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MATTER OF MINISTRY
Matters Regarding Media Ministries
How Much Do We Have to Learn Before We Become Spiritual?
Mentors and Ministries
of the spiritual life is to make a connection with those who can
supply valuable spiritual understanding and companionship. These
are the joints that support and nurture us. They are our
connections in the body of Christ. Fellowship supplies input to
areas of knowledge which will be encouraging, and edifying. When
we are born into the kingdom, we must move forward or we will retrograde
back to the old life in the world. Here according to most voices
of ministry is where one would be encouraged to get connected to
a "good" church. This should be a simple fact but it is
are few church bodies of believers who hold more than a traditional
evangelical viewpoint. Most are adhering to their own forms and
traditions, or doctrines. Often these do not advance the Spiritual
life to a significant level of maturity. Once in a church you are
expected to "play by their rules." My best advice is to
search for the church and set your sights on particular features
which will allow you to be discipled and grow not in tradition but
in spirituality. If one does nurture spiritual "life"
move on until you sense that it is where God would have you. In
the mean time if it at all possible, find a fellowship of believers
who share a passion for God. In a home fellowship you can grow with
others in an informal setting.
does not discriminate against home meetings. They are apostolic!
It is how the "Church" began. It is obvious that formalized
Christian ministry is to be found everywhere in one form or another.
As I have already described most of these churches or ministries
are a manifestation of institutional and traditional religion. The
forms and expectation are in conformity to the norms of a Saturday
or a Sunday ritual. People support the familiar comfortable routines
or rituals and may even add a little to their spiritual knowledge
and understanding. At the same time the Kingdom of God is not strongly
advanced as it was originally intended.
struggle to maintain membership so are eager to enhance interest,
or involvement. A church may be jealous of their members going astray
or getting involved with meetings or activities which are not sponsored
by their own fellowship. There was a time when such unfaithfulness
could be met by excommunication, but today the usual rebukes from
the pulpit are just admonitions or doctrines created out of hand
which indicate an obligation to support the local body. Member are
ingrained to regard as close to a cardinal sin to consider "church
hopping" or being active in any outreaches from other congregations.
This result becomes, in effect, the fruit of division which institutional
The Electronic Church There are many other kinds of ministries
we can tune into on radio or TV. They are not always local to us.
These are media ministries. In most cases they have been launched
by men or women who have some special gift of teaching or evangelism
or certain personal charismas have been able to share their
spiritual understandings and insights with any who will watch or
listen. Many who listen appreciate the content of a given message
or the style of presentation so we may request their lesson or tape
series. Perhaps we think that they have enough clout with God to
pray for our special needs. These ministries, sometimes called the
"electronic churches" are not highly regarded by
pulpit ministries. This is because local ministries serve individuals
in various ways through visitations, weddings, funerals etc. Individuals
also are expected to share the cost of upkeep on local church house
We hear all kinds of castigation directed toward the popular ministries.those
who fill the airwaves of radio and television and short wave broadcast
channels. In view of practical matters of church survival and management,
local preachers and church leaders need to maintain membership and
viability. 'Grandma Smith' might write a check to a radio or television
evangelist and forgo giving her five dollar donation to the church
collection plate. A pastor might make the following remark to parishioners,
"Grandma Smith, if you want to support Reverend So and So on
TV maybe you should call them when you need a trip to the doctor;
or need someone to pray for you if you are sick; or have them officiate
What has the Electric Church ministry to offer? Might they be better
than some tradition-bound churches which allow so many to languish
in their pews around the world? Televangelists usually have some
unique strengths and certainly the ability to preach and persuade.
There are important matters to consider in choosing any ministry
to support whether remote or local.
What may media churches
provide for community or edification?
