Saturday, February 17, 2007

Are You Qualified to Preach? Part 1

The answer is, YES, NO or Maybe!

What qualifies you or anyone who believes they have a call to the Ministry of the Gospel? Or what qualifies a person to preach? Or what qualifies someone to be a spiritual leader? Or what qualifies anyone to become a member of the professional clergy? Do we in fact have churches across America with pulpits full of Biblically unqualified people? I maintain we do and I want to blow the whistle of the Holy Ghost. It’s time we begin to examine from a Biblical and not a traditional or denominational angle who is or is not qualified to be in spiritual leadership in our churches. Everything I say in this series will be direct from the word of God. None of it is my opinion. I have had to examine myself. I submit we are all qualified to share the light of Jesus in our lives with others but we are not all qualified to be placed in positions of spiritual leadership over fellowships, denominations, or churches.

Early in church history there were efforts made to “Certify” that some people were qualified and some were not. Paul the Apostle himself dealt with people in ministry that taught things he did not agree with. You can read all about it in 2 Corinthians 11. He called them “so called apostles”. It was an argument Paul was having over qualifications for leading others. Then there was the Church in Galatia. Some people, probably with genuine intent at doing what they believed was good and even scriptural, had come to the Galatian church and taught all forms of bondage. Paul was hard on the Galatians. He in essence said, “Who messed with you, how in the world could you believe THAT”?

Even in the very early church the description of how, when and what should be done in the church with Gentile believers. There was not a platform of agreement. They fought like cats and dogs. There was a showdown. They worked it out but it didn’t disqualify people for disagreeing.

So, does disagreement theologically mean that one person is qualified and another is not? I don’t see early Church people “Excommunicated” for having disagreement about theological issues. Yet in the human created world of the church of today particularly in America we have a platform of compromises watered down to the lowest common denominator of theology we all agree to agree on more or less that allows one person to be “Certified” and another not to be. The tenets of the denomination become a false Idol that must be bowed to or you are set aside. This dear reader is not the way it was in the Church of the first couple hundred years after Jesus. It isn’t the way Jesus wanted it. We have made a mess of things by maintaining artificial boundaries around church leadership in America with insipid detailed disagreements regarding nothing at all. Majoring on minors while the world goes to hell.

So, what QUALIFIES or DISQUALIFIES anyone for being called in the service of Jesus in particular in an official even in the role of Clergy? Are there people leading churches, in ministry, accepted, who are Biblically unqualified to lead? How do you know? What do you do if you are in a church or lead a church without qualifications?

About this issue the word of God is NOT silent. There are plenty of instructions to Christians about who is or is not qualified for ministry and more important the ministry of the clergy:

1. They must be born again, saved, redeemed, believers in the Lord Jesus as virgin born, crucified and risen again as full and complete payment all our sins PERIOD. Any requirement to believe Jesus plus anything as a requirement for salvation is a cult. This is one of the first and most important barriers. According to surveys of ministers in North America a much larger percentage than you might believe who are called pastors, preachers, ministers who mount the pulpit in churches in America don’t even believe this. It’s a case of the blind leading the blind. UNQUALIFIED

2. They must be convinced of the upside down nature of the kingdom Jesus preached, that they must be servant of all to be first. Many church leaders see the position they have as one to be served by others. They ride around in big limos; they have fancy houses, chic clothes, big salaries, and the best parking places at the Church.

A pastor I loved dearly used to say that the most spiritual parking spaces were those at the far end of the parking lot leaving the rest for visitors. What was more important is even though he was the pastor of a very large church of thousands he never moved out of the house he lived in when it was a church of a few hundred and he always drove an old Buick and parked far out in the lot. No big shot parking place for him. Those who want others to serve them because they are the Bigshot Bishop, UNQUALIFIED. Those who see themselves as servant of all, QUALIFIED.

3. This person must not be living in obvious public sin, sexually, financially, in lifestyle, or relationally. So, then the question is, who decides what is sin or not? For that one has to go again to what the word of God says. Sin is sin. The reference above talks in broad terms but without straining at a gnat there are some obvious disqualifiers.

If a person is a practicing homosexual he or she is unqualified (one million Episcopalians believing otherwise doesn’t change a thing). Period.

If a person consistently is involved in fraudulent business practices that causes others to suffer loss, Unqualified; if a person is involved with more than a spousal sexual relationship without repentance, unqualified; if a person is a drunken carouser, picking fights, violent, unqualified; if a person is constantly creating division between people by gossip, slander and lies, unqualified; and the list goes on. We need to examine what the BIBLE (not a denomination) defines as disqualifiers. A good place to start is the sins is laid out by the 10 commandments and sin as is defined by Jesus and in the Epistles, particularly in Romans.

I look at the warnings of Jesus in the end of book of Revelation when he describes those who will be thrown into the lake of Fire that was created for the devil and his demons. We must disqualify anyone who exhibits the characteristics of those exhibiting those practices without any repentance and preclude ever putting them in spiritual leadership positions. They would only lead the flock they are put in charge of (most likely by some denomination) down into the lake of fire with them.

Sadly that is not the case. We have many who are leading churches who are lake of fire bound. If we used just this ONE measure a large percentage of pulpits would be vacant tomorrow.

This is not as it should be and it’s a stench in the nostrils of God. Time to turn it around. More tomorrow.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Staying Steady with DEEP Roots

Because of significant global distribution of several of the posts on this blog I have been receiving requests via email like this one from Africa.

"We would be grateful to receive Biblical study materials from you because we believe in your calling and ministry."

I know that some people would be quick to respond and start charging for, sending off, or doing some other thing to "Build Their Ministry".

