"No Steeple, Just People"

Why Not a Ministerial Association?
Don't we already have coordination within the Body in our town?

OK. Now this is delicate for a number of reason. First, there are lots of great folks out there that I don't want to insult. Second, it should be blatantly clear from the history of the church that every major move of God is most ferociously opposed by the established religious structures themselves. Third, there are really potential conflict-of-interest problems with ministerial associations.  Fourth, every town is different, so the best I can do is generalities - and since I think God is about to move in a BIG way, things will start looking different very soon.

So, to address them in order:

First, God has MANY good men and women in positions of leadership all over the country. I hear from more and more of them all the time that are feeling an inclination in this direction, but aren't sure how to do it. There are no seminary courses (that I know of) on how to restore a city church - and if there were someone with a "program" of how to do according to a detailed formula that works for every town you should IMMEDIATELY ignore them.  It can ONLY be done under the Lord's headship. Anything else is made by Man and WILL fail.  It comes down to this - repent, hear His voice, obey and test ALL the spirits ALL the time. This is war.

Secondly, I expect opposition and you should too. Jesus said that would happen. Nearly all of the critical things He said were directed at the religious establishment that crucified Him.

I'm not very complex.  I'm a businessman and so I just look at the market forces at play here.  I have a furniture store. How much sense would it make to bet my whole business on my ability to sell MY furniture to the owners of the other furniture stores in town?  They have a big stake in their own businesses and, for that matter, a vested interest in the failure of mine. Some of them are selling an entirely different kind of furniture or have different tastes. Some of them might even be complete stinkers with whom I don't want to do business.  So, you can see, you're in big trouble before you even started if you write a business plan that can only succeed if you get a VERY narrow subsection of the population to get fully on board of what is essentially a plan running directly counter to their training and instincts and self-interest.  (More on that HERE.)

Put yourself in their place. What if you were a sincere, Christ-loving man who went to Bible college, went to Seminary, were doing everything you had been trained to do and following all of the big role models set before you and were told that you were doing it wrong.  It might even threaten your livelihood and ability to feed your family. You might not have any other job skills.  Of everyone in the church, THAT person may be the most likely one to have a hardened heart toward major change - they have the most to lose.  (Another tip-off that we might have structural problems with the way we're currently doing things.)

Third, in our town for example, there is already a ministerial association and it includes pastors of churches that don't even fall into the "Christian" category.  We are NOT to be unequally yoked, so there is already a fundamental problem with even approaching that group.  If we believe in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, how can we suggest that there is some other way to God? How can we justify participating with the World in that way as if we're pulling for the same cause?  If this is a war, then there are only TWO teams - Jesus and the other guy.  Everybody that's not on Jesus' team is for the other guy. Why would you work with members of the other guys' team and pretend you're not at war?  I don't think pastors can scripturally justify their involvement in an ecumenical association that attaches them to non-Christians.  Another example of how we've got a little too much fear of Man and want to be "liked".

Fourth, you're going to have to listen to God about what the true situation is on the ground in your own town. God is very creative. Every field is different and requires different kinds of workers and methods to bring in the harvest. ONLY God can direct you. The very LAST thing we want to do is have you listen to US instead of God!

As for how much actual coordination and effectiveness is going on in your town, we have no way of knowing. It may be a blue-ribbon panel of wild, radical Jesus-lovers doing the right thing. But the odds are bad.



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