Last time I covered the concept that the modern church should spiritually resemble a modern hospital when it's operating properly. I want to expound a bit more on that topic today and offer some more insight to help everyone better understand these important matters.
I left off asking what you do when someone believes they are gifted in a given area when they are not really gifted in that area. What do you do when you have a person claiming to be a nurse who is really a janitor. On the flip side, what do you do when you have a receptionist who is really a skilled surgeon?
It all comes down to properly discerning the body of Christ.
1 Cor 11 is where Paul is talking about the Lord's supper and He addresses this concept that while true about communion is also true in a more abstract way as well. We have failed to discern the body, therefore there are sick and dying among us. Staying with our hospital example, the reason people are not being healed and delivered more often is because we have an issue properly identifying staff members and placing them in the positions they belong.
In our modern culture for example, the term or title of "Pastor" means the single figure head in charge of a given church or a certain ministry within a church such as a worship pastor or a youth pastor. A Senior Pastor is known as one who has the final say. In the bible however, a Pastor is a very humble person not really in charge of anything. They are likened unto a shepherd but in biblical times, shepherds often did not own the flocks they kept. Biblical Pastors oversaw small home gatherings but the larger gatherings of believers were ran by the Apostles and Prophets as Paul outlines in 1 Cor 14. Yet in today's churches Apostles often are not even recognized and Prophets are usually not allowed to even give an unfiltered word to the body present, let alone take and run the entire service like they should.
Then we get into Pastors who consider themselves Apostles and Prophets, all at the same time. One local Apostle I met with a few months ago told me he knows he is not a Pastor but because many don't believe in modern Apostles he calls himself a pastor so people will more easily accept him as the leader. Evidently the idea of teaching his church truths about God's Government and Kingdom weren't very high on his priority list. Can you imagine a heart surgeon walking out of the ER and into another room introducing himself or herself as a Neurologist and then going to yet another ER and announcing that they are a ear, nose and throat specialist? Yet we have that stuff in our churches today all over the place and then we wonder why the world looks at us funny.
All of that to say we must discern the body properly. So how do we do that exactly? We must first understand God's pattern for building his "hospital" or church in the earth. Until we understand the basic patterns of God's Government, we will never know what positions we are even looking to fill, let alone who is supposed to fill them.
Apostles are the people who get the idea and vision in their heart that a hospital needs to be built along with the where and when. They do not come in to run everything, instead they come in and create infrastructure that in effect replaces themselves as far as the day by day operations. These overseers or hospital board members are called Elders in the bible. These Elders then collectively pray and come into unity and agreement as to who to "hire" and put in charge of various departments in the hospital. These overseers are called Deacons. The Deacons "hire" others to help in their departments as needed from those who have "applied" by attending and showing an interest.
So to be clear, Deacons are appointed by agreement from the Elders and once they are appointed, they need to be free to function without micromanagement. This is why being an Elder is such a hard task and Apostles should choose then very carefully and only by the leading of the Holy Spirit as Elders have to be willing to anoint, appoint and then back off and let people function in their own style. The Deacon who oversees landscape for example needs to have the freedom to cut the grass as they see fit. An Elder trying to tell the Deacon how to mow is an elder overreaching and micromanaging.
Pastors (real, biblical Pastors, not just in name only like we have in our culture) are also anointed and appointed by the Elders. Same thing there though, once a Pastor has an assigned group of souls to love and walk with, Elders need to back away and let the Pastor walk with the ones in their care. Please note that the Pastors are not "in charge" of anyone or anything, they are simply special people who God has anointed to walk closely with and love others in a very real and honest way. Unusual and remarkable Love and Mercy will always be the companions of a true, biblical Pastor.
Here's a radical thought... our "hospital" church is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. How many Emergency Rooms have you been to that are only open on Sunday Mornings from 10 to 12? If we are truly going to be a hospital for the hurting, we must expand what we see our "office hours" to be. In fact, we need to be rid of them altogether ultimately. I know many don't have the staffing to do that right off.. and thats fine.. so don't think of yourself as this grandiose full service hospital if you don't yet have the staff to cover the needs of the masses just yet. The truth be told, most Churches are not close to being a hospital, they are much more accurately described as a part time Emergency Room open a couple times a week and often understaffed with a handful of people doing several different jobs. While this is very admirable, it is also proof that something along the way got off track and out of divine order. To those in that place I say to you to pray for unusual wisdom and increase so God may begin to correct you into growth and proper "staffing".
What about these services on Sunday Mornings? What are they supposed to look like? We will tackle that one in the next blog, the Hospital Church part 3.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.