After seeking the voice of the Holy Ghost and recieving as confirmation this posting I have decided to stay steady in the ministry God has rooted me in. I will continue to prophecy, I will continue to post teachings and insights from the Holy Ghost and I will continue to walk into the areas God leads me.

I learned long ago not to abandon what got me here to try to go somewhere God doesn't intend for me to go.

I'm thankful to the people who have written and requested. I have responded "Please, dearly beloved of God, continue to read this blog, continue to seek God, use whatever you choose in your own ministry. I look for no attribution. I don't need nor seek a wider pulpit. I didn't make this up anyway, it's by MY SPIRIT saith the Lord".

Please look past my occasional political outbursts, my occasional comments on social issues, my occasional comments about my personal life's passages and glean from all the chaff the genuine word of God. You'll know it when you see it.

That's why its called Northern Gleaner.

Avoiding Third Rate Successors - A Lesson from Elijah

When I was engaged in training managers one of the issues was about developing people who would most likely take your job someday. Like all of us either the chariot of fire will come and pick us up or the grave will call. I'm still hoping for that chariot of fire.

The issue always was and is: First rate people hire and first rate people. Second rate people hire third rate people and are frustrated by the results. Most of the time it's a matter of fear and intimidation that keeps people from putting in place the kind of men and women needed to do the job. People with low confidence hire people who won't threaten them.

Elijah didn't seem to suffer from that problem. He hired Elisha. Elisha was bold enough to not only ask for the Mantle of Leadership but for a double anointing. If your successor isn't believing to be twice as effective as you currently are, then you have the wrong person in the line of succession. Here are some principles I believe I can scripturally demonstrate from the interaction between Elijah and Elisha about leadership succession. And without Midrash!

  • Choose gifted and anointed people. Don’t be afraid to find someone that has the potential to be better than you are in your current role. There is no substitute for the Gift of God in Ministry. Elisha should always exceed Elijah in greater works.
  • Identify the key elements of your role that need to be executed and communicate those expectations to your Elisha. You want them to understand what is expected from the assumption of the Mantle.
  • Create a plan for their development. Development does not happen by accident and you need to lay out the details of how you will train them. Then do it.
  • Serve as an active coach providing your Elisha with honest feedback about their current performance and partner with them on how they can step further into their calling. Elisha must be challenged to go further, deeper and higher.
  • Be sure to celebrate as they grow, extol them in their progress and insure that they are empowered to take on new duties and responsibilities when the Mantle is dropped. Expect them to do better, twice better, than you EVER did.
I have often wondered if, as Jesus was about to ascend back to the Father, when he said Greater Works will you do, if he wasn't thinking about Elijah and Elisha. Are we missing the mark by not expecting a double anointing? To do greater works?

Just asking, because I have that pesky old Bible next to me. There's so much in there that we aren't doing.

Judge not, that ye be not judged - Worldly Theology that Leads to HELL

I don't often do this, but sometimes what is written in the comments section of this blog is better than what I write. This is that. I don't know who the author is but I do know that they have done yeoman's work on a subject most of the body of Christ doesn't get. So read it and if you want, argue it. What follow is his or her work:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

This is the most used excuse by those who do not understand scripture. It is used as an excuse to live life without fear of sin and the bible.

"How can I stop sinning" is a question often asked.

Answer: To have a genuine fear of God. "My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments"

This misinterpretation of scripture, eradicates that fear and allows the devil to more easily manipulate one to sin.

So what is the meaning of this passage? Is Christ saying we are to preach the Word...or keep quiet and let the world go to hell?

Aside from "Where did Cain get his wife?", this verse has to be the most misinterpreted area of the bible. Both are used to compromise the bible. The infamous "where did Cain get his wife", is thought to dismantle Genesis, where sin originates. While "Judge not lest you be judged" is used to compromise God's clear judgment for sin.

I have heard this verse so misconstrued lately I wanted to help others understand what Christ was conveying it in this passage...

First Christ definitely did say to judge based on the Word of God but not our fallible opinions or based on our egos, what He gave us was criterion, verdicts and punishments for judgements.

Christ said,

"24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment".

Clearly we are to judge, and we are also given sentences for the verdicts we render.

This would appear a contradiction, Christ says not to judge, then says to judge.

Clearly the first is a criteria for judging

" 1 Judge not, that ye be not judged".


" 24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. "

Judging is a way to establish a verdict. No where does Christ say not to stop preaching, and convincing the world of its sin.

But lets look at effective judgement, from the greatest judge of all times, King Solomon:

King David gave Solomon an explicit charge:

"And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:"

King Solomon had a method to his incredible judgements. Next to Jesus the Christ, King Solomon was the greatest judge God ever put on earth.

5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee...

9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

10 And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.

11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;

12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

God said no one would be a wiser judge than Solomon. This is a strong hint we should take heed to Solomon's advice on rendering judgment.

Many times Solomon said to get all the facts:

11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.

Solomon said to get all the facts, before gossiping and murmmering what could potentially be false accusations.

Paul also confirmed this many times, for example in I Cor.:

9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

He also confirmed this will lead to righteous judgment:

I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

He upheld to Timothy, that judgment must be rendered if effective preaching is to take place:

2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Paul told Timothy to "correct, rebuke and encourage" those who are ignorant of God's Word and His absolute Truths. We are to be ready in season and out of season, ie. when they like it and when they don't like it.

He was to rebuke and encourage based upon Righteous Judgment founded on the scriptures.

Christ also said to:

6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Casting pearls to pigs is a waste of time. Its like arguing with the devil. Distracting and a waste of precious time. How do we know when to continue preaching and stop casting pearls? Only righteous Judgement can determine that!

