Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Church Governance (27)

Elders should replicate their ministries in their disciples (i.e. produce clones of themselves). This is an extremely important principle. Every person who has developed in a ministry should be training up several people in that same ministry. In this way the ministries of the church will multiply. Multiplication of ministry is as important as multiplication of membership.

Potential evangelists will tend to be drawn to the evangelist. Potential prophets will be drawn to the prophet. Potential pastors will be drawn to the pastors. They will learn all that they can from them. Each elder in a church should be developing some people who have potential to develop into a similar ministry. They should be training someone to replace themselves, if they are called to leave. Jesus said that everyone who is fully trained is like his master (Luke 6:40).

One test of the quality of a church is what has happened to a person who became a Christian in the church three years earlier. Are they functioning in a ministry (Jesus disciples were)? If they are not, then the church is not functioning correctly. Is there a development path for the new Christian? Can they expect to be functioning in a ministry within three years? This should be normal. (People who come to Christianity with severe problems may take longer to grow to maturity, but they should be on the same path).

The ascension gifts are for equipping others. The best way to be equipped for a ministry is to learn off someone who is further on, as Elisha learnt his ministry by following Elijah. An elder is just someone who has been serving Jesus a little bit longer, so new Christians should attempt to start where they left off. Elders should desire to see those who follow them go further than they have.

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