My last article about getting organized with your organic ministry was more of a brainstorming type of article based all on my own personal opinions. While I could throw out some scripture to support those opinions, I decided to let them stand as they are and let you decide whether those ideas would be of merit to you nor not. I don’t buy into any cookie cutter approach to ministry, because I feel it puts the Holy Spirit into a box that he does not belong in. I see the Spirit as well beyond our limited human minds and therefore needs plenty of breathing room and ample space to stretch us to incredible depths of faith.
free photo source Pix-O-Sphere
I lightly touched on the idea of teaching and the need for that in ministry. Jesus taught and you can read his teachings in the bible for yourself, or you might be interested in hearing someone else’s interpretation of those teachings. Ultimately, you are free to read the bible on your own and come to your own conclusions. However, if you want to hear teaching from someone else’s perspective, don’t expect that they teach for free all the time. When you choose to go to school to learn how to be a carpenter, a doctor, or even a fashion designer, you pay for those classes. To expect a teacher to teach for free all the time can be considered rude and lack common decency. They have bills to pay. Don’t get caught up in the school of thought that a teacher needs to have his own job and still teach for free on his/her only days off. That expectation puts them in bondage to you, how would you like to work for free on your days off?
You might argue that Jesus wasn’t on a church’s payroll (which is true), but keep in mind that Jesus’ needs were met in every town he went to. He didn’t starve to death and he had sandals to protect his feet. A man doesn’t walk the bare land as much as he did on one pair of sandals spanning a three and a half year time period. In addition to his basic needs being met, he didn’t have children to provide for. In today’s society, ministers have families and each family has a unique set of needs to be met. My philosophy for organizing ministry isn’t so that the ministers do everything on their own. It is desirable to have a congregation assist in every area of ministry to alleviate the minister to simply teach and serve. Some congregations want their minister to have a full time job aside from ministry and there are congregations where the people don’t want to volunteer, so they choose to give financially. A team of people can be paid to do it all themselves, preparing all week long for the weekend activities. Both of these options are our freedom to participate in. I personally find great value in a congregation all having their part in the ministry, because it develops a team spirit toward their community. So whether your part is to support others doing it, or you get in there and volunteer your time, both are acceptable.
An organic minister without financial support will have limited time for preparing to teach, but at the same time they will be free to not teach. They won’t be bound to a specific time every week and although there are benefits of doing so, it also creates some limitations for the minister to have freedom to do other things on those days. They can write instead of teach in person and give people the opportunity to read for free. If they choose to publish a book with a company that has a great marketing campaign then they can generate an income for themselves and possibly bring in enough money to fund their own ministry. There are many ways of serving in ministry, we just need to have the freedom to brainstorm ideas and pursue what works best for us.
With all that being said, lets get down to the nitty gritty of why I teach organically. My belief in teaching is to equip others to learn of their freedom and how to teach others likewise. This is part of the message that I see in the epistles written to those who were serving in ministry.
2 Timothy 2:2 “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” NLT
Something beautiful that is not often highlighted (if it is, then it is usually brief and often only taught to women) is that Timothy was taught by his grandmother and his mother. Some preachers will arrogantly refuse to get their theology from women, yet they fail to acknowledge all the theology that these women taught Timothy and the theology their own mothers taught them while being raised. Anyone can be a minister and a teacher. We have the opportunity to ‘teach others also’, as we have been taught. Think about how your family’s heritage is passed down through the ages, it is passed down through story telling and through repeated practice. This is how we have come to embrace the Christmas traditions that our grandparents enjoyed. Likewise, we pass down the testimonies of our generation so future generations can learn from them. However, the point is not so future generations live by our grandparent’s faith, but that they will establish their own faith and generate their own stories to tell.
God has always been doing magnificent things in people’s lives. While he did a great work through Moses, Paul, Martin Luther, and Billy Graham, He has begun a new work in all of us and we are free to pursue that work. Whatever it is that the Spirit has told you, you are free to pursue it, to teach it, and to live it out. Part of the school anthem at Next Dimension Bible College says this,
“Let’s stop being imitators and emulators of another man’s grace. Let’s stop being counterfeiters and replicas of the ministry profile of others. Let’s stop living off of another person’s revelation. There is an adventure in discovering the “you” that is within you. It is the fullness of the measure of Christ. The maximizing of the Christ within- The Hope of Glory! Learn to be your “revealed self” because God will not anoint a lie.”
You see, if we simply live off of someone else’s revelation, then we are not living out the revelation that Christ has for us individually. If I were to live my whole life living off the revelation given to Martin Luther then why would God anoint me? What was given to Luther was for him and his community. God has a unique message for each of us and our communities. Their anthem goes on to say,
“..what about a word birthed out of your groaning and passionate anticipation- a “signature word” that identifies your plight and summarizes your destiny and purpose as an individual- not as a clone or replica of the greatness of others, but that which divinely identifies your awesome life representation.”
We each have an era in which we live and a corner of globe where we commune with those around us. Our culture, economy, and spiritual components of life vary greatly from one corner to the other. In the bible we see the term used in Greek is, aion. This is the age in which we live. We no longer live in the aion of King James, his era has passed. He had his own ‘latter days’ to face and we have ours. What is it that the Spirit has told you about your ‘latter days’? What message and ministry has he laid at your feet to deliver to your generation and community?
Whatever passion it is that God is birthing through your anguish, you can bring about great change for your aion and bless many more aionon to come. This kind of teaching is not commonly taught in many churches. While I am tempted to ask why it’s not being taught, I’d rather ask, why not teach it? It’s an incredible act of faith to give people their freedom to pursue God without requiring they get a stamp of approval from an institution. Going to a school, or even just a weekend workshop conference, can be effective if you are seeking encouragement and inspiration to further the message God has given you. It’s about hearing how others are being led and gleaning what we can to benefit our own journey in Christ. Never let it be about copying another person’s testimony. You have your own to live out!
Go ahead and teach others what God has shown you. Do so from the depths of your heart in whatever language or lingo your friends will understand. If you desire to take classes on how to teach more effectively, then take a class and get the most of out it so it best serves you and the message you have to convey.
This all may sound so simple, and it is! So why would I need to teach this freedom when people can just go ahead and live free without Sisterlisa? Because I want to teach freedom! You don’t have to listen to me or support me financially. You are free! Freedom is the whole point, but many people are still in bondage to living in the aion of King James. Question the interpretation of the King (or pastor), “off with your head!” I’ll never chop off your head for disagreeing with me. In fact, I want you to disagree. I hope you’ll glean what you can and at the same time be free to disagree and pursue the path that God has given you in your own freedom.
If we’re really this free then why do we need teachers to teach freedom? Because not many are teaching freedom and in the process, wolves are out there trapping people in legalistic bondage. At some point, I hope you would realize you don’t need a teacher. You have the Spirit within you and he will teach you all things. Even though you are free to get your teaching directly from God, it’s still fun to get together with other folks who are on a similar journey and have fun enjoying life together.
Since the Lord has set you free, freedom is indeed what you have.