King Solomon said,

29 Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.

There are also punishments to be rendered for judgements.

Clearly, judging righteous judgment must:

1. Attain all the facts before rendering a verdict.

"Judge not according to the appearance"- Gain all the evidence.

2. Be based on the Word of God.

Righteousness comes from God. Therefore His Word should be the criterion for weighing righteous judgement.

"...walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies,..."

All the judgements we make in life must be sifted through the infallible Word of God. By doing so we have a sure Word of foundation of absolute truth.

We can use righteous judgement to set aside weights. Weights are anything that slow us down in our Christian race.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

So what did Christ mean when He said,

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

-Note we are not told to not preach, but rather not to look down on others for their weaknesses. We are not to look at ourselves and compare our selves in a egotistical manner.

For example, if a fellow brother is struggling with lust. I am not to think, "Well thank you God that I am so much more spiritual than them!" (See Luke 18)

Recall what Paul said, No temptation has taken you except what is common to man.

Remember before you judge someone, it is only by God's grace you have not fallen into satan's clutches.

Rather we are given a criteria for judging!

First God will judge you the same way you judge others, so stop being so critical. We are not to look at another and think "I'm holier than thou". It is saying to stay humble, remember that you as a saved person are not better than others. You too were worthy of judgement. So in order to avoid the righteous judgement of God, do not judge others through vain judgement. Rather lead a lost person to correction by means of your lifestyle and the teaching of God's Word. God is a worthy Judge and His Word teaches us the Truth.

66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.
91 Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.
96 To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless.
104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

That is what Holy Judgement is, the discerning of truth, not a way to put oneself on a pedestal and look down on others.

113 I hate double-minded men, but I love your law.

A good analogy of Holy Judgement may be like this...

130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.

You and another person are on an airplane. The airplane is going to crash. Now there is a law, called gravity. You understand the principles of that law. Your fellow passanger does not.

You both know you have to jump out of the plane. Now the passenger goes to the door and you cry out, "Stop if you do not wear a parachute you are going to die!"

The passanger turns around and says, "Stop judging me!"

That is essentially how those who do not understand the verse translate it and it is incorrect.

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.

The person armed with the knowldege of the law is simply fulfilling their duty to warn the other passenger of the consequnces of breaking the law of gravity. In this instance the consequence is death.

72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

In comparison, when we are preaching the message of salvation, we are teaching the Law of God. These Laws make one aware of their sin. This is not judging the person, but rather warning them of the consequence of breaking the Law, which is death. Without the parachute, in this case Christ, they will die in their sin. The parachute is their only ticket to life.

This is Holy Judgement, allowing God's Words to judge and convict their heart, not us putting ourselves on a spiritual platform as though we are so great.

When we preach salvation, we are not judging from our own egos, but rather teaching the truth and fulfilling the Golden rule. If you know a truth that could save a person from death, not making them aware of that truth would be breaking the Golden rule.

Looking at verse two:

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged

Christ is simply saying not to be a hypocrite. Many take this out of context only looking at verse 1.

The famous line of hypocrisy, "Do as I say not as I do!" sums up what Chirst was preaching. These are people who judge from their own heart and ego and are not sifting their judgment through the Word of God. Essentially breaking the rules of righteous judgement!

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

They are hypocrites in the fact that they do not understand the revelation of God's Grace.

9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

We must also understand the context as this verse would have been understood as at the time. Christ was addressing the pharisees and religious leaders. These religious leaders (Pharisee literally means "Seperated ones"), the Lord called "white washed tombs on the outside and full of dead men's bones on the inside". In other words they were "holier than thou" to the people, professing their holiness, praying in public and letting everyone know they were fasting and "suffering" for God, while on the inside they were full of sin and corruption.

The Pharisees judged sinners based on their religious standards of holiness, this included the law and their traditions.

Mark 7
1 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and 2 saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were “unclean,” that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.[a])

5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with ‘unclean’ hands?”

6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

9 And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban’ (that is, a gift devoted to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

Christ showed the pharisees themselves were hypocrites as they could not fulfill the law either. No one could. The law was given as a mirror for man to see he could not live up to God's holy standards, and no one could survive His Judgement, not as a well to dismiss God's Grace.

In other words, they would be judged by the same standard they were judging others.

They too needed the Blood of Christ!

God hates mediocricy.

Those compromising God's word with a bad excuse like "Judge not" (misrepresenting Christ sermon of salvation) will be spit out of Christ's mouth:

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Moreover sinning and saying "Judge not!" is blashpmey, falsely accusing Christ of endorsing one's sin!

God will give a space to repent...

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

The end result of not repenting?

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

So don't use excuses to ignore judgement, use righteous judgment and flee from sin.

Brother or Sister, I would love to give you attribution for your fine work on this subject, so, if you send me an email I will. I suggest if you, Pastor, ever struggle with this issue again in your church, you consider this teaching and measure how we are able to call sin "sin" again in our culture.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Fasting to Overthrow the Enemy - An Invitation

A fellow Prophet of God who is part of Faith Center in Rockford IL, John Makan, has been hearing from God about the overthrow of Evil Leadership in Illinois.  Fasting and Prayer are part of that call.
For that reason the Apostolic Council of Illinois has called a "Daniel Fast".  Peggy and I have decided to be part of this fast for the next 21 days starting on February 18 going till March 10.  She is better at Fasting than I am but I am looking forward to it.  I am also believing that an evil Spirit that has been manifesting itself will be put to death as a result of the thousands of people in Illinois who are participating in this Daniel Fast. 
I invite you to consider it.  Not as a religious or obligatory thing, but as an invitation of the Spirit of God to show himself mighty.
Here are some instructions from the newsletter:

Daniel Fast - February 18 to March 10
The purpose of the Daniel Fast is to pray for Illinois that we may have a change in the spiritual climate of the state, for state leadership to change from a liberal influence to a righteous leadership, and for warfare to be released against the spiritual enemies [powers of darkness] of Illinois.

