all of which can be learned and improved. But that process doesn’t happen overnight. Leadership is complicated. It has many facets: Respect, Experience, Emotional Strength, people Skills, Discipline, Vision, Momentum, Timing - the list goes on.

f.  NAVIGATION IS IMPORTANT IN LEADERSHIP: Anyone can steer a big ship, but it takes a leader to plan the course. The larger the group, the more clearly the leader has to be able to see ahead. That’s true because sheer size makes midcourse corrections more difficult. And if there are errors, many more people are affected than when you’re traveling alone or with only a few people. First - rate navigators always have in mind that other people are depending on them and their ability to chart a good course. Before leaders take their people on a journey, they go through a process with them in order to give the trip the best chance of being a success. Every past success and failure can be a source of information and wisdom - if you allow it to be. Navigators listen to what others have to say. That’s why top - notch navigators get information form many sources. They get information from their leadership team. They talk to the people in their group to find out what’s happening on the grassroots level.  And they spend time with leaders from outside the organization who can mentor them. If the leader can’t navigate the people through rough waters, he is liable to sink the ship.

g.  LEADERSHIP IS FOR ANYBODY WILLING: Most people believe that leadership is only for a few - for the people on top of the ladder. They have no idea of the opportunities they’re passing up when they don’t learn to lead. Only few people think of themselves as leaders. If they had known that leadership is influence, and that in the course of each day most individuals influence at least 4 other people. It’s unfortunate because as long as a person doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, he doesn’t grow. When you recognize your lack of skill and begin the daily discipline of personal growth in leadership, exciting things start to happen. And where you come across a golden nugget of truth or a significant quote, file it away for the future. It is not going to be easy. You can become a great leader, but it won’t happen in a day. You learn by your mistakes. Successes teach you about yourself and what you are capable of doing with your particular gifts and talents. Failures show what kinds of wrong assumptions you’ve made and where that methods are flawed. If you fail to learn from your mistakes, you’re going to fail again and again. That’s why effective navigators start with experience. But they certainly don’t end there. No matter how much you learn from the past, it will never tell you all you need to know for the present.

h.  LEADERSHIP MUST HAVE RESPONSIBILITY: Before we make commitments that are going to impact people around us, we must take stock and thoroughly think things through. Good leaders count the cost before making commitments for themselves and others. Being able to navigate for others requires a leader to possess a positive attitude. You’ve got to have faith that you can take your people all the way. If you can’t confidently make the trip in your mind, you’re not going to be able to take it in real life. On the other hand you also have to be able to see the facts realistically. You can’t minimize obstacles or rationalize your challenges. If you don’t go in with your eyes wide open, you’re going to get blindsided. Sometimes it is difficult balancing optimism and realism, intuition and planning, faith and fact. But that’s what is takes to be effective as a navigating leader. Above everything the ‘Law of Navigation’ is preparation. When you prepare well, you convey confidence and trust to the people. Lack of preparation has the opposite effect. You see, it’s not the size of the project that determines its acceptance, support, and success. It’s the size of the leader. Leaders that are good navigators can take their people just about anywhere.

i.  LOOKING AT LEADER POTENTIAL: When it comes to identifying a real leader, that task can be much easier if you know what you are looking for. Don’t listen to the claims of the person professing to be the leader. A widespread misunderstanding is that leading and managing are one and the same. The main difference between the two is that leadership is about influencing people to follow, while management focuses on maintaining systems and processes. The best way to test whether a person can lead rather than just manage is to ask him to create positive change. Managers can maintain direction, but they can’t change it. To move people in a new direction you need influence.

NB: How do the real leaders become the real leaders in the groups? Leadership doesn’t develop in a day, neither does a person’s recognition as a leader. True leadership always begins with the inner person. That’s why someone like Billy Graham is able to draw more and more followers to him as time goes by. People can sense the depth of his character. You’re a leader only if you have followers, and that always requires the development of relationships - the deeper the relationships, the stronger the potential for leadership. Building enough of the right kinds of relationships with the right people, and you can become the real leader in an organization. Information is vital to a leader.

