As I was reading today, the author quoted from Richard Halverson, the former chaplain of the United States Senate:
In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centered on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America, where it became an enterprise.
For clarification, I looked up the word “enterprise”. It means “a business or company”.
As the church moved to different cultures throughout history, you can see how the values of the culture, or what the culture exalted, effected how the church was seen or established. The church of America has become reflective of what our culture exalts.
Over my years of ministry, this subtle well-intentioned objective for the church has driven many in the establishment and ministry of the church. Man knows how to build ‘an enterprise’. Often the issue is the church can be out in front of the Holy Spirit’s leading and empowerment. The Holy Spirit gets mentioned as “part of the ministry’s success” but in reality, He is left out of leading the way. Strategy, proven methods, and proper training become the leading force in building a “successful ministry”.
Acts 1:8 (NLT) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The church is a spiritual organism. It only functions effectively as its people are committed and surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s will and as the Spirit empowers and leads. Take a look at the beginnings of the church in Acts. The believers only responded as the Spirit so directed and empowered. In that, God did mighty things!
This is my heart for ministry at PAC – Holy Spirit empowered and lead ministry… counter-cultural. I want Him to lead us and then we use our willingness and gifts to follow.
In HIS hands,