Lou Engle has said "revelation is the reward for fasting." Fasting and praying changes and prepares the individual for revelation, and also releases greater revelation and spiritual authority for the one who is fasting and praying.


In Daniel 10: 3, Daniel stated he was abstaining from "pleasant foods, meats and wine." Many people state it this way – meats, wine [alcohol] and sweets. The practical approach to fasting this way is to simply focus on knowing what you are to stay away from.


The meats are quite obvious – red meat, poultry and fish. Wine [alcohol] also is quite self explanatory. Pleasant food has been a bit more of a mystery for some, but the main focus is to abstain from foods with sugars and sweeteners.


In the past when we have done this kind of fast, we have given special attention to food with sugars and sweeteners, and have abstained from obvious things like desserts, candy, chocolate, honey, but we also paid specific attention to foods with sugar/sweeteners/fructose/corn syrup content – such as ketchup, certain cereals, canned goods, and so on.

We focused on eating salads, fruit, soups, eggs, pastas, veggie pizzas and lasagna, natural cereals, grains, etc. Some people are much more stringent on what they will not eat, however we have found this works for us.


Remember, if you have dietary and medical restrictions do what your medical professionals recommend, and if you are not able to do this kind of fast don't participate, but do pray with us – especially from February 18 to March 10.


Expect great things as a result of the obedience of God's people to the word of the Lord.


The distribution of the word published in the post below has created a stir.  I am getting feedback by email.  God is doing something in his church.  I already knew it was happening at the end of last Year as God Said, "everything will be revealed, shouted from the rooftops that we thought was hidden."  The cleansing has begun.   Division, the altar of Baal and the Jezebel spirit is being exposed. 
I sent this prophetic word to about 100 ministry leaders in the USA and overseas, add to that the people who read this blog, plus the further distribution to other ministry leadership globally by those who faithfully forward this essential word means perhaps a thousand Christian pastors and leaders on this planet will have a chance to read this important warning.  I can only pray they heed it.  Let those who have ears to hear, hear.
What follows is a note I received from Nancy and Tom Minor of Elk Mills Maryland.  Their website is
Gene, such a word for Today!  My heart is pricked, my eyes are filled with tears... I have fretted at the lack of God in our services, I have mourned my own  inability to seem to find God although I know He is near me - yet it was in Africa where I most felt HIM engulf me... here in the USA.... things are lukewarm.  I feel lukewarm.  Where is the care for our brethren who struggle to  move ahead with the gospel in the face of great odds?  Where are our prayers for the Persecuted Church? 

When God really began to position and move in our ministry it was kicked out of the church.  We were accused of being out of God's will because I stopped just ministering humanitarian aid to kids and moved into reaching into governments and praying for changes! 
I'm not perfect, in fact I'm very fallible .  But I have felt stifled, and with clipped wings for months now.  I want to be the sacrifice that God consumes.  I want to be totally HIS.  I believe the goodness of God leads to repentance.  But I also believe in strong meat!  The CHURCH (the religious) of our day would do well to see how Jesus treated the religious of HIS day! He was gentle on the sinner while not condoning the sin.  But He was ruthless with the religious leaders and system of the day.

I am forwarding your prophetic word to leaders both here in in
foreign lands. 
Nancy Minor
When I read this I see the reality of how religion and the Jezebel spirit of control quenches the move of God people are called to.  This will not stand.  The day you could reign in the Spirit of God's  Ministry is over.  Like Elijah, the question is, "How long will the church vacillate between two opinions". 1 Kings 18:21 
This is exactly like the showdown on mount Carmel. Baal has fancier altars, Baal has elegant an organized religion with complex hierarchies, Baal looks spiritual with much activity but he is powerless and tepid producing services like Nancy describes.  This is the form of Godliness without power prophesied long ago 2 Timothy 3:5. When the power of God is released he will destroy the altar of Baal in our churches, eliminate Baal's priests and crush this veiled idol worship.  This yoke will be destroyed.  The anointing will crush the Yoke - Isaiah 10:27.  Do it Lord, Do it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Prophetic Word: Two Altars in the Church

Elijah was a prophet of Israel who took on a religious system that was accepted, common, politically correct and which operated in harmony with the political and cultural systems of the day.


King Ahab had implemented Idol Worship and Worship of  Baal.  This was because of pressure from the culture.  He was a weak king.  He did what he did because it was popular.


As a result of this God brought hard times on Samaria.  For three years it did not rain.  Elijah had prophesied this.  It was an unpopular message of the day.  Elijah had declared it so by the word of the Lord.  Declared it and it came to pass.  Sometimes prophets declare what God is about to do and people think that the declaration is the cause of the crisis; that the messenger is the message.  Prophets release a  proclamation into the atmosphere but in the end it's all about God.


Baal worship was big in those days.  During the drought it got bigger.  God was using the weather to illustrate the bankruptcy of the pagan religion of the day.


Who is Baal?  Baal was a common god in many cultures at that time. 


A god of weather, a god of provision, a god of wealth, a god of fertility, a god of the marketplace. 


Baal means husbandman, ownership, owner, rule, rulership, master, wealth, possessions, alliances to make deals with, to marry.  In short compromise for the sake of gain.  To be in control of your destiny.