You need a grasp of the facts, an understanding of the factors involved, and a vision for the future. Knowledge alone won’t make someone a leader, but without it, he can’t become one. Always spent a lot of time doing homework and plan before you take the lead. Leadership requires more then just a command of data. It demands an ability to deal with numerous intangibles - Law of Intuition. The greater the challenges you have faced in the past, the more likely followers are to give you a chance. Experience doesn’t guarantee credibility, but it encourages people to give you a chance to prove that you are capable. Nothing speaks to followers like a good track record. Every time you extend yourself, take a risk, and succeed, followers have another reason to trust your leadership ability - and listen to what you have to say.

The bottom line for followers is what a leader is capable of. Ultimately, that’s the reason people will listen to you and acknowledge you as their leader. As soon as they no longer believe you can deliver, they will stop listening and pass by. So, I must ask you this: How do people react when you communicate? When you speak, do people listen - I mean really listen? Or do they wait to hear what someone else had to say before they act? You can find out a lot about your level of leadership if you have the courage to ask and answer that question.

A2. Leadership; The Senior Leader or Pastor’s Assistants.

“It’s not the position that makes the leader; it’s the leader that makes the position.”

a.  SENIOR LEADER OR PASTOR HAS TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE IN APPOINTING CELL LEADERS: The home cell leaders have one of the most important duties in the congregation. This being one of the most important choices that the senior leader has to make. They are potential deacons and elders in the congregation and to be the pastor's arm in providing love and concern for the building up of the members of the Body of Christ in the fellowship. They have to make tough calls that directly affect the lives of other people. They have to solve complex problems. They have to serve as a mediator, negotiator, counselor, encourager, and teacher to the people on their team. The work of leading is intellectually stimulating and personally fulfilling - if it weren't, who would want to do it? But it can also be incredibly draining, which is why we all need regular refueling. The Cell has the beautiful opportunity to become the caring heart of the pastor. It is there to extend love, compassion, or counsel as the need arises. In times of great need, this must be communicated to the pastoral and leadership staff so that if need be, the pastor or other departments can get involved with meeting people's needs.

b. THE PURPOSE OF A HOME CELL: The home cell is the tool or vehicle whereby evangelism in the Church must  be done. It is also the way to incorporate and to develop new Christians to spiritual maturity and into the Church. It provides fellowship, follow - up and nature of new Christians. The home cell is the place to equip the members for the work of the ministry. To train and release every member as a missionary. ‘The choice is yours; you are a missionary or a mission field’. The cell leader also reduces pressure and responsibility on the pastor or minister. If members have a problem this can be sorted out on cell level. The home cell leader in conjunction with the pastor serves as a spiritual father. Refer to my one month home cell course.

c. HOME CELL LEADERS MUST BE A DEDICATED MEMBER OF THE CONGREGATION: The home cell leader is likened to a shepherd that tends his cell. He is a person whose primary work is not only to feed the sheep but also to take care of them. A cell leader must shepherd his cell the way a pastor shepherds the church members. The ministry of the cell leader is an extension of the ministry of the pastor. Therefore, a cell leader functions as a kind of pastor to his cell members. Since the cell leader is an extension of the ministry of the pastor, the cell leader is operating in delegated authority, responsibility and anointing, meaning, he is not operating his own ministry. As Christians we all have a leader, the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore if we will follow Him as our leader we will, by definition, be leading.

d.  THE INCONVENIANCE OF LEADERSHIP: Life is full of ups and downs, and the Christian is not exempt from life's storms. It is during such storms that we learn to lean afresh on the faithfulness of Christ. Leadership does not come all tied up in a nice neat package with a bow. It is a privileged path of blessing, and at other times painful. It is a journey of joy and sometimes sorrow; it can often be lonely; it takes one to the edge of what is known into the unknown realm of encounter and fresh experience of touching the hem of Jesus in humbleness. It can be mentally, physically, emotionally and even spiritually demanding. It is often a deep place of communion with Christ and has the potential of being a continuous process of emergence in discipleship - both on a personal level and on the basis of leading others into the transformational lifestyle of walking with Christ. It is a humble privilege to serve others through the grace of leadership, yet I do not think I would ever call leadership ‘convenient’.

e.  BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER: This is not a magical process. It has been said, if you want to know whether you are a leader, look behind and see if anyone is following. There is no easy fix like the simple instructions of ‘just add water’. But through many years of experience, I've seen a number of universal principles that unify people behind a common purpose; teamwork, everybody must help. Inseparable from leadership is power, influence and the opportunity to manipulate. The most important thing regarding one’s position as a leader is that he is closer to the goal than those we lead.

