In this end-time season of life and ministry, there has been a great inswelling of new leaders into the ministerial circle. Those who subscribe more to the Apostolic form of government tend to use more five-fold ministry titles, such as that of the Apostle, Pastor, Teacher, Evangelist and Prophet. Those whose philosophy leans more to an Ecclesiastical Hierarchy may believe in and recognize all of the charismatic offices of the five fold ministry, but for the sake of order, they tend to stick to Minister, Elder, Bishop, etc. Regardless of which one you subscribe to, it is undeniable that we see more people being drafted into leadership than ever before. Yet, with so many being inducted into this fraternity of ministerial leaders, where are the seasoned leaders; those who walk in wisdom?
In 1 Timothy, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that no one is to look down on the ministry of young Timothy because of his youth, yet he also makes clear qualifications for who should be serving as leaders among us. My fear is that in today’s world, those lines have been blurred as it seems that we have changed the definition of what it means to be a leader in today's church.
Instead of servant hood, we desire to be serviced. We teach of anointing, but more eagerly celebrate talent. We talk of stability, yet we enable bastardized ministry. Those who seem to suffer most from this are not just the leaders whose growth is stunted both personally and spiritually, but also the sheep that intuitively follow us.
Why is it that we now consecrate Bishops and Apostles off of potential instead of the works that should display their anointing, insight, experience, and most importantly wisdom?
Instead of being comfortable in whom God has called us to be, whether that is a church Janitor or a ministerial leader, why do we treat the church as a Fortune 500 company, believing that time served must qualify us for a promotion? (Are there any Pastors left in the Apostolic/Pentecostal Community, or is everyone a Bishop or Apostle now?)
Why do we offer ministerial licenses to individuals who mimic their favorite charismatic preachers from youtube, perhaps maybe even showing they are adept at exhorting, but inept at simply exegete a text?
Why do we push people into positions they are not ready for instead of training them, so that they might fully walk in whom God has called them to be?
Why is it that we no longer show brotherhood, collegiality, camaraderie among ourselves as Christians, let alone leaders, particularly on venues such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, yet we are all to eager to promote our ministries?
Why do ministers refuse to spend time with you, ministering to your issue unless you are going to somehow enhance their ministry?
Why do ministers disregard people who show genuine concern about your health and well being, but eagerly chase an email message that contains an engagement request?
Why do so many individuals who are being ordained, consecrated or affirmed invite so many other leaders whom they don't know to their consecration services? Do we not have any good reputation among those on the outside, which is one of the qualifications Paul mentioned for the office of the Elder? Does the community even know who we are? Do Political officials see our ministry in work throughout their constituency? Do other Christian leaders respect us because we actually have a work and are not just seeking a title.
Why do so many of us hold up head of high because we speak in tongues so fluently, yet have no semblance of apologetics, or being able to competently explain through biblical reference why we believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Why do so many of us believe that we have power because we speak in tongues, but our knowledge of God's Word is so shallow that we have no practical understand of life, and therefore we are giants within the four walls of a church, but midgets when we step out into the world?
Why do so many of us desire to get in ministry to raise money, but we still have figured out how to add and subtract?
The Apostolic/Pentecostal Community is in trouble. Many of us laugh at the Baptist, Methodist, and non-Charismatic reformations. Yet, they have stability. They have education. While we ridicule them because they don't speak in tongues like we do, or hang off of chandeliers, put a hole in the carpet by dancing, yet they laugh at us Pentecostal's/Apostolic's because many of us with all of our so-called power are like a dog who simply chases his own tail.
Will a seasoned leader please stand up? Will real ministry come back? Return back to your first love church, for God is coming back for a church without spot of wrinkle. Right now, many of us have the Monica Lewinksky spirit... we have a stain on our dress. The stain is not there because we are innocent, but rather because our head is not in the right place. (literally and figuratively.)
Will a seasoned leader please stand up?