Money was promised to roll in when you worshipped Baal.  That's why it was so popular.  If you worshipped at the altar of Baal and if you held your mouth just right you could influence the weather so your crops would be better.  Baal was the over god and then there were lots of smaller gods.  Dagon, the Asherahs. 


King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were big time Baal worshippers.  In fact she kept a houseful of priests to this false religion, fed them, took care of them, paid them a salary.  It was the acceptable mainline religion of the day.


Ahab and Jezebel would not hear the Prophets of the Lord. In fact Queen Jezebel had hundreds of the Prophets of God put to death.  Obadiah, a servant of Elijah's, was able to hide out and feed about a hundred refugee prophets in caves. 


Finally God had enough and he told Elijah to put a stop to Idol worship. To call out the false prophets of Baal.   To destroy them.


Elijah issued a challenge.   He came to Ahab, the religious leader of the state of Israel.  Ahab upon recognizing Elijah said, "Is that you, you troubler of Israel?" This was an insult because in fact the trouble Israel was suffering was because of Ahab's sin.  It was an insult because only Achan, who had hid the valuables from God at AI, had ever been called troubler of Israel. 


The pain for Ahab of having the man of God who simply said what God said was more than Ahab could stand.  He wanted a nice clean controlled religion without any power.  The Challenge was made.


The prophet of God all by himself versus 850 priests of Baal and the Asherah.  May the best god win.  Mount Carmel had an altar to Baal.   They put wood on the altar and an oxen.  They wanted a sign of his power.  Let fire fall.   Consume the Ox.  Come-on Baal, how bout a tiny spark.  Anything.  Speak Baal. Mobs of priests danced around, chanted, cut themselves, sang, prayed, bowed down and did all kinds of religious things that had no effect.  No fire, No rain, no power.


On the sidelines Elijah was having fun at the Priests expense.  He asked maybe Baal is out to lunch, or on vacation, or out of town or maybe he's on the toilet.  He judged them in their ignorant and empty religion. 


That made the Baal Priests even angrier and they did their religious act even more aggressively.  They cut themselves even more till the blood flowed.  They knew they couldn't fail.  If they did they would be killed. 


As the sun was going down, at the end of the day, Elijah built another altar to the living God with 12 simple stones.  He put some wood around it.  He put the offering on it. He had lots of water poured on it so when God acted there would be no doubt.


Fire came down after a simple prayer of faith and power and it consumed the offering, the wood and dried up all the water.


Then Elijah single handedly killed all the priests of Baal at the brook Kishon.  He destroyed the whole religious system by the power of God.


Elijah then told Ahab, "listen, I hear the sound of abundant rain".  Elijah and his servant went up on the hill and waited for the rain to come.  Ahab believed God and Elijah and had a big dinner celebrating the rain that hadn't yet come.  He believed the prophet of God.  It looked for a moment repentance was near.


After this great success Elijah is cursed by Jezebel and threatened with death.  Elijah runs.  Ahab was a "whipped of a woman pansy" who let Jezebel run his life.  When he should have stood up to her and said, "Jezebel, Maybe there is something to this Jehovah God thing after all" he didn't.   In spite of the facts from mount Carmel,  she intimidates Ahab into submission.  She would rather stay in control and power than submit to the rule of the only true God.  He cowers and buckles under the pressure.  By that he squandered his positional authority as King.  Jezebel is eventually eaten by dogs.


This story is in 1 Kings 17-19. 


SO WHAT YOU SAY?  What does that have to do with me and my ministry?  MUCH!


  • Baal worship still goes on in most churches. 
  • Baal worship is an acceptable religion to the culture. Mainline.
  • Baal worship has professionals who make a living out of being a priest to the worldly religion
  • Baal worship is still the worship of the marketplace, productivity, ownership, materialism, fertility, wealth and what can God do for me.
  • Baal worship is still practiced as a powerless form of godliness.

There are two altars in every church like there were two altars on Mount Carmel.  One will be exulted, one will be torn down.  The one erected to "what can God do for me" will always be built up by Baal worshippers and the one to the true God which says, "I worship you for who you are" will be torn down.  Gideon after the victory over the Midianites tore down the false altars to Baal.  The high places.  The hierarchies. The exalted ones above God.  For that Israel was blessed. 


God is now insisting that spritual leaders of today tear down the altars to Baal inside his churches or he will continue to hold back the rain.  God is calling Christians out to destroy the systems and traditions standing between him and his people.  To destroy the high places set up by man that are substitutes for the power of God.


The drought of his Holy Spirit suffered in most churches in America is the direct result of the Altars erected to the demon Spirit of Baal.  This is a very high Demonic Spirit. It looks good.  It sounds good.  It's very religious. It has long traditions.  It possesses beautiful buildings. But it is the biggest restrainer against what God wants to do.


When the Prophet came to Ahab, who represents the spiritual authority in the land at that time, Ahab said, "You are a troubler of Israel".  That IS what the Church is saying to the prophetic today.  Except in a few cases most of the Church does not want to hear or ignores what the prophets of God are saying to them.  They call them false prophets.  They treat it as if there were no power in what they say.  They say, "you are a troubler of the Church.  Things were fine before you came around".  In fact God is exposing the Altars to Baal that exist in those churches and is saying that you must tear them down or I will and when I do it will destroy the Church you labored so hard to build.  You will morn over the Babylon you have created saying, "Babylon, Babyon is fallen"


The spirit of Jezebel is a ruling spirit that wants to control things.  The War in Iraq is part of this.  The whole Global Warming Controversy is wrapped up in this.  And, religious systems have become agents trying to control, to take the reigns from the Holy Spirit in his Church.  I heard Barry Kolb say once of a fellow pastor who said, "If the Holy Spirit comes into our service, let him sit way in the back and be quiet".  It's about control.  Fear of losing control.  An attempt to mount a coup against the Spirit of the Living God.  That's what is happening in Churches today.  This Jezebel Spirit must be crushed or we will all die in our sin.


