One reality of being a part of the Kingdom of God is that we are blessed to have access to the unlimited resources, wisdom, knowledge, and power of the King. If you are yoked together with Jesus and following Him daily, then there is no limit to what He can do through you! However, we need to have our minds renewed and understand the barriers we have established to keep us from reaching our potential.
Barrier #1: "Clergy / Laity Divide"
The establishment of the division between clergy and laity has kept many in the Body of Christ from reaching their potential. As a pastor, I regularly have people come and ask permission to do ministry. Jesus raised up disciples and set them free to minister. Yes, it is good to be accountable to one another... to check our motives or to discern particular issues within our ministry. It is good to seek wisdom from the church and it is right to submit to authority. However, there is still this overall mindset that a person can't engage in ministry without plugging into a program that is sanctioned by the church. Only 5% of the church population will ever engage in paid, "occupational" ministry. What about the other 95%? Is our Lord not able to lead the 95%? Is our Lord only speaking to the 5%? No, of course not. Jesus will lead. The challenge for the Clergy is to remove any and all shackles of control from the people and set them free to minister. If someone get's something wrong, then have an accountability conversation, but please, please do not squelch the body before it starts to minister.
Barrier #2: "Selective Obedience"
People tend to hear all of the commands of Jesus as a buffet of options rather than a list of expectations. When we pick-and-choose what we want to obey instead of coming under the authority of Christ, we will fail to live up to our potential. The commands of Jesus are good ... they are Spirit and Life. Jesus' commands lead to abundant life! Selective obedience is a sign that you desire to have Christianity on your own terms. You pick what is good for you, but not what is commanded by God. People tend to divert their attention away from commands that hit them where they live. Our own unresolved issues, our own unhealed wounds, our own disregard for selected commands of Christ, hold us back from our potential. What if you thoroughly examined the gospels for the direct commands of Christ and then took the mental posture that "Jesus really meant this." How different would your life be?
Barrier #3: "The Casual, 'It's Not My Job' Mentality"
There is a tendency for Christian people to disregard anything that lies outside their "calling." We take a spiritual gifts test and then disregard anything that falls outside the results. Is it wrong to show mercy even if your gift is not mercy? Is it wrong to help if your gift is prophecy? Is it beneath you to teach if your gift is giving? You see, the Good Samaritan got it right. Perhaps mercy and giving were not his "gifts" but he did what was right because it was the right thing to do. We really need to erased the world's view of Job Descriptions from our work in the Kingdom. Sometimes we need to minister outside our gifting or ability because Jesus will prove Himself powerful in our weakness.
What would you do for Jesus today if you knew you couldn't fail?
Go do it.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.
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