For the past five to six months I’ve been writing about the image problem religion has. When I use the term religion, I’m referring to Christianity, Judaism, and all the denominations within the Torah movement. Over the next few months I will be focusing on the trends of 2017. I’ve noticed an alarming trend while traveling and speaking in congregations, fellowships, and conferences over the past few years. There is a lack of young adults and teens at these events. The majority of people are usually in their late fifties to seventy. I know there are many factors involved, but in order to make disciples of all generations we may need to go back to the drawing board and revise some of our techniques. So over the next few months I will be dealing with trends and how we can adjust in our ministries to meet the needs of the fast-changing world we live in.
Now, before I get any mail accusing me of compromise, I will tell you the Word of God is the Word. I’m not one to come up with some kind of scheme that waters down the Word to accommodate all or make everyone comfortable. At the same time though, we must realize that what worked twenty years ago is no longer going to work with the upcoming generations. In other words, we aren’t going back to where everything was perfect and filled with roses. We have to teach others how to live out their faith in a world that has become skeptical and aggressive towards our faith. This can be accomplished by returning to solid relationships with those around us. I’m no longer convinced that this can be solely accomplished through videos or written articles. These tools are still needed, but this hasn’t taken the God of Israel by surprise.
If we are in tune with His spirit and willing to make adjustments, we can save ourselves a lot of stress and gray hair. The game of life really isn’t much different than sports. In order to win and maintain success, we must constantly analyze what is working and not working and make the proper adjustments where needed. If we don’t make the proper adjustments, we are going to be very disappointed and frustrated. I know there are a lot of church building programs out there as well as folks doing videos that are sensational and emotionally charged. These types of videos will produce a following but in the end fall way short in making disciples. When the folks no longer are growing, the crowd begins to do one of two things. They either dwindle or begin to turn on one another. It is very unfortunate, but I have been seeing a lot of this lately. When believers aren’t fulfilling their purpose and calling in life, they tend to start to nit pick at one another. The nit picking often starts with debates that usually turn into full blown knock down drag out fights ultimately splitting a fellowship, hurting individuals, and causing offense which leads to bitterness.
The most important way this can be avoided is through clear and mature communication. For example, if a fellowship has defined and clearly communicated its vision, then the leader’s responsibility is to allow individuals within that fellowship to come on board and fulfill their specific vision as individuals which ultimately fulfills the vision of the fellowship. I teach this principle in the training center. I take young adults and give them hands-on experience in ministry. Once they recognize their purpose and calling in life, they begin to develop their vision and mission in life. Once they start to walk out that vision and mission it naturally helps me complete my vision and mission. In other words, we are using one another in order to fulfill each other’s mission and vision while building the Kingdom of YHVH. When this happens its a win-win situation for all parties involved.
The individuals involved begin to experience self worth while walking out their goals they have set for their life. Once the individuals start accomplishing their goals, they begin to experience purpose. Purpose leads to walking out a calling that ends with the individual experiencing a sense of fulfillment. When individuals are fulfilled, there is no need for them to run and get on Facebook and worry about what someone else is doing or teaching. There is no need to gossip, abuse, falsely accuse others, and act like a two year old throwing a temper tantrum. Why? The answer is simple. When a person is fulfilled, he or she has spent so much time and energy walking out his or her purpose that at the end of the day he or she is spent. In other words, there is no time or energy left at the end of the day to worry or even care about what others are thinking or saying. It actually becomes addictive, or at least that has been my experience.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
When we start to DO something for the Kingdom and see results, it encourages us to actually DO more. When you have a desire to do more for the Kingdom, you will not stop because your success in what you have done becomes yesterday’s news. You don’t have a desire to stay where you are at. There is more for you to do and accomplish for the Kingdom. You aren’t happy in what you have previously done. You want to go do more and more and more. In other words, when you experience using your gifts for the Kingdom, you begin to compete with yourself to see what else is out there for you to accomplish for the Kingdom of God. Your gift is a double edged sword. If you don’t put it to work in the Kingdom you will be frustrated. If you put it to work in the Kingdom, you will still be frustrated because there is always more. It’s time that some of us dig those gifts up out of our backyard and start operating in them. If you haven’t buried them in your backyard, then take them off the shelf and blow the dust off of them and put them to work for the glory and honor of our great King. It’s not hard, with time practice and experience it gets easier and easier.
I want to forewarn those of you who just talk about the Kingdom through making videos to get a following of converts that look like you, talk like you, and act like you. I want to forewarn those of you who just talk about the Kingdom to your peers trying to convince them you are all knowing and spiritual. When you and I stand before Y’shua the Messiah to give an account for our actions and our “altars” on which we did ministry are exposed, naked in front of everyone, its going to be too late to try and go back and actually DO something for the Kingdom. Its going to be too late to purify the “altar” on which you did ministry. Its going to be too late to try and change how you treated others. The moral of the story is don’t allow your altar to be defiled with just how important you are for the Kingdom of God. There are other people waiting in line for your job.