Let's look at some attributes of ministry:
and most importantly is the message; Do we hear the correct
gospel being taught?
much of the appeal of this ministry is performance and dazzling
rhetoric which attracts us and how much is a sense of devotion
to the truth of the Gospel?
the minister seem to model Jesus Christ? The best mode of discerning
a minister or a ministry is to imagine Jesus behaving and saying
the things as the evangelist or teacher.
devotion and reverence modeled and portrayed?
the person try to draw attention to themselves through colorful
he seem preoccupied with authority and followings?
the leader indicate as we listen to his messages that he wants
influence, control, or worship?
there seem to be more of emphasis on one aspect of the Gospel
it a Gospel of power and wholeness or just continually underscoring
it a Gospel in which we can become partakers of God's life or
are we blessed because of our supporting the "Super Ministry
of Brother X?" There are some media evangelists who I listen
to and support because they have helped to mentor me in understanding
the Word of God. I support them because they teach the full
Gospel message, (more or less) and believe in the potentialities
of becoming children of God, partaking in His Divinity. They
teach what we should be taught in the local fellowship or church
but are not.
need to practice discernment and note any inconsistencies in
doctrine which place the teaching outside of norms of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. The Apostles Creed is recited by many
denominations in the context of a worship service, but in spite
of this, the content of the Apostle's Creed may hardly be addressed
in teaching and preaching in sermons. Based upon denominations
which I have belonged to or visited before and after I became
a believer, unbelief and spiritual deadness till characterize
most of the churches today even those who recite the Credo!
Mega church leaders are gifted in special ways. They are eloquent
and dynamic. When a brilliant preacher or evangelist proves his
(her) ability to move and edify people they begin to develop a following.
People follow spiritual anointings. They follow men or women who
have demonstrated their abilities to impact the lives of others.
The largest churches today grow around the giftings of a single
person. I think the majority of people would welcome a greater revelation
of God. When they see God using an individual they naturally are
attracted to that person. Nearly every Christian I know has a natural
desire to be in the presence of "anointed" preaching.
Mega-churches are built around mega-talented men. I believe there
are in America today well over a hundred such mega-churches. I have
attended a few and have seen others via telecasts and cable networks.
Positives Associated with Mega-Ministries There are both
negatives and positives in following this kind of ministry. A few
positives: God shows favor to his servant by anointing him (her)
just as God anointed Jesus and the Apostles for ministry. God's
favor seems to indicate his approval to bring forth a particular
gift or understanding to the body. God's approval indicates that
he foreknows that many will be touched and blessed by this individual.
God allows a such a man or woman with special abilities to reach
more people with a Gospel message they would ordinarily hear or
be exposed to. Many are born again through the media ministers.
If one should choose to go to a church attended by multiple thousands
you might enjoy the anonymity of blending into the masses.
Negatives Associated with Mega-Ministries The gifted minister
may be persuasive or charismatic in purely human terms, without
necessarily walking in a divine anointing. The media evangelist
may be preaching a partial or flawed gospel, a non Christian gospel
or simply traditionalism. There is no way for the novice seeker
to know whether this person teaches true doctrine or not except
by natural reasoning or mental judgment. There is a temptation for
the minister to become puffed up in mind and think himself to be
great. There is a tendency to succumb to wealth, focusing on money
and influence. Though there may be concepts, doctrines and information
imparted there is a serious limitation for immediate fellowship.
To deal with this home fellowships or satellite congregations are
set up to allow blessings of human interaction and loving community.
Recipients of any ministry need intimacy and a human touch. It
is not good for man to be alone. Ultimately the spiritual life
is more than the acquisition of information about God but the desire
for community. If a mega church has 25 thousand or more in attendance
parking itself is a negative.
who attend services in a mega church are committed to be audience
or onlookers. This is a terrible loss and limitation. But the
most serious limitation is that individual believers are never really
trusted or free to lead when they have achieved revelation or status
in God's eyes. Typically, they are told that they must be submitted
to a greater ministerial authority who must oversee.
An Impression of Mega-churches I have attended worship services
in several 'average size' mega-churches with bodies in attendance
numbering 2 or 3 thousand. Some great churches have numbers approaching
10 thousand and those with 10 thousand aspire to 50 thousand. While
there was brilliant teaching and preaching and outstanding musical
worship, performance; one could not help but feel that those in
attendance came mainly to view the show or to hear the inspired
address of the mega-minister. What I saw was an enterprise in which
each person was committed to make the mega-church even more of a
mega-church. Something was missing. There was little or no intimacy
between the "pastor" and the individual members. Individuals
may have known and recognized a handful of people in the auditorium
but they did not seek each other out for closeness, sharing, breaking
of bread or lingering in the afterglow of God's presence. It seemed
that the super Christians who were attending the super church quickly
rushed home to resume life in whatever form life that awaited outside
is the Glorious Church?