 

f.  MOVING FROM BEING A FOLLOWER TO BECOMING A LEADER: Leaders are made not born. We all start off as a followers in our walk with the Lord, before we can become leaders.

 

      1.  A leader; has a vision with conviction, they have seen some thing and are pursuing it, he has action.

A follower; has a dream, they think they have seen some thing, they will talk much about it  but that's as far as it goes.

 

2.  A leader; learns to make quality, godly decisions, in the light of their vision and purpose in life and is able to help others make them too with out manipulating or controlling the situation.

A follower; often wants others to make decisions for them, double minded, often hesitant, and over cautious.  

 

3. A leader; lives a disciplined lifestyle, spiritual disciplines, prayer, study, fasting, time, money, and friends.

A follower; happy go lucky - life style, seldom concerned who says what.

 

4.   4. A leader; takes responsibilities, and is reliable.

A follower : looks for excuses, why they did not or did what ever......

 

5. A leader: self starter, do their best at all times.

A follower; often needs to be kick started, does only what is required of them.

 

6. A leader; looks after the interests of others.

A follower; looks after his own interests.

 

7. A leader; Picks up the phone and makes that call.

A follower; waits for the phone to ring.

 

8. A leader; fills his dairy with priorities.

A follower; fills his dairy with requests and the unimportant.

 

9. A leaders; invests time with people.

A follower; spends time with people.

 

10. A leader; will risk and take a step in faith.

A follower; will hesitate and most times be over cautious.

 

11. A leader; is always learning and growing in wisdom, and seldom makes the same mistake twice.

A follower; often seems to be going around the same problem again and again.

 

We are going to use this study to mention one of Satan’s strongest tools on mankind; Fornication and Adultery.

g.  LEADERS MUSTS HAVE A VERY CLEAN BILL OF RIGHT: Some may say why discussing a topic like this. The New Testament refers to this matter more than 80 times. This is all part of equipping the children of God to be awake and alert. 1 Timothy 3:12 ‘Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well’. 1 Timothy 3:2 ‘A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach’. Matthew 5:28 ‘But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart’. Galatians 5:19, ‘Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness………that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God’. 1 Corinthians 7:2 - 5, ‘Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

h.  DO NOT THINK THAT PASTORS AND LEADERS ARE NOT HUMAN: Married pastors and leaders must be very careful not to get physical or emotionally involved with women or men that they are not married to. Many broken relationships and marriages have been scored because of sinful leadership like this. Many pastors tried to run of with their fellow brother’s wives, wolves in sheep clothes. This danger age for married women is between 20 and 40 years of age. Males are normally 5 to 10 years older than these women. The brother that walks out wounded looks for his own innocent victim. This act normally has a snowball affect. I can point them out by the tens. God is true to His word. Males normally get involved with young inexperienced married women. Paul wrote to the church in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 - 8; ‘For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his own vessel, meaning wife, in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

i.  DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FORNICATION AND ADULTERY: Fornication is sex between two unmarried people. The apostle Paul said this is a sin against the body. He commands to flee fornication as a sin against self and God, for the believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 6: 18, 19. Paul says that if a believer takes his body and joins it to a harlot or someone who is immoral, he is joining Jesus Christ to that person 1 Corinthians 6: 15, 16.

Sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not his or her mate is adultery. The Bible condemns this strongly the reason is simple: marriage is the foundation of society, and with it comes responsibility of child - rearing. Casual sex outside marriage not only imperils marriage but also destroys the paternal or maternal feeling for the children of the marriage, and blurs the lines of family relationships.

It is very important to understand that neither fornicators nor adulterers will enter the kingdom of heaven 1 Corinthians. 6:9, 10. In today’s world, the term fornication is rarely used and immorality between unmarried people is commonly accepted as a life - style. But immorality between unmarried people is commonly accepted as a life - style. But immorality, however commonplace, is a sin that will keep millions of people out of heaven, unless they repent.

j.  THE IMPOTANCE OF WARNING PEOPLE: Unmarried young people often join churches or groups to go after members of the opposite sex. If this is the only motive, their intensions are not pure. It is human for a young man to ‘swallow his hearth’ at the sight of a very beautiful girl, vice versa. We are sometimes all alone in a car driving along and taking note of fellow road users, sometimes attractive women or men. Remember we control our own minds, not God or anybody else. We are in charge and responsible for our own thoughts. There is something called flirting, we all know what this is. This is a worldly way of attention seeking and trying to find a partner. It means to ‘play at courting or making love with no intention’. Even if this only involves caressing and kissing, it is still selfish and unworthy of a Christian. Attention without intention can result in one being deeply wounded, feeling rejection and even scared for life. One person may only be play - acting, but the other very serious. We should be sensitive not to take advantage of one another, but rather protect and treat one another with respect and dignity. Paul, the apostle, wrote to Timothy telling him to treat the young ladies ‘as sisters, with all purity’. Be wise and do not lock yourself into any deep relationship with a member of the opposite sex until you both know that you are meant for each other.

B1. Membership:

Members are the people of a local community that have decided to voluntary throw their weight in with the senior pastor and leaders to form a local congregation, to grow spiritually and become bearers of the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ.

LOCAL BODY OF CHRIST OR CHURCH; believers in a city or suburb of a city.

UNIVERSAL BODY OF CHRIST; all the believers around the world, living in different countries.

A.  HOW WOULD WE RECOGNIZE THE TRUE BODY OF CHRIST: Why are there so many different religious groups or churches in our days? All denominations were started by a human being. All denominations were started by a human being….did you get that? The Bible and NOT historical history or books will have to be the ONLY yardstick that we can use. The first and most important question is exactly what do they believe. Get hold of their ‘confession of faith’ and compare with the Bible. If they do or practice something that is not recorded in the Bible or if they add their own ideas be careful. Many people join a denomination without checking what they really believe or what they practice. There are more than 70 registered large denominations in the world. I am not referring to the small groups. Every denomination has the idea that only they are right, all the others are wrong and not part of what they see as the body of Christ.

Many so called denominations believe that their members are truly born again believers. Attend one or two meetings and see how the leaders conduct these meetings. Many older denominations will refer to the building as the ‘house of God’. Man made doctrine will stick out like a sore finger. Do they preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What about altar calls? Are they practicing the sacraments that Jesus introduced; water baptism of the believer; a person that can believe and confess with his mouth that he/she accepted Jesus Christ as personal saviour. Do they have Holy Communion and do they remember His death and look to His second coming. One of the major facts with these denominations is the general ignorance of their members. They do not understand the threefold nature of God or trinity. My advice, run from them like you would run away from a rattle snake.

Then there are the ‘closer to the Bible groups’, they are the ones that blow in peoples faces or push them on the forehead and the recipients fall backwards. Most of them have a form of godliness. These leaders normally influenced by American religious ‘jingles and tricks’ are more interested in money than anything else. I feel sorry for the people that are misled by all these ‘ignorant preachers’. Most of the time it is their own fault because of ignorance. God does not see ignorance as an excuse.

B.  THE CHURCH THE BODY OF JESUS CHRIST: The Church is not a building. The Church is made up of living stones. We as, born again believers are the bricks and make up the house of God. The Greek word for church is; "ekklesia" and it means 'called out assembly' or 'called gathering of people'. The word "ekklesia" comes from two Greek words; "ek" meaning 'from' or 'out of' and "kaleo" meaning to 'call'. In other words 'called out ones'.

The word church is mentioned 108 times in the New Testament but not once in the Old Testament. The Church can never be seen as the 'Kingdom of God', the Church is part of the Kingdom of God. We cannot inherit ourselves but we can inherit the Kingdom of God. The Church consist of true believers in Jesus Christ, the Church is the body of Christ. The Church is a whole company of redeemed in all ages, in Heaven and on earth, Hebrews 12:23 and Ephesians 3:14 - 21.

1.  A local Church may be defined as a company of redeemed people in a community, who unite themselves voluntarily together as a part of the universal Church for the purpose of establishing themselves in the faith of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to evangelize their community and to propagate the gospel to the end of the

earth. Local Churches are mentioned many times in the New Testament. A local Church may consist of two or three people, Matthew 18:20; Romans 16;5; 1 Corinthians 16;19.

2.  We believe that the believers are the ‘house of God’ and the ‘temple of God’. We do believe that we have to have a building, or a place where we can have fellowship. The building is to keep us from the weather and to accommodate a multitude. He makes His abode with - in us. This teaching has a solid Scriptural foundation as can be seen from the following Scriptures:

a.  1 Timothy 3:15, “But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God”.

 

b.  Hebrews 3:6, “But Christ as a Son over his house, who we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope, firm to the end”.

 

c.  1 Peter 2:5, “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house”.

 

d.  1 Corinthians 3:9b, “You are God’s building. No one can lay a better foundation, than Jesus Christ”.

 

e.  John 2:19, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up”. Jesus spoke of His own body.

 

f.  1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you”.

 

g.  1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God.

 

h.  2 Corinthians 7:16b, “For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, I will dwell in them and walk among them.”

 

i.  Acts 7:48, “ However, the most High does not live in temples made with hands, etc.”.

 

j.  Acts 17:24, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.”

 

k.  John 14:23b, “And We will come to him and make Our home with him”. This is what Jesus said.

 

There are many more Scriptures to proof what the Bible teaches. We are a house of living stones, built and woven together by the Holy Spirit of which Jesus Christ is the corner stone. We are members and part of the body of Christ of which He is the head. No person must ever think that he or she is the head, the body does not have two heads. If we do not function in the body, we are dead; we will be cut - off and thrown away.

3.  Many human organizations claim to be Christian churches. See my Bible study on 'False preachers'. Any denomination that does not preach and teach what the New Testament teaches or add whatever they want to suit them; to enrich their status or pockets is not from God. The Church does not consist of saved and unsaved people. The following points are essential for membership in a local Church:

3.1 The new birth and genuine Christian living.

3.2 The sole authority of the Bible, rightly divided and willful obedience to the Bible.

3.3 The freedom of conscience and personal responsibility to God.

3.4 Accepting the authority of the leaders and the organization in the local Church.

4.  The sole purpose of the Church is to do what Jesus Christ did on earth. The body of Jesus is being formed by the Holy Spirit. The Church was founded when the ministry of Jesus Christ started, not on the day of Pentecost as many believe. This statement is clear as can be seen from Scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 12:28, "God has set some in the church, first apostles, etc". When did Jesus set up the apostle, certainly not on the day of Pentecost. On the day of Pentecost 3000 people were added, a few days later 5000 more were added. People are still being added daily, this addition will carry on until the day Christ will come in the air to take away His New Testament Church, together with the redeemed of all ages past.

B.  WE ALL HAVE A CALLING: Are you ready for the classroom of leadership preparation? If God chooses to bring you into this class, you will be faced with three reactions to the events.

First, you may say, "I don't need it." Perhaps that is what you think, but God wants you to know it in your heart. Pride prevents us from entering this classroom.

Second reaction may be, "I'm tired of it." You decide you've had enough. If so, this will disqualify you from leadership.

Finally, God's desired response, from us in this preparation is "I accept it." To accept it with joy is the place of maturity in Christ. God often keeps us in these places until we come to accept and agree that Jesus is more  than enough. Is He all I need? Are you ready for the process required for being a Godly leader? Ask for His grace to willingly embrace these times of preparation.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, Ephesians 6:12. There is the spiritual and there is the physical. The spiritual involves two forces. One is good. One is evil. We must realize the spiritual is more real than the physical. Satan does have his agents in the world to block the purposes of God. We need to recognize when these are at work. Pray that you might have spiritual eyes and ears to discern these forces today in your work.

God called us to be salt in a world that needs much salt. "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men" Matthew. 5:13. Each of us must ask ourselves if we have lost our salt. Are we having an impact on our world? Or is our world having an impact on us? Ask God to give you a vision for how you can be salt to your world today.

