So many now a days are taken upon themselves the Ecclesiastical call into Ministry and whether by Divine, Institutional or Self ordination, are set up as Ministers of God, this for them denotes a title, vocation, situation or position depending on which side of the theological debate you lean. As soon as they are graduated from theological school the next agent is to become a church founder with a lot of fleshly tendencies using the word”I’m call to be a minister”
Anyway however one may term it, I believe that all believers are called but few pay the requisite price to be chosen. So I don’t have a problem with the Call. The question is called to WHAT? What exactly is this Call and how do we understand our Callings? From my observation the manner most, (and by most I will hazard a 90% ratio) express this Calling is to have a form of Pulpit Ministry. Whether in a formal Church setting or in an informal itinerant ministry setting or even in a seemingly discipleship/ fellowship meeting sense….most end up behind the Pulpit. By Pulpit I refer to a formal arrangement where you Minister to a congregation, it may be as small as 3/4 people or large gathering of 300 or even 3000 people.
The concept is that you stand before a congregation and Minister from the context of a Gifting, it may be Pastoral, Teaching, Prophetic or even Exhortational (the latter is more prevalent as many bear the toga of Pastoral whilst they are actually Exhortational ministers using motivational/ inspirational graces to minister). Anyway you stand before the People! It is my opinion that the Pulpit Ministry is the greatest aberration in the Body of Christ. Firstly it is responsible for the Nicolatian dichotomy between the Clergy and the Laity… The gap between the porch and the altar, the very idea of a special Minister Class in my opinion is the most abusive and destructive tool the Devil has used to Steal, Kill and Destroy the People of God.. Jesus hardly uses the word Hate. However he clearly stated in his final speaking to His bride that He hates the deeds of the Nicolatians….Rev 2:6, 14-16.
Also when People congregate around a Minister, the ministry is usually built around a Gift. Hence the Gift of the Minister becomes the focal point of the Ministry and not Christ. Hence a Prophet has a prophetic ministry, a deliverance minister has a Deliverance ministry and so on. … A ministry built around a particular gifting is not only going to become skewed, it will become a Performance based Ministry… Hence the Pulpit becomes a Stage and the Minister becomes as Performer. The pressure to perform has driven many sincere Men into total ruin, destroyed marriages, families lives and destinies. Worst still for those that are determined to make it in Ministry at all cost, the pressure drives them into the Occult.
Now some may ask, if we are not meant to stand behind a Pulpit, how then do we Minister? For starters, the word Minister literally means Servant. How can anyone serve from the front? When we understand clearly what a Minister of the New Covenant is and what the Ministry to the Body entails many will run from the Call. The Pulpit Ministry is actually a Veil. Even in the OT, Moses wore a Veil, today anyone that stands before a congregation is also a part of the Veiled Ministry,this Veil works in two ways, it Veils both the congregation and the Minister from the Face of the Father__ , which is why Most Pulpit Ministers seem to be the last person to know when the glory departs
Even the Church gate man would have seen the decadence before the Set Man. Furthermore the Pulpit Ministry has created not just a dichotomy between the Minister and the Ministered, but it is largely responsible for the Sheep Ownership mentality that our so called Church Leaders have, the Divisions within the Body stems from this One Idea, it spawned Territorialism and the spirit of Espousing the Bride of Christ to each other and not to Christ. My Church, my People, I am of Apollos, God of so and so ministry…. All spawns of the Pulpit Ministers
In the New Testament Ministry is Relational. It’s very one on one and intimate, it doesn’t require a Pulpit and is never built around a man’s Gifting. Ministers of the New Covenant are Love soldiers. Bearing each others burden is the hallmark of the Assembly in the New Testament… True Ministers are ready to stoop to Serve, it’s is a Labour of Love from start to finish. Of course there would be need to stand beside the brethren but even when there is a need to stand before a congregation, it is not seen as Me against them, because the Pulpit is just a Podium not an Altar….this distinction is very important for those that have a theatre styled seating meeting, I’m more sure to informal seating arrangements in our meetings, but in some instances you will need to set up a theatre seating arrangement, and we should not see the front as an Altar or Pulpit, rather it’s merely a Podium and anyone can come and stand on a Podium!
In the New Testament the only acceptable Altar is the Hearts o f Men and the Holy Places are in the Hearts of Men, no position in a Building can be regarded as Holy , no Chair or seat is designated as Holy or reserved for the Ministers, because the Ministers seat in the midst. Jesus is our template, he was so intertwined with his disciples that Judas needed to identify him! Today in every single Church I have been to, I can point out the Ministers immediately I step in, their seats are different, their carriage is different, they are in a special corner and have some air or protocol about them… Sadly and maybe more damning is the fact that the Pulpit Ministry denies the Priesthood of All Believers. Note in the earthly ministry of Christ there was no different with His disciples, that is why the pharisees could not recognised Him when they went to arrest Him until Judas Iscariot had to kissed him in order to spot Him out. (Matt 26:48)
How can we ALL come into maturity and into the Fullness of Christ if only a few are called to Minister? Denying the Priesthood of Believers has caused the Bride of Christ to stay in a perpetual Baby mode…. Always learning never coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH.(2 Timothy 3:7)
The Pulpit Ministry is a Fraud. It has denied the Body for too long because, much of what the Lord is doing is outside the four walls of a Church building, and many are called in the Market Place and in through their Secular Vocations to Minister to a dying World, yet they cannot come into their callings because we have created a Veil that Ministry is when you have a microphone and a nice suit and speak in a Church. Worst still we are denying Christ His Bride. When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong–let the reader understand–then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Matt 13:14.
May the Lord grant us understanding in Jesus name. Amen.