Something is remarkable about the early Church. Many times, we question certain structures in today’s Churches. The problem isn’t always about the structures in place, the problem we usually do not realise that we have is that these structures lack the vibes we saw in the early Church.
Not your everyday vibes, not the kind of motivation you need in your secular offices or the kind a speech from the motivational speaker would spark up! It lacks the vibes that can only be produced by the Spirit and this is usually because we have relegated the ministry of the spirit to the background. We seldom talk about it, we have put so much hope on aesthetics, skills and organisation.
Don’t get me wrong, these things are good and are very required. In fact, they are all results of God’s gifts because creativity comes from God. The problem is that we often expect these things to carry out what the Spirit should do.
The problem has never been the new structures in place, it has never been the offices we see today that weren’t seen in the Bible. The problem is the power we saw in the Bible that seems to be fairy tales in some congregations today.
Many structures we see in today’s Church aren’t out of place. That you may never have seen a music director in the Bible-days Church doesn’t mean having it today is out of place.
As Church fellowships increase both in number and capacity, offices are created to meet needs. Therefore, while you may not see certain structures in the early church, it was simply because the need for it hadn’t risen.
While we shouldn’t expect a replica of the early Church structure in this age, we should expect the same level or even a deeper level of the manifestation of power.
No single office should be without power including offices that are designed solely with administration in mind. It is not okay if the principal of a mission school isn’t full of power. It is not okay if the director of a mission orphanage isn’t full of the Spirit.
More importantly, offices created within the Church structure must have the full imprint of the spirit in them. Take a look at the early Church (Act 6).
They needed men who would serve the tables, that is, men who would focus on the welfare of the widows. Stephen was chosen alongside others who were remarkable for their reputation.
Stephen was a man full of the Spirit and faith. This is a man to serve the table, a welfare coordinator, but he was full of the Spirit and faith. Imagine someone who would engage in what we call “women’s talk”… Yet, he needn’t be ordinary.
You should be waiting to see the report of how he served the table but the next thing we see was “now, Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.”
So you see, a baby Christian should be comfortable to run to the usher for prayers. An unbeliever who just got convicted should be comfortable enough to run to the cleaner and say “what can I do to be saved?” A church keeper should be able to attend to that young sick person running into the Church for a healing touch. This is Church on fire!
The problem is, will the Usher, the protocol officer, the Church keeper and other people we consider “non-pastoral staff” be bold enough to minister to people or would they be waiting on Pastor to arrive? When everyone on assignment is on fire, the atmosphere is always charged and everything is possible.
You see, being a member of the Choir, a welfare coordinator, a protocol officer is not an excuse not to work the word! In fact, what should qualify you for those offices should be that you are full of the spirit, faith and of good reputation.
We can see that in appointing men in our fellowships, we shouldn’t take certain things lightly and these includes
• Full of the Spirit
• Full of faith
These three comes first before skills… Oh, you thought skill should come first? No, it is important but anyone with the above three can always learn and become skilful. These three doesn’t need theology school, fellowships should be enough to train believers for the work of ministry.
The Church fellowships ought to be the believers’ School of ministry, it ought to be that place where believers are trained and groomed. Stephen was just a welfare coordinator but Stephen was rather known for working miracles! Stephen was so full of power that the enemies of the Church couldn’t but notice him.
Imagine, a welfare coordinator died as a result of persecution because he walked in wisdom and the manifestation of God’s power! His persecution was proof of the level of influence he had. He had such influence that other apostles who were persecuted had. Yet, he was an “ordinary welfare coordinator”.
A miracle can happen while the choir minister songs, it can happen when the welcome team smile and welcome people to Church. No, miracles aren’t meant to happen only during sermon, it should be the result of the breath of the Church.
A Church that is afraid of COVID-19 may as well never be close to this reality. These days, it sounds more like tales and we are left to wonder, was this the same Christianity that thrived two thousand years ago? Was this the same Christianity that changed communities that were was known for darkness?
Imagine spirit-filled ushers, instrumentalists, cleaners, welfare coordinator… It’s a conglomerate of the spirits! Let’s return to the basics, let’s focus on the Gospel, let’s stir up this fire… It is burning, it never stopped. Fire doesn’t grow cold. Let’s stir the coals and fan them till its red!
The fire keeps burning but the question is… Are you fanning?