Summary: Look back to the beginning at what God has actually called you to do.
Ephesians 4:1-3 reads, I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation by which you are called, 2. With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; 3. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. In context, these three verses covers part of Paul's address to the church about keeping unity in the church. Paul suggested good conduct in our occupations, before the people in the church. He prescribed humility in how we deal with people in the church. And he advocated Tolerance and patience in how we nourish people in the church. In this setting, Paul pontificates on the subject of deportment, virtue, and professionalism, in a formal Christian setting.
And in doing so, every now and then we must re-evaluate ourselves in the ministry that we are called. After years of labouring in the church, we must take the time to Revisit Our Ministry roots, to see where we need to update our strategies in helping God's people. Times have changed, the mentality of people have changed, and the situations people get themselves into have also changed. And in order for us as Christians to help God's people in the twenty-first century, we must update our responses to twenty-first century solutions. This is not the church, your grand parents attended sixty years ago.
Sixty years ago, if a young girl in the church got pregnant out of wedlock, the family would send her away, and keep her in hiding. Today when a young girl gets pregnant out of wedlock, she actually flaunts her pregnancy. And requires everyone to respect her wishes to keep her baby. Times have changed. Sixty years ago, if a young teenage boy in the church got a girl pregnant, his family made him do the right thing and marry the young lady. Today, he lets her know that he's a player, and he's not going out like that. And makes her feel that it was her fault for getting pregnant in the first place. Times have changed. Sixty years ago, men would work hard, and maybe drink a little moon shine to relax. Today they spend their entire incomes on drugs, that destroys the man and his entire family. Times have changed. Sixty years ago, if a person in the church had homosexual or bisexual tendencies, they kept it to themselves. Today, they go to court to force the church and everyone else to respect their rights, and their nasty way of living. Times have changed.
I think you get the message by now that times have changed, and the mentality of people has changed. And I know that God remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever-more, but the world He created did not stay the same. And if we are going to help God's people in this twenty-first century as a church, it is imperative that every cluster of the church, Revisit Your Ministry.
In the twenty-first century church, a lot of emphasis is put on only some of the gifts that God has placed in the church. These gifts are, apostles, prophets, teachers, and those who perform miracles. Everywhere you look, there are new Apostles popping up. But what confuses me is that the definition of the title apostle is, one that is sent to establish. And since the church has been established long ago, I'd like to know what these new Apostles are establishing? An Apostle is not sent to establish a new doctrine, but only to establish churches by the doctrine that the lord has already set up. But in a lot of the churches that have these new Apostles, they seem to have a different doctrine than the lord has already set up for His church. Let's not forget that The Right Rev. Jim Jones established a church, and led more than 900 men, women and children to their deaths in a mass suicide because they followed a man that had established a church with a new doctrine. Some Apostles need to revisit their ministry.
Then there are prophets and teachers. While there is nothing wrong with prophets and teachers, in todays society, they all seem to come in the form of preachers. And now Everybody wants to be a preacher. (now hold on to your seats because I'm about to say something that may shock you) While there is nothing wrong with being a preacher, there are a lot of people that want to be preachers, and a lot of people that are already preachers, that have no business being a preacher at all. Being a preacher is just like being a doctor. A doctor takes your life in his hands when he treats your ailments. And a preacher takes the lives of Christians in his his hands when he preaches and teaches in the church. And in my many years of study and preaching, I see that a lot of current preachers do not take their task seriously at all.