C.  HOW TO CONDUCT YOURSELF DURING PREACHING: “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” 1 Timothy 3:15.

1.  Listen well, listen with compassion towards the preacher. God uses all kinds of men and not all are powerful, fascinating speakers. Remember that God can use weak men. An example is Solomon. He had tremendous problems, but God used him to write three important books of the Bible, including the book of Proverbs, which is the book of wisdom. Our eyes must be upon God and not upon the preacher. Listen to the preacher as you would want people to listen to you. Avoid a critical attitude.

2.  Do not distract others. Examples of things that distract others are talking and writing notes back and forth between persons, making noise i.e. cracking your fingers, playing with babies, and children looking at the people behind them. Parents need to be aware of what their children are doing and make certain that they are not distracting someone. Another example is leaving the service to go to the restroom. Parents should make sure that their children don’t develop this distracting habit. It is extremely dishonoring to the Word of God that is being preached. There is plenty of time to go to the bathroom before and after the services. Of course, if an individual has a medical or health problem that requires him or her to leave the service, that is a different matter altogether. Such a person can sit in the back and slip out quietly.

3.  Listen with an open mind. God’s invitation is extended throughout the message and not merely at the end. Let God speak to you, reprove, rebuke, and exhort you. Don’t think that the preaching is for someone else. Don’t make excuses for your sins or faults.

4.  Listen with faith. If you listen carefully and seek something from the Lord, you can be edified even from a seemingly boring message. Don’t let your mind wander to other things. Don’t do something else when you should be listening to the preaching. I have seen people read other notes. You won’t get anything from the preaching if you don’t listen attentively. The Word of God is ineffective unless it is “mixed with faith.” Some listen to preaching as a form of entertainment. They enjoy it but they don’t believe it enough to change how they live.

5.  Listen to learn from the sermon. By the way, you should have your own Bible rather than merely looking on with someone else. Take notes of the important points. Write down things to study later, things to check later, and things to share with others. This will help you remember what is preached.


6. Listen discerningly. The Bible warns that we must not put our trust in man.  We must carefully test all preaching by the Word of God - Acts 17:11; 1 Corinthians. 14:29; 1 Thessalonians. 5:21.

7.  Treat the invitation seriously and with respect. Respond to the invitation as the Lord leads, and pray for others. Be careful not to distract others during the invitation. Be conscious of their needs.

B2. Ministry Departments:

The body of Christ is one but has many members, as member we do not all have the same function, 1 Corinthians 12:12, ‘For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ’. This means that we do not all have the same ministry. Having different ministries we have different departments. Ephesians 4:16, ‘From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

MINISTRY DEPARTMENTS WITH MINISTRY DEPARTMENT LEADERS.

A. If you are planning to do something for God this can be seen as a guide on how and what to do or expect. According to American statistics there are more than 2000 people leaving the ministry per month. This of cause is not because they are not ‘called’ to do the job but because they were not prepared properly. ‘Prepare well and you will end well’. ‘Plan your work and work your plan’.

There are people claiming to be ‘called’ by God to do His work here on earth. I do not believe that I ever came across something like that in the New Testament. What I definitely came across is that we must all go out and preach the gospel. When John Osteen went into fulltime ministry he said; “I am going into God’s fulltime ministry whether He has called me or not. I do this because of what Jesus said”.

B. Using a ‘Member Application Form’, as per attached form will put you in a position to determent where members want to be involved. It is also important to know who are involved with your group. The only way to establish that is to use a ‘member application form’. There are people that want to feel involved, issuing membership certificates will easily ensure this.

I have found that the following 14 departments in alphabetical order work very well. This creates stability in any congregation and every person can support his/her own department. This will also help to get every person active for the Lord. In one of the following Bible studies we will look at; ‘Church Planting’ - how to start a ministry from scratch. We will also be looking at how to ‘Manage God’s Ministry’.  

There must be a department leader with an assistant leader for each of the following departments.

