While looking through the classifieds the other day I ran across the following Help Wanted ad:
DIRECTOR OF Adult Discipleship for large membership church. Responsible for adult Sunday school classes, short-term studies, small groups, development, leadership recruitment and training. Bachelor’s degree in education or related field required. Experience in education or working with adults helpful. Salary commensurate with experience. Send letter and resume to Martha Barnes email@example.com First United Methodist, Springdale, AR or fax to 479-751-4612
And to add to it, today I found this ad:
PART TIME pianist for vital, growing congregation. Interested applicants please send resume and 3 letters of reference to First United Methodist, 20 Boyce Drive, Bella Vista, AR 72714, attn: Dr. L.E. Zehring, Director of Music Ministries. Phone (479)855-1158. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Website www.LeadLearnLove.com
Now, to most of the world this may not seem out of place. However, for what is supposed to be, or purports itself as a New Testament church, this is ludicrous.
Well, the Scripture has something to say about how churches get the teachers, preachers, and various ministers that carry out the ministries in a New Testament church. For instance:
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: . . .(Ephesians 4:8-12)
And again from Acts:
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. (Acts 13:1-2)
And from I Corinthians:
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (I Corinthians 12:7-11)
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. (I Corinthians 12:18)
Now, could it be that the phrases:
“And he gave some”
“whereunto I have called them”
“For to one is given by the Spirit”
“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
and the statement:
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”
are actually not intended of the LORD God to mean anything? Or, is it that, as far as the Methodist Church is concerned, the above statements are just the fabrications of men, and the Bible really doesn’t reflect accurately what God intends?
If so, why bother? Why not just advertise for the job position and call yourselves the Methodist Social Club? Why pretend? After all, if you are not going to depend upon the LORD God to provide for ministry positions as He plainly states He does, why pretend to be a New Testament church?
You know, it really would be better for all if the Methodist Church would simply quit pretending — that, or honestly return to following the LORD and His word.