The Roman Catholic empire numbers in tens of millions.
Is this the glorious church?
The issue of a glorious church may well be addressed in the context
of the mega-church. There is evidence that many ministries of mega-churches
teach an emphasis of the gospel that introduces the concept of a
"glorious church" where the church is a dynamic economic
and political force in the earth as well as a power to renovate
society as well.
See the doctrine of Kingdom
Theology. In secular societies, Christians have been named the
bane of society because of their conservative and fundamental viewpoints
but quite the opposite is true. The true Spirit of Christianity
is compassion, forgiveness, and understanding. Moral precepts include
personal honor and righteousness, integrity and responsibility;
kindness, mutual support and family stability. Though the world
does not like to recognize sin and unrighteous behavior as anything
other than a "choice," Christians see that we humans all
share alike, having a need for a redeemer along with the essential
need of being hopelessly lost until God extends mercy upon our lives.
In recent decades, Christians were too long absent and silenced
from the counsel of social values and political ideas. In the present
hour it is surely appropriate for those who have so much cause to
rejoice and give voice to the life-changing testimony in the arena
of public opinion. Men and women of integrity need to stand up publicly
and politically and exercise their rights on behalf of issues of
Yet, I believe that ultimately the glorious church does not extend
to exert itself in empire or political power. Why? The spiritual
life is essentially a non secular and a non materialistic life.
Social or political activism may be a Godly calling in some. Those
who follow a leading to become apologists for social and political
issues it should be presumed have their own foundations in correct
doctrine and not equate activism with the gospel. The emphasis of
the Christian life can not be focused too strongly upon the things
which are social, political, or economic at the expense of Spiritual
relationships. These are not lines that I draw, but lines that the
Holy Spirit has drawn. These parameters have been in place since
Jesus spoke these words, "My kingdom is not of this world,"
and "You are not of the world." (John 18:36; John 15:19)
The nature and operation of the world is contrary to God's ways
and I do not look for this situation to change until Jesus returns
to set up an unending righteous Kingdom. Just how far into the future
this event will occur is open to debate, there have been hundreds
of book titles addressing it but the Bible itself has "sealed
up" many of the answers and insights into the "second
coming" of Jesus Christ. This is another area of scholarship.
is the glorious church then?
Does this "glory" refer to the size, influence and authority
of mega-church to rule upon the earth; does glory refer walking
in the knowledge of truth; does it refer to all of the above or
none of the above? Does the glorious church refer to the whole of
the body universal or does it refer to the individual within a blended
multitude who somehow remains separate, pure and faithful in the
middle of a reprobate generation of spiritual pretenders and flaccid,
Luke warm church goers? Church as empire is not an new idea. It
was in fact the goal of the early church since Constantine's day,
both in Rome and in Constantinople, where power, influence, authority
and might married the political and the religious. For a time church
membership and theological belief was forced upon the whole world.
A person was then a Christian because of political decree and not
by the grace of God and such ordinances do nothing to enhance the
life and promises of the Gospel. In such an empire men were exalted
who held the power of life and death over others; who acted as spiritual
judges over others; who were mediators between God and man and who
rewarded themselves with worldly luxuries while being exalted to
the point of worship in their offices.
Meanwhile, certain men lust for power, clamoring for recognition
and striving to achieve self exaltation. They lift and promote their
own names as someone great, "as the great power of God."
Acts 8:10) No, I do not think this is the Glorious church. The true
glory remains shrouded with humility. This cloud of glory can only
be penetrated with meekness, self-effacement and kindly service.
Success which comes from such is contrary to the apostolic foundations
of the Gospel which we need to follow.
E Book 2:
E Book 3:
in the Bible Index
to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles
to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles
Understanding Home Fellowships
Frank Viola Interviews a typical church-goer
of Open Church)
"Rethinking the Wineskin"
to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles