In previous posts we talked about creating large periods of time for bonds to form and The Day of Eternity as some of the necessary ingredients for a true Biblical community.
Another important ingredient is,
The Interactive model using natural gifts and talents.
Dare to think different.
In a side by side interactive fellowship model people use their natural gifts and talents. From creative arts, to teaching, counseling, leadership and encouragement, everyone is involved. Natural leaders influence, but don’t control. Elders are not elected by a top down process, but it is a natural process in the group. In my family of aunts, uncles, mom and dads, I am looked on as one of the respected elders. It didn’t happen by election, but by example, sound guidance, encouragement and life experience. We don’t control anyone. We are a family and our roles are a natural part of the family community.
Israel was warned of the consequences of having a hierarchy system like everyone else and it didn’t go so well. They already had the scriptures, prophets and judges, yet Israel gave up the biblical community system for a kingly system full of controls and burdens. This is what we have done in the western culture.
A room full of intelligent people sit down in chairs once a week, listen to a band, then listen to a speaker tell the audience what they need to do and how to live, from a book everyone in the western hemisphere has access to and can read themselves. The truth is, few people ever remember what the subject was. Most tune out after 13 to 17 minutes. When the service is over, the crowd goes home. Repeat and rinse.
We allow people to lead us because we are taught to believe that’s the way it works. That somehow the speaker knows more than we do and has a better grasp of the scriptures. The pastor and leadership support this system because they were also taught to believe that is the way it is supposed to be done.
Nothing can be further from the truth. We already have one shepherd, one King we answer to. We don’t need any more.
Remove the titles the western hierarchical model creates and adapt to an interactive model using natural gifts and talents. Instead of top down control, we fellowship side by side.
It can be lonely at the top, especially the bigger the group gets. Many of those in “leadership” want to drastically change things from the current system, unfortunately the institutional system that supports those in leadership also traps them like a bird in a cage. Power, control, kingdoms, and security are what we end up supporting. Our good intentions hide reality from us. Before we realize it, real biblical community ends up being secondary to the agenda.
Here are the benefits of a gifts based system.
- Everyone is in the same boat. The community will function according to natural gifts and talents in an interactive side by side capacity. Pastors, elders, prophets and leaders can let go of the titles and reap the benefits of community interaction and fellowship, instead of staying above or isolated from the community. Your natural gifts will speak for themselves and be embraced. Influence vs control will be the new norm. You may just find the freedom you have been looking for.
- Freedom of the community to interact, speak, question, learn and innovate. One person or team doesn’t control the agenda, instead they facilitate and encourage others to excel or stumble forward in their faith.
- People will contribute more in every arena while encouraging and celebrating each other to function in our natural gifts.
- Everyone has permission to use their natural gifting to do ministry and make a difference.
- Less lonely people.
- Understanding of the scriptures will increase and become more relevant on a day to day basis.
- The word will spread. It is what people crave. Being loved, celebrated, and connecting to the Creator and each other in a deeper way.
The important ingredients critical to making all this function is civility, group interactive skills and celebrating each other. That is what the disciples had to learn to do. Jesus called it loving one another.
I can go into more details of how this can work. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact me.
In the next post, we will look at the next ingredient. Size Matters