Here's the word to those of you who are in charge of Churches, in the ministry, elders, leaders, and concerned about the Church at large.  The altar of Baal is being erected again and the prophets are speaking.  The Ahabs (rulers of the religious systems) are trying to silence or kill the prophets.  The Baal altars that now stand at the front of many churches is about to destroy those churches.  The Jezebel spirit is trying to take control. 


If it isn't stopped you will put a lock on the door and put up a sign up saying ICHABOD – the glory has departed.


God is speaking, are you listening?

A Living Breathing Apostle of God

Last night Peggy called me upstairs.  She was tuned into TBN.  The Praise the Lord program. 
There were two people I know and admire being interviewed on the show.  Ron and Hope Carpenter.  I have met them, I have been in conference with him, I respect him, he is part of our denomination.  His father Licensed me as a Minister of the Gospel several years ago.  Dr. Ron Carpenter Sr.
So when I saw Ron Jr and Hope on the Show I was thrilled.  Ron leads a church of several thousand in Greenville SC.  It's one of the largest churches in our denomination.  I wish we had a church like that here.
I listened to him talk, I know his story, Peggy knows his mom, Nan.  Ron Jr carries in his body the marks of an apostle.  He's the real deal in all it's fullness.  I know how to spot other apostles because I know Ron.  I know what it sounds like and looks like.  I have people I know who THINK they are apostles who I have had to say to them, "you're a good preacher but you're not an apostle". 
I don't get invited back, but if you ask a prophet to tell you the truth, don't get upset when he does.  If he's a real prophet he can ONLY tell you the truth (like Balaam).  

On the other hand I know Apostolically gifted people who are good preachers but who quench the Gift of God in them by trying to be better preachers.  They have the gift and the calling.  They just can't seem to step into the fullness of the Call of God on their life.  They miss what God wants to do thru them.  They have the gift, but they never exercise it.  That is a crime.
The last 30 minutes of the show (approximately) is when Ron and Hope are on.  I would recommend you watch this.  Then watch the last part with a renewal of marriage Vows.  It's a powerful time.  If you go to this site and click on the Tuesday show you can select the bandwidth that works for you.  This should be happening in every Church.  Marriages are suffering.  We try to teach on marriage when people need revelation and a fresh commitment to carry them thru.
Good on you Ron and Hope.  Congratulations Dr Ron Sr and Nan.  You have done well.  The apple didn't fall far from the tree.
I'm so glad to live in the fullness of Pentecost.  When I get a glimpse of it my spirit soars.
And, I wish EVERYONE could have this.  It's God's will.  We fall so short of our full potential in God when we resist the Call in our lives.

Shoveling off the Global Warming and Freezing my Tail

We just had a "Blizzard".  Cold and wind.  I think it's not exactly what we used to think of as a blizzard in ND.  It seems like there were various wind requirements to make a storm qualify.  What we had here in IL was a snowstorm.  Winter storm.  Probably not a blizzard.
It's almost near zero outside.  So while I was blowing snow and freezing my pinkies I was thinking with amusement of a few news items from yesterday. 
  • The opening of Al Gore's "Truth" movie at Cornell was cancelled because of cold and ice.
  • The hearings scheduled by the Dems to consider the effects of an amelioration of anthropogenic global warming were called off because of a snow storm.
What I really love is the fact that with a smile and maybe a laugh God in heaven looked at all this armwaving and said 6 weeks ago:
2007 started off with warm weather. Predictors say it will be warm the rest of the year. As a poke in the ribs to worldly prognosticators, it will be very cold in latter part January and early February. This will cause people to puzzle. There will be a late spring as a result. The words, "How could it have started out so nice and turned so cold".
I know this for sure, when it comes to the weather, he created it all, so while He laughs, I'll smile a smile.  It'll be ok.  Climate change is change. People hate change.  Especially those who don't know their God so they try to do and legislate against what God is bringing to pass.  The climate is changing.  It has changed in the past and it will change in the future.  Why do the nations rage?  They don't know Him.  And he just Laughs at them.  I can hear him say, "they're so silly".
Psalm 2:4 The one enthroned in heaven laughs. The Lord makes fun of them.
I know it doesn't do much for seeker sensitive ideals but if you decide to fight against God you only amuse him.  So quit clowning around.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I'm signing up before you do

I just read that the 5th claimant to be the father of Anna Nicole Smiths baby just came forward. 
This is like the gold rush.
OK, I'm in.  I'm sending a fax to the media right now.   I'm doing before you get any ideas.  I'm the actual father of that baby.  Really.  Please send me lots of money. Please??
What, don't you think that will get it?  I know those other 5 men have far more noble ideals about raising this poor motherless child than I do.  It probably might even seem to you I'm just in it for the money.
You think I'm a swine.  Unlike those................What?  You think I'm kidding?
OK, I'll admit it, I actually never met her, but if I had, you know, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it starts being real money.  This is pitiful.

Nanny Church

It would be homicide if I were to go into a nursery filled with little babies and feed them steak. Some would choke, some would die and some would suffer greatly.

That would be a gross error. That would be cruel.

An equal and opposite gross error is to bring 15 year old teens into the nursery, change their diapers and feed them pablum because we fear they can't handle whole food.

This is what happens too often in Churches today. Pastors have such a low opinion of the people under their care they baby them. They think they are unable to digest real meat. So, the congregation lives on mothers milk and pureed peas. When these immature spirits in adult bodies are fed a little meat they don't know what to do with it, they choke and complain.

