It is not the responsibility of Leadership to increase the size of the church. It is not the responsibility of Leadership to grow up and mature the church. It is not responsibility of leadership to do all of the work of the ministry for the church. The mandate of Leadership is to assist, help, pray for, cover (protect) encourage, guide, train, equip, and facilitate. It is the responsibility of the Church to reproduce, to mature, and to do the work of the ministry, in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and through the living and alive Word of God, Worship and Prayer.
However, the church of America is not growing, Christians are not, generally maturing, and the work of the ministry is being done by the oh so very few and watched by the many. This is why the few are so lifted up and exalted. We, as the Church are all called as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession (1 Pet 2:9). This nation of the USA is our nation and our calling as a Church to reach and influence, for the Kingdom of Almighty God and our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. In the previous post, “What In The World Are We Doing?”, I wrote of my deepening concern regarding the Church and a few of the general issues I see as severely detrimental to its growth, maturity and healthy development, on a personal level. These issues seem to stem from some basic assumptions being made by those in primary leadership and influence that has caused much of the church’s focus and ministry to become directed toward the lowest common denominator, thus creating a ministry of co-dependency, immaturity and laziness.
When are we, as individuals, within the Church, going to stop surrendering to this idea that truly effective ministry must be focused towards the haves and have nots. What I mean is this, when we gear our language, ministry, Bible Translations, etc. to the least, we lose the rest by forcing them into a choice of being the haves, in terms of knowledge and know how, or those who are and remain needy or dependent upon the haves of Biblical knowledge, know how and expertise. Where is the Middle Class of the Church? Where are those who are called to be the majority and back bone of the strength and effectiveness of the Church? And No, I am not speaking of the cultural and financial middle class of this nation. I am speaking of the Church.
We will always need Teachers, Leaders, etc within the Church. Yes, we will always have those who are entry level Believers who are coming into the Body of Christ from the World, in desperate need of entry level training, nurturing and maturing. However, the strength of the church isn’t found in the entry level or the primary leadership levels alone. The true functioning strength of the Church is found in what should be a large, healthy, dedicated, and committed functioning Middle Class of Believers, who know their place within the Kingdom of God, know their call to Righteously and Obediently Serve the Lord Jesus Christ where ever, whenever, and in whatever manner the Lord has for them. It is this group to which I find myself ever so deeply burdened and actually wondering, where in the world are they?
Yes, I know that they are out there. However, they are not out there in the numbers that we should have. They should be the largest group of believers in the Church and they seemingly are not. I believe this is one of the reasons the church is in the deep trouble in America that it is.
The Healthy and vibrant Spiritual Middle Class is not made up of those who have simply been in the Church a long time, or are its formal members, or attend its various functions and meetings or even support it to some degree financially.
No, I am speaking of those who know who they are in the Lord Jesus Christ, who know their way around the Word of God generally and effectively, using it faithfully throughout their lives and circumstances, are faithfully functioning in and with the gifting and calling of the Lord Jesus Christ, who know how and are faithfully living in a sweet and powerful prayerful, worshiping communion in and before their Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. They are men and women of the Lord’s wisdom, integrity, and Spirit. They are His servants, effective in all that He is and has given them to do. They are not primary leadership, but probably could or even should be. They are not the upfront people, but again could be. They are not one’s who draw attention to themselves in whatever they do, but they are the faithful, steadfast, committed, dependable servants of the Lord God Almighty. They remain hungry for more of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Will, Word and Ways, yet are not easily swayed into unrighteous action or belief. They continue to discerningly grow, learn, and develop in the Word of God, in the Holy Spirit and His gifting and fruit, yet quietly, generously, faithfully and humbly serve as is needed of them. These are the Church’s Middle Class and indeed, in my humble opinion, are genuinely first class in my heart and eyes. We desperately need them to once again arise and come forth out of the shadows, for the Church is ever so weak and hampered without them. We are incomplete without this vital, vibrant and proactive Middle Class.
My question is, Where are they? What have we done and Why do we continue to discourage this vital, essential role and element within the Body of Christ? Why is it that so much of what the Church markets, breeds a co-dependency and an unrighteous ignorance and laziness? Why is it that we so value the lowest common denominator that we have gone to such great lengths to dumb down and over simplify the things of God’s Word, Life, Spirit and Grace, that the Church reflects more and more this kind of reality instead of the strength, maturity and vibrancy of the Healthy and well functioning Middle Class?