There has been a lot of focus in ministry on training and equipping. For over 38 years I have watched so many interns, students, and ‘potential long termers’ come through their training phase of life only to be lost in their life direction. Words like ‘calling’ and ‘destiny’ have often been attached to their training. So many of the graduates however have found themselves full of passion and excitement before they train and during their training, only to finish and find themselves without passion and direction. Within a short period of time they would say they are ‘far from their training and more distant from their sense of calling and destiny’. What is the reason for this? Did they misapply what they learned? Did they lose the vision that they were to carry? We’re they distracted by the cares of this world? Was their teaching inadequate? Or was it a completely different factor?
THE GREAT EXPECTATION could be the WRONG EXPECTATION
What are you going to do for the rest of your life? We all come through education with an expectation of an outcome and this is good but only if our expectation is realistic. I have worked for the last 12 years in a full-time prayer missions movement that has been forerunning a paradigm shift for the Christian culture. For different reasons, many people do not see a position as a ‘prayer missionary’ to be a legitimate career choice. This is common in the lives of young adults as they try to say ‘yes’ to the prayer missions movement as a lifestyle.
THE PRESSURE TO FULFILL THE CALLING
Society and the Christian culture seem to expect that a young person is to know what they are to do with the rest of their life by the time they are 21 years old. They get asked this question by parents and family, school mates (who are pressured by their families) and instructors frequently during that time in their lives. I have found that this creates a lot of anxiety and provokes awkward and financially wasteful spontaneous decisions to try and push the person towards some sort of destiny. I know almost no 40 year olds who know what they are going to do with the rest of their lives, let alone 20 year olds! The answer to the question is usually very simple ‘I don’t know’ or ‘follow Jesus’ seems like a good answer to the one being asked but seldom satisfies the one asking. More pressure…
Jesus said ‘follow me’ to His disciples and not ‘Would you like to follow me for the rest of your lives?’ And guess what? They followed Him for the rest of their lives! They didn’t seem to ask ‘Where are we going?’ or ‘What will this cost?’ or ‘Do I get an internship?’ I think our ways of teaching and equipping are an inadequate producer and before the Lord we are being given and invitation to change. Our techniques have produced graduates full of head knowledge but with little ability, or grace, or desire to actually walk out a lifestyle that is worthy of following.
The church is being brought back to Christ in this hour. He is a man and worthy of following in a true PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP. To have a personal relationship you get to relate in a personal way daily. When i married my wife it was to relate to her daily. You walk together.
EMPOWERING AND MOBILIZING
Empowering is about getting people the power that they need to do something. That can be a teaching but the teaching should produce the ability to do. For the disciples, this ability to do what they were taught, came from watching Jesus and asking questions. They then did the same under their teacher’s kind eyes as demonstration of their faith in their Teacher. I believe the disciples had the best teacher ever and thus His techniques can be learned to lead people with Him through life. They not only heard Him say it but they saw Him do it. Then He would send (mobilize) them out to do it and bring them back to talk about it. He throughly prepared them in three short years to walk the way that He walked. This seeing Him doing it was empowering, and then He mobilized them by sending them in His name. Then He sent His Spirit to empower and mobilize from the inside. Thus lifting the limits of earthly following and being with them on the eternal ongoing journey of continuous empowering and mobilizing.
I believe as a teachers in the spirit it is our duty and grace to empower and mobilize others.
7 Thunders is about empowering and mobilizing joyful forerunners to strengthen the book of Acts communities to manifest Christ.