We are instructed in scripture to grow up in the faith. That means you can't keep checking yourself into the nursery at 15 years old.

These teenagers always having been fed pablum if they get a tiny bit of raw meat think they have it all together. They think they've grown up. They think they can discern and walk in hard places. They are like teenagers you have at home or like you were once who now have all the answers at 16. I know I did. Now at 4 times that age I have far fewer. We all do.

In the movie, THE MATRIX Neo is released from the incubation battery complex and forced to fend for himself. His muscles don't work, he doesn't know how to walk, he is weak, he is alone in the world. There are people to help him but he must want their help. He struggles and falls. His body looks like an adult body but is a baby. It takes a long time for him to become adult and learn to eat real food.

The problem is many Christians are outwardly adults, having spent years in the church, but who spiritually have never been weaned. They have no understanding. They are undeveloped, immature and not able to operate in the realm of the Spirit.

They are like children with huge endowments under the care of a nanny guardian who tells them someday they will be able to take advantage of the endowment but for now they have to live under the nanny roof. It's good for the nanny too.

In Galatians 4:1-2 there is a good description of this condition.
Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.

Christians have a great inheritance restrained only an unwillingness to grow up.

The problem is many Christians don't really WANT to grow up. They like being babied, told what to think, living off other peoples faith, not able to do battle for themselves, immature and like little babies every time something feels uncomfortable or the nanny leaves them alone or
something changes they cry and fuss. The blame rests on the babies and on the nannies who live off them.

Infants don't operate in all the freedom that adults do. That's why there are curfews. That's why 10 year olds can't vote of buy liquor or drive. The same thing is true for Spiritual Babies.

The nanny church does everything for them. They never want to grow up like Peter Pan. Everything seems fine as long as no one messes with their nice little make believe world. Except it's not fine. They are babies posing as adults and doing all forms of damage. They are unprepared when the world changes.

Most people think they have far more Spiritual maturity than they do. We all need to grow up. None of us have it ALL together. We won't till we cross to the other side of the veil. Think about it for just a moment, what spiritual maturity do you think you have?

Infant, Child, Youth, Young Adult, Adult, Middle Aged, Older Adult, Sage of the Faith. Go ahead. Pick one.

Chances are you are at least one level BELOW where you think you are. I include myself in this. It's time to grow up spiritually.

The Bible says something about this condition of Christians today:
Hebrews 5:12-15
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
It's time for the nanny church to start kicking the big kids out of the nursery and start feeding them real meat. It's time for Pastors to quit babying their flock. It's time for Christians to Grow Up.

You Too Can U2

John Armstrong has a wonderful post about a U2 Eucharist held in a Lutheran Church in Carol Stream. I wish I had been there. "We can take all the BEST from the music of today and make it relevant for the Christians of Tomorrow".

Luther said that.

Shocking isn't it.

Read the whole thing.

One other thing, here is an interesting article that defines what the Whole U2 thing is about regarding things of God.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Steve Scott is a regular blogger. He's a good one. He has one of the best posts regarding present day communion with a humorous bent I have read in a long time.



My Friend and a man I love dearly Harold makes a comment below. Take a peek at it. I respect him and find his comments and writing always scholarly and well thought out. Our mutual Friend Barry says that in years past Harold wrote some brilliant and extraordinary Works presented to his peers. So, I take what he says very seriously. I read it and don't consider for a moment he doesn't mean what he says nor that it's not well founded. I certainly didn't for a moment mean that disagreeing with Steves post was snarky. I just was on the rebound from snarkyness otherwise. Overrun the runway a tad.

I say all that and still in rereading Steve's posting and reconsidering I think the present day church DOESN'T GET communion. Oh I think they get the traditional and historical traditions as came from middle ages Catholicism. But not the Communion as described in 1 Corinthians or exemplified by the last supper.

I am MORE traditional than most Lutherans in the theology of actual presence in the elements. I am far more convinced of the efficacy for the miraculous in the communion action. Communion is touching JESUS.

I just think we don't get it. We think somehow in the sacred act of blessing that the nature of the elements physically must be in some predetermined form. A sip from a cup, a wafer or bit of bread. Scripturally that can't be and can't have been what that meal was.

It was first of all a MEAL. Jesus says so. .. as often as you do THIS. This What? Have this meal. Meal of what? A wafer, a sip? Not really a meal is it. And the Corinthians who brought food including the bread and wine were overdoing it. Contrary to what Harold says, they didn't show up drunk. Read the text, what does it say. They BECAME drunk and way selfish. They didn't share. They didn't commune.

I don't object to the wafer and sip as Steve did but it's not actually scriptural. What would be would be a group gathered around a communion table, eating FOOD, chicken, Red beets, Mashed Potatoes. Then, somewhere during the end of the meal, the wine is brought out, cups filled, blessed, Bread broken, Blessed. Consideration of the depth of what is about to happen. People offering each other the communion elements. Discerning the Body of Christ scripturally. The body as is each other, the body as is represented in the elements. And reaching out to the Father in Thanksgiving for his provision (that's what Eucharist means anyway, thanksgiving) with expectation and anticipation of his further provision in healing, forgiveness, joy, soundness, whatever you lack he provides in the communion act.

Then with great joy and thanksgiving they sing hymns of worship together. That's what the Bible says the disciples did afterwards. In fact in the early church for the first 300 years after Jesus this is exactly what happened. They met house to house broke bread and worshipped and prayed. What does the text say.

They didn't do the sip and the wafer.

