Rick Joyner’s Word For the Week: Choices, Part 17

The church is superficial in every way because so few church members become real disciples.

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This week we will continue studying how to comply with II Corinthians 13:5: Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith…” Another way we do this is to examine how we grow in our place in the body of Christ.

In Acts, all who gave their lives to follow the Lord were added to the church. According to today’s estimates, only about 5% of those who make decisions for Christ are actually added to the church. Much of this can be attributed to how different the modern church is compared to its biblical counterpart and how difficult it is to get connected today in a real, vital, and personal way. Still, we must consider the fruit of these decisions for Christ. If there is no fruit, we must ask if we are being led to think we are in a spiritually safe condition or if our eternal destiny is still in jeopardy.

Also, when we have polled the people attending our conferences to learn how many knew their gifts and ministries, it was always less than 5%. How well would you be doing if only 5% of your body was functioning? That is the present state of the body of Christ. One primary reason for this is so few church bodies equip their members to know and function in their gifts and ministries according to the Ephesians 4 New Testament model. Most church bodies today are not really functioning as the Lord’s body, but more like sheep pens where the sheep are thrown some food once or twice a week.

Obviously, the Reformation of the church has a long way to go before fundamental New Testament church life can be restored. A big step toward doing this would be for the church to devote itself to fulfilling the Great Commission to make disciples, not just converts. The church is superficial in every way because so few church members become real disciples. Instead, many remain in the profoundly shallow state of just being believers. This does not fulfill the Great Commission to “make disciples.”

For one to become a disciple of the Lord according to Christ’s definition, they must see His vision for His people to become His body on the earth as one of the most exciting revelations of their purpose. This deeper devotion to life in Him will inevitably lead to a much deeper bonding together of His people.

We are called to be “living stones” (see I Peter 2:5)to be built together as a temple for the Lord. Instead of being cemented together in a living building, most congregations just remain piles of stones. Since stones that have not been cemented together are easily stolen, many Christians do not remain in a church. Every Christian should be so sure of their place in the Lord’s body they feel they are being cemented in place.

One reason typical church life today is superficial compared to the biblical example is that the Ephesians 4 New Testament ministry was a team, not a person. It takes apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip and mature the body, while the modern church has been dominated by one ministry, the pastoral ministry. How did this one ministry come to dominate church life?

According to Ephesians 4:12, the Lord gave all five of these equipping ministries “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry,” not to do the work of the ministry themselves. Equipping is the third of a four-stage process and presumes the previous stages of teaching and training have been done. Yet in the present-day church model, virtually all ministry is teaching. The next stage of preparation—training—doesn’t begin until we are allowed to do what we were taught.

About 95% or more of Christians today have never experienced New Testament church life the way it was designed. This will change because it must. A “new breed” of ministry is coming, and true apostolic Christianity will again shake the world. When the apostolic ministry is fully restored to the church, all the other equipping ministries will come to their fullness. Then all the saints will be equipped, and the body of Christ will come into its place as the most powerful, Christlike body of people the world has ever seen.

 

© 2021 by Rick Joyner. All rights reserved.

 

This is an updated edition of a post originally published on MorningStar Ministries

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Rick and Julie Joyner founded MorningStar Ministries in 1985. It is a diverse and expanding international ministry that began with the biblical mandate of Matthew 24:45-46:

“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.”

Rick has authored more than fifty books, including The Final Quest TrilogyThere Were Two Trees in the GardenThe Path, and Army of the Dawn. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of MorningStar Ministries, a multi-faceted mission organization that includes Heritage International MinistriesMorningStar UniversityMorningStar Fellowship of Churches and Ministries. Click here to take a look at Rick’s latest Rant #ricksrants

The views and opinions expressed by Kingdom Winds Collective Members, authors, and contributors are their own and do not represent the views of Kingdom Winds LLC.

About the Author

MorningStar Ministries is a Kingdom Winds Contributor. They are a diverse and expanding international ministry founded by Rick and Julie Joyner in 1985. MorningStar's goal is to help strengthen the church by helping believers become the strongest Christians possible, and therefore true light and salt in the earth.

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