The need for ministry leaders has never been so pressing. It seems like there are too few Christian leaders. Sometimes we leaders can identify with Elijah in the Bible. He found out that there were 7000 in prophets in Israel that had not bowed down to Baal. Then in boldness, he proclaimed the Word of the Lord. After that he was persecuted by Jezebel the queen. He was feeling alone again when he was being chased down by Jezebel. We read in 1Kings 19:3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. But God refreshed his spirit. Soon after that God brought Elisha. They started a school of the prophets where they developed in-depth ministry training. God always has a plan for raising up his prophets.
As leaders in the church, we see many things that are sad and sinful. We see the spiritual warfare. We see divisions threatening to tear us apart. We feel the loneliness of feeling like we are alone. Are we the only ones in our congregation qualified and capable to lead this organized chaos?
How often do we cry out to God, “I am the only prophet left!”? How often do we look at the scene of our local church and across the world and believe things are hopeless? Like the prophets in years gone by, we see the immorality around us and cry out in desperation. We are waiting for God to deliver us. To reward us for our faithful service and perhaps acknowledge that we are, in fact, the only ones left to serve Him. Are we the last of the faithful who can lead His church?
We cry out to Him, and sometimes we may hear Him answer. As we feel his hand and listen for His voice, we wait for the words of comfort and reassurance. And then the words come. Words that astound us. Words that leave us with a totally new perspective. The message could often be paraphrased this way: “Get a grip Elijah.”
Here is a reflection from a student who has experienced this as she was taking the in-depth ministry training at CLI. Through the Church and Ministry class at CLI, she learned God has a plan to include others in the great work of the gospel. How exciting is that!
Reflection on the In-Depth Ministry Training of the Church and Ministry Course
As I reflect over the course and the materials of this class, I am still amazed at how the Christian Leaders Institute is so thorough in-depth Ministry training. I know people that are attending Christian Institutions for this in-depth ministry training and I must say that I have learned what they have been taught and more! I feel so proud to be a part of this endeavor. All of the classes that I have taken have been exciting and insightful. I also must add that some of them have been quite challenging (Church History). Nevertheless, I will press forward to my prize in the high calling in Christ Jesus!
When I first started these classes my knowledge and power of Church and Ministry was probably at the brightness of a 20Watt bulb. The Church and Ministry course really opened my eyes as to what was the real purpose for the Great Commission. To GO! I was raised in Church. My family was always in church. My Mother and Father had nine kids, and the only place you can take nine kids, is too church! In all my days of being very active in church, church administration, and ministry, I was never taught to go. We were taught to stay, and stay, and stay. We didn’t go out to the highways and byways and minister to the lost. We were taught to just invite people to our church. We were never evangelizing, and developing leaders for discipleship. It is like we have totally missed the point of what salvation is all about. We have forgotten about bringing in the lost sheep. We are so caught-up in church doctrine and traditions, that we forgot the commission. We were planting our seed in the barn! In the BARN, nothing grows in the barn! Oh my goodness, we have missed it. That Church where I was raised has gone for 250 members to 25 (barely). There is no growth, all of the sowers plant there seed in the barn. The barn light was only at 20Watt, so I could not see the seed. Every time I went to another week’s section in this course, the light got brighter and brighter. Every new section brought more light, and it started letting me see more opportunities for sowing seed. “That is why the bible said that “The Sower sows the Word”. We sow the word in the world not just in the barn.
I was so touched when I read about mobilizing leaders to replace me, and start their own groups. Recognizing their gifts and allowing them to utilize their gifts for the Kingdom of God. As Ministry leaders we sometimes think that we have to do it all. We can’t. We are acting like Elijah, when he said Lord and “I’m the only Prophet left”. The Lord should have responded with get a grip Elijah; “there are 7000 others that have not bowed down to Baal”. There are people out in these small groups that want to use their gifts for the Lord. It is our duty to train them, show and teach them hospitality, and then let them go and sow into the world’s harvest. This in turn will allow them a place in the barn to worship God and not to just which the seed start to decay.
In conclusion, I must add that this course has lit a fire up under me. The fire light is shining so bright in the barn (in me), that I think it is now a 100watt bulb.
So this is the message. If you’re in a leadership position in the church, you’re not alone. God has set aside from His congregation many others who can ease your burden of leadership. Ask of Him, and He will provide all that you need and more. That is what God is trying to tell us. “Get a grip. You don’t have to do it alone. I’ve provided helpers for you.” God helped Elijah and even started a school of the prophets.