I haven’t posted another writer’s article in a long time. This one is more than worth reading! It hits the nail on the head.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ would overnight take this nation in enormous revival if we ever got this right, first in our hearts then our behaviour!
It all depends on what we love the most! Many love their position, power/influence. prestige, and prosperity in their success more than seeing the purposes and will of God ignited into a flaming redemption for the multitudes in the valley of decisions. The problem is most love ‘it’ so!
Years ago, I with some dear friends pioneered a university ministry called “Students For Christ”. The big pentecostal evangelical church that embraced us focused on all the issues in this article that dreadfully impacted the university ministry. They were glad to receive the articulate well heeled graduates, their giving and their excellent leadership skills but refused to support the work that birthed them because the ‘tithes had to go into the storehouse”. A euphemism for ‘all the money is ours!” we must have it. As a management consultant and social scientist I understand organisations need bucket loads of money for their overheads of big pastors salaries, expensive buildings to look good, all the best sound systems, the staff and their programmes etc. none of which adds to the Kingdom of God nor which Jesus used; what I don’t understand is the justification that comes with it. Unfortunately it creates an anti-church culture that espouses other than Jesus espoused.
The justification that Jesus must have the best while denying the Gospel that calls us to sacrifice and to lay our lives down one for each other with Him and His purposes as first priority. I concluded at the time that my dear brothers and sisters simply didn’t get it; success in numbers had blunted their Holy Spirit hearing capacity (Rev 2:29“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’ it is the Spirit who speaks to the Church)
What saddened me the most, said senior pastor stands up one Sunday morning stating he is driving a stock standard up-market car and as their pastor his congregation should be pleased to upgrade to a more expensive version of what he was driving. Meanwhile moi, not being able to afford a new pair of jeans and no vehicle to travel between five campuses where new ministries were being pioneered and growing very well, accepted the dictum handed down by said senior pastor that no tithes or offerings were allowed to be given to the university ministry. Wonderfully God has His ways. man his! Students provided loan vehicles, students and university staff gave into the ministry ensuring basic needs were met for food and accommodation for those of us in ministry. The work did not suffer because in the goodness of God He provided. however suffering of another sort awaits those who do such to His purposes. Jesus has come to His Church to take it back from the hands of man, be aware.
Am I bitter because these pastors high on the hog falsely believed the tithes and offerings belonged to them? No! A thousand times no! Let them enjoy their reward now, for me it was such a joy to see Father God work so wonderfully. I had no wish to be anywhere else or to do anything else 🙂 Simply that’s how it was but during that time something of eternal value entered my heart changing me forever; a living now for eternity where I realised the reward I now wanted comes from Him. Now in case I sound saint like and glorified above being human I was not. It was a rough time, I made many mistakes, there were distressing problems and ambitious people to deal with especially students who thought they knew the whole wisdom of the world and the best way to do things. Yet in the midst God did His stuff as only He can and does. Those years are still a stand out for me. It is all a matter of what is valuable to the human heart. Did He not say where your treasure is there is your heart?
Naw, Father thank you for the opportunity to love and to set in motion what was to come. In later years under other leadership that university ministry expanded to 53 campuses across Australia. Many are in the Kingdom because of the sacrifice of the many who followed, who gave much, endured hardship and enjoyed hard fought victories. That ministry needs support in attempting to re-kindle the fire of those years. I am not involved even though my heart is with them. I have another mandate, The Church the Body of Christ.
I am a fourth generation Pentecostal. My great grandfather and and my Nan were some of the founding members of the Pentecostal movement in this country. I thank God for the wonderful heritage that the elders and members of Stafford Assemblies of God gave to me; the primacy of Scripture and the Holy Spirit in the believers life working with the Body to nourish and nurture each other; missions, we supported a missionary to Nepal in the ’60s, our little local church had outreaches every weekend, schooled in the necessity to love our neighbours with food parcels and good works; yes a rich and wonderful heritage in worship and prayer, discipleship and pastoral care; all of which the current Pentecostal churches need to return to with every fibre of their corporate being!! Even so Come Lord Jesus