1.   Arts and Drama.

2.   Children’s Church - Crèche, Youth Counseling.

3.   Coffee Station.

4.   Counseling - Altar Work, Marriage Counseling.

5.   Home Cells - Cell Leader Training, Community Outreach.

6.   Ladies Fellowship.

7.   Men’s Fellowship.

8.   Ministry Training - Bible Studies.

9.   Multi Media - Sound, Photo/ Video, Monthly bulletin.

10. Music - Band, Choir, Praise and Worship.

11. Parking and Security - Car Park Security, Audience Security.

12. Social work - Social workers.

13. Ushers and Hostesses - Door Service, Communion Table, Seating and Chairs, Offering/Donations.

14. Youth Outreach - Youth Meetings.

BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR IN BEGINNING A NEW MINISTRY.

C.  As soon as you start a new ministry you will always have holy grasshoppers trying to join what you are starting, be deaf and blind to these people, and assure them that bygones must be bygones with you, and that as you have not inherited your predecessor's cupboard you do not mean to eat his cold meat. There will also be pastors and ministers opposing what you doing. They are the selfish ones feeling threatened.

Whenever God the Holy Spirit start something, those in the established religious community, and sometimes among those from whom we would expect support often meet it with resistance. Jesus met the same resistance when He began His public ministry. This same phenomenon happens today. When God begins a new work that cannot be easily explained based upon prior experiences, many make the mistake of assuming it not to be of God. The very people who should embrace and encourage the work become the source of skepticism and opposition. God tells us that His ways are not our ways. He does things in ways beyond our limited understanding.

Christianity and politics run on voluntary commitment from members. We are living in a time slot where people are tired of playing church. The time has come where people are hungry for the truth. The time of the old conventional church is of the past. The ‘one - man show’ church is of the past. The time where people see the pastor or leader as the head of the congregation is of the past. People want team - work. They want to be involved. I am glad that the days where the church tried to control the government is of the past. If you did not belong to a certain Afrikaans church you could not serve in the parliament. Praise God that they have come to a big ‘crash’ and are beginning to loose thousands of members.

Do not be in a hurry to appoint department leaders; sometimes it takes fasting and praying to appoint the right leaders. If your heart is right with God He will bring the right people in line with what you are planning to do.

Taking a closer look at the 14 ministry departments in alphabetical order:

1.   Arts and Drama.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor’s wife. This department does not have to be one of the first to be established.

 

2.   Children’s Church - Crèche, Youth Counseling.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor’s wife. This is one of the more important departments and can also be amongst one of the first to be established.

 

3.   Coffee Station.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor’s wife. This department can be one that develops on its own. Make sure that this does not become a ‘cake and tea’ competition.

 

4.   Counseling - Altar Work, Marriage Counseling.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor. These members must be trained and be appointed by the senior pastor or leader. The leaders must be experienced or be home cell leaders.

 

5.   Home Cells - Cell Leader Training, Community Outreach.

Home Cell leaders must report to the Home Cell Department Leader. All these leaders must complete the home cell course before commencing. This leader department can only be appointed by the senior pastor or leader.

 

6.   Ladies Fellowship.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor’s wife. Most of the female leaders wil come out of this department. This is where the ladies can say there final word. The pastor or leader’s wife must appoint the department leader.

 

7.   Men’s Fellowship.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor. This is where the men learn to know each other better. The senior pastor or leader must appoint a department leader.

 

8.   Ministry Training - Bible Studies.                                                                                 

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor. The senior pastor or leader must take charge here and only appoint the right person God willing.

 

9.   Multi Media - Sound, Photo/ Video, Monthly bulletin.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor. This is one of the first departments that must be established to be able to set up the stage for worship and preaching.

 

10. Music - Band, Choir, Praise and Worship.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor. This is one of the first departments that must be established to lead meetings in worship.

 

11. Parking and Security - Car Park Security, Audience Security.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor. This department has to control traffic and parking.

 

12. Social work - Social workers.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor’s wife. The senior pastor’s wife or leader must appoint this department leader.

 

13. Ushers and Hostesses - Door Service, Communion Table, Seating and Chairs, Offering/Donations.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor. The senior pastor or leader must appoint this department leader.

 

14. Youth Outreach - Youth Meetings.

This department leader must report to the Senior Pastor. A youth leader must be appointed by the senior pastor. Preferably a young married couple.

                                                              

                                                              Compiled by:  Chris Mengel Snr.

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