Assemblies of God Empowered Magazine God's Eternal Word - Page 26

INSIGHT continued from pg 25... Biblically Illiterate Believers In my 25 years of full time ministry I have been constantly amazed at the number of believers who have been in the church for many, many years but are still spiritually immature and Biblically illiterate. The writer of Hebrews says, “Much more could be said about this subject. But it is hard to explain, and you are so slow to understand. By now you should have been teachers, but once again you need to be taught the simplest things about what God has said. You need milk instead of solid food.” (Heb 5:11-12) Are we not called, as pastors, to the task of “perfecting the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: (Eph 4:12-13) It’s not a game of numbers but one of obedience. The Lord taught me this when we started men’s ministry at the church. Over a dozen men turned up to our first event and I was already looking forward to the many more that would come in the future when the Lord reminded me of the term Promise Keepers use. It’s not so much ‘men’s ministry’ as it is ‘ministering to men’. The ‘still small voice’ in my head informed me that I already had more than a dozen men to minister to and, in the gentle way the Holy Spirit so often does, He asked me what my intentions were about ministering to them. To encourage them to be “doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving themselves” (into thinking they can just sit in the pew and wait for the second coming). The Bible College Dean quoted earlier agrees. “While every Christian is eager to see people saved” he says, “few are involved in personally being active in fulfilling the great commission”. Dave Mann, who heads up the Hope Project, regularly meets with pastor’s groups and youth leaders. He says meeting numbers are consistently low, joking that it’s the Lord’s way of keeping them humble. Yet in each meeting there are a few people who are touched or encouraged or empowered, so he still thanks God - even though it is disproportionate to the scale of the things they are attempting. “This article is provocative, authentic, true” he says. “We live in such an imperfect world. I thank God that He is the Lord of the harvest and not me.” Church historian Keith Newman agrees, saying this needs to be said out loud. He says lack of proper shepherding is a biggie, someone trusted in the wider leadership team to listen, ask the right questions and offer some options for involvement and a rethink of what it means to equip the saints. “Both churches and congregations (us who are in them) need to reconsider our motives and why we are frustrated” Newman says. “We've got to get a lot more creative in