Saturday, February 7, 2015

All Dressed up and No Place to Go

I was on the phone with an old friend of mine. Not age, long time. 

We were part of the Church in Fargo long ago when Pastor Dan was alive.

He had been an elder and in Sr Leadership for a long time there.  I love this man.  We talked for over an hour about the things of God.  It was magnificent. 

He no longer attends church. He's not angry.  He's not upset.  He just can't find a place to do what he is equipped to do.  For decades leadership helped him develop in the ministry of the Prophetic, Healing, Prayer, Intercession, Preaching, Faith for Miracles, Discernment, Casting out Demons (I could tell tales) and operating in fullness.

He is the kind of man a pastor SHOULD desire to be part of the team.  He is equipped for battle.  Fully clothed and no place to go.  What makes it worse is if he were part of the team he would be able to facilitate much.  His tithe would be well over $30,000 per year. He makes that kind of money.

So he works with troubled teens, He ministers to his neighbors.  His tithe money goes to ministries, none of them the local church.  He has not darkened a church door for months.

He was an integral part of that church locally.  The Sr pastor left.  A new guy came in. He went all seeker friendly. No more Prophetic utterance (yes it is a charismatic fellowship).    No more ministry for healing.  No more marriage restoration ministry.  That pastor now has 3 songs, preaches, collects the offering and sends them on their way.

My friend has been shut out.  He is expected to come plop pray and pay.  That's it.  So he doesn't come to that church any more.

I told him that I felt bad for him because I can be part of a glory time every week at Crusaders.  He did go to Florida for a couple weeks and was part of Rodney Howard Browne's meetings.  He also was at a camp meeting south of Tampa.  He is so hungry for the glory of God.

Would such a man be welcome in your church or would he be too scary?  I have been told by more than one pastor that I would scare the hell of them if I decided to attend their church.  They need the HELL scared out of them.  But I will defer.  I will go where I am celebrated. I will go where the equipping of 4 decades of living for Jesus can make a difference.  I refuse to Plop Pray and Pay.

So will my friend.  I am not alone.  Neither is he. I have a good friend who lives not 2 miles from me.  He owns a chain of stores in the Chicagoland area.  It is very profitable.  His tithe might be $50,000 if he were in a church.  BUT because he no longer attends church because there is no place for him to do what he was equipped to do, he stays away and ministers where he can find a place.

Long ago my Friend John Garfield told me something that helped me a great deal, He said, "Don't try to make your ministry fit into a church.  Your ministry is too big for any church".  I think that's a crime.  He's right you know.  There aren't any churches any more that can take a fully equipped (clothed) saint of God and use them effectively. The model doesn't allow for it.  Churches have lost their way.

I think this was inevitable.  Good men and women of God faithful to the house of the Lord learning to do all that the call of God on their lives is and then saying.. "what now?".  Churches in the USA don't know how to harness the horses all around them so their gifts, talents and yes money is lost to them.

I don't believe Father is pleased that those He invested so much in are set aside on the sidelines to founder.  

So to those who find themselves like my friends here, get out of the box.  Your ministry is too big for the church that can't accept you.  Go ye into all the world, you will make disciples, bigger than any church and they will expand the kingdom.  Religion in the west for the most part has rejected God's gifts.  It's like getting gifts under the tree at Christmas and refusing to open them.  The giver won't be pleased.

He isn't. 


Anonymous said...

Too true. "Worked in the church" for almost 30 yrs. Had my share of the same feeling especially from people that constantly said I shouldn't be doing what I was called to do (stupid thinking - God decides your destiny, not people). Have always done much more ministry OUTSIDE the "church" than inside. For the past 5 been doing it all outside since (sound familiar...???) there isn't really a place around here that I could use my gifts and talents as effectively as I should, so God called me to hit the road. I tithe to ministries that I feel ARE reaching people and doing real Kingdom work. AND I feel GREAT about it. People always think the church is a building: it ain't. It's people. Period. God said it: I believe it: End of story.

That Disciple whom Jesus loves said...

Sad to say, I can completely relate. Thank God He gave me insight into the reasons local churches so often do not welcome the Holy Spirit....for it is those led by the Spirit that conflict with them because they are not led by the Holy Spirit but another spirit, masquerading as the Holy Spirit....they are captive in spiritual Babylon just as the Israelites went into captivity in natural Babylon...but God has a remnant who have not bowed the knee to Baal, thank God but at this time the remnant is hiding in caves and in the wilderness....but their day is coming....

That Disciple whom Jesus loves said...


Anonymous said...

I may be wrong but , Really I know many in this situation young and old. However I do believe in a sense God is drawing many out to be with Him. So they may show forth for a brief time before He comes. To sit chained in an atmosphere void of the Spirit actually being the Lord and listen to the carnal mind expand upon the Word of God. While the traditions of men and many doctrines go on and on. Is the epitemy of grieving vexing quenching and yes even searing ones conscience To God. Sadly this is happening to many even sadder is many of the leadership think it's o.K. They are so hardened to the Holy Spirit. They are no longer correctable.

Anonymous said...

As a practicing servant of Christ with a prayer ministry, it's become very hard to find a place where I'd be welcome. I never criticize. I only ever offer help, or I offer testimony of what God means to me. But even that has drawn persecution.

Second, it's deeply unfair to our children to bounce them around. At this point, we'll do home church until we can find a place to settle down.

Third, even trying to find a Pentecostal church hasn't worked. The last few times we attended a service, their focus was collecting money. A greeter cross-examined us during the worship service about what we do for a living. I chose not to tell him that we'd spent our money on a two-year missionary trip, and had just returned to look for work. We felt very unwelcome.

Any case, thanks for a good article. It's nice to know we're not alone.