Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Initiative v. Manufacture

Hello All,

I have been tossing this question around in my mind over the last several days, but it has been a question that has plagued me for a few years. The problem is heightened by the books and the general anti-church attitude displayed by so many in the Christian community at large. There are the detractors (usually young people) who claim that there is nothing right with the traditional church. Then there are the old warriors (well...older "seasoned" believers!) who defend seemingly anything that the traditional church does!

The major point of contention is generally centered on how and why we converge to "do church." Who is involved and to what extent are part of the struggle. The younger people feel left out of the process. The older people view the younger people as uninterested and uninvolved of their own volition.

So the question becomes, to those of us caught in the middle and are VERY MUCH involved is: How much do you manufacture, ie. create positions and opportunity, and how much do you allow the body to take initiative to come and "take the Kingdom by force?"

Let me write out what I have seen happen. When you manufacture, 2 things occur: management and burden. You, the opportunity maker, have to manage the post and the person or group of persons you manage are burdened because they are not fresh blood, but volunteers pulled from other jobs.

When initiative takes place, another set of dynamics occur: Freedom and blessing! The body takes on a life of their own and take the ownership and management upon themselves. These find a place that suits the particular gifting and it's a blessing for that person, who is introduced and sensitized to other, perhaps more pressing needs.

I guess you can see that I am a fan of initiative, though I think I might also be pulling for manufacture. Really, I want to see them fused together.

The Apostles of the early church were confronted with a need for feeding widows. The Apostles replied classicly that they were not to leave the ministry of the Word to prepare tables. But not wanting to ignore the need, the Apostles appointed men who were filled with the Holy Spirit. The point is that there needs to be appointment, vision of the need cast toward the body. And then, the body in submission to the Lord, simultaneously responds to the Lord and meets the opportunity.

Unfortunately, we see less of that and more of the type of people that complain that there are no opportunities in the church and the old guard which sees this as another opportunity to complain that things were different in their day!

The Lord says that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. He also says that the violent take the kingdom violently. Manufacture and initiative are not mutually exclusive. Instead they work together to bring about the reality of the kingdom to our church today.

If your young, listen and look for the opportunity to serve Jesus! If your old, make it known and don't give up on those young replacements!

Just my 2 cents...

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

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