If we were to do Communion as the early church did, and do it scripturally, we would make our communion a pot luck, have it around a big table, all contributing, we eat and then we pass each other the elements, we eat and drink of them sometime with the words of institution and sometimes without. Always understanding what is happening.

I'm afraid we have drifted very very far from the scriptural communion table. Tradition again crushes true Christianity.

Oh, I'll go again, I'll take communion. I'll do so with joy. But, I'll wish for more.

There are many groups of people who meet in homes in the Geneva and St. Charles area who do communion in exactly the way I have just described. They wanted more. We have done it in our own home with just our family. Offering my sons the Cup of blessing and a torn of broken piece of bread with the words of Jesus and blessing them is among the most holy things that ever happens in our home.

I hope it might be true for any reader of this. There's so much more. So much. Take off the bondage of tradition. See him in all His beauty.

Comments, I get Comments

Most of the time I read and enjoy the comments folks make on this blog. The bulk are encouraging or funny. Sometimes they are snarky like the one on my Misappropriation of Funds Post. They always come from an anonymous source or from a fictitious name with no link back. Real courage - not so much.
This one is typical:

Have you ever read what the Lord had to say about judging others?
I guess that is why you keep getting hit by incoming fire!

I will do my best to educate this person who obviously knows little about the Bible or the Lord.

My fellow Bible Fan:
Have you ever read what the Lord had to say about judging others?
The Lord wants us to Judge between evil and good and choose good. He wants us to evaluate the quality of fruit people people produce by the actions they manifest. In fact, he says (Judging) that if a tree doesn't bear good fruit, dig it up, throw it into the fire. He prunes out the things in our lives that produce poor fruit. Sometimes he does that by bringing it to our attention. So, like a flock of chickens you throw a rock into, if that rock struck and you were the one that squawked, perhaps it's time to ask yourself a few questions.

I guess that is why you keep getting hit by incoming fire!
No one ever kicks a dead dog. Why? It's dead.

If I am getting resistance and incoming perhaps it's because I'm hitting a nerve. I'll take the slings and arrows. It's better than being inert. Or dead. Christianity is not a popularity contest. In fact the world, the flesh, the devil and the religious will hate you. They hated Jesus and they should hate you.
If they love you somethings wrong.

If as a Christian you get no incoming fire you are already dead spiritually. Sorry, it's the truth. Take a look at who you think you are in Jesus and think again. Stand Up Stand UP for Jesus you soldiers of the Cross!! Unfortunately, most Christians sit on their blessed assurance while the world goes to hell in a handbasket and they say nothing. They stay inert while their kids, their friends, their society, their marriage and their health spirals out of control
down in flames. But at least they didn't judge. Balderdash. That's what bad religion has done to us.

Then there's this quality comment from Coach Dave Daubenmire. He's my kind of Coach and my kind of Preacher. If you are in the ministry his call is one we need to hear. He has a blog. READ THE WHOLE THING - IT'S REALLY WORTH IT.

From Coach Dave:
I don’t know if you are a football fan or not, but I am. I find a great many lessons about life can be learned on the old grid-iron. In fact, I think that in many ways churches are like football teams and pastors are like coaches. Allow me to develop this analogy a bit.

I love watching the Ohio State Buckeyes this year. They are the consensus Number 1 college team in America and recently they scored 42 points against Michigan which had what was believed to be the best defense in the country. I apologize if you don’t like football. Stay with me.

How did they do that, score so many points on the Maize and Blue? Most would say that it was the Buckeyes' versatility, that they had too many weapons for the Wolverines to guard against. No matter whom the defense focused on there was always a mismatch somewhere, and the Buckeyes did a great job of exploiting the weakness in the Michigan coverage. Certainly Ohio State had great players, but so did Michigan. Why was it every time the Bucks needed to make a play they were able to find somebody open?

I give most of the credit to the Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel. Rather than being a one-man team and counting on the efforts of a single player, he moved the ball around and figured out a way to get the ball to the guy who was open.

Let’s take a minute and compare why the Buckeyes are Number 1 and most churches are middle-of-the-pack. Pastors could learn a thing or two from Coach Tressel.

When I turn on the Buckeyes I expect to see a lot of great things happen through the combined efforts of a bunch of different people. QB Troy Smith may throw a pass to Teddy Ginn, or perhaps Anthony Gonzales if Ginn is covered. He may hand the ball to Antonio Pittman, or run with it himself, but they do a great job of using the weapons that they have.

I am always struck by the fact that Coach Tressel gets so much of the credit. In all of the games that I have watched over the years I have never seen the coach throw a pass, score a touchdown, make a tackle, or kick a field goal, yet he gets credit or blame when the game is over. Why is that? The coach doesn’t score the touchdown himself, but realizes his job is to get the ball to the guy who can score.

Our Christian team is doing so poorly because so many of our churches are nothing more than one-man teams. Can you imagine going to an Ohio State Football game and watching Coach Tressel run, pass, kick, and tackle? We go to watch his TEAM perform. He has spent months preparing them to play the game. It doesn’t matter how much football he knows if he cannot transfer that knowledge into action. He may have the best playbook the world has ever seen but if the players can’t run the plays effectively the team is doomed to failure.

Walk into your local church, sit down in the pew and watch what happens. The “Coach” will soon appear and begin to explain the Christian playbook. He will instruct the congregants on all of the techniques, the proper methods of action, and the devices the opponents will use against them. He will exhort them to follow the playbook if they want to be successful and assures them the playbook is a guaranteed route to successful living. Unfortunately, all the pastor does is draw plays on the chalkboard, in the safety of the locker room. Most pastors will never take his team to the field to practice the plays they have just been taught.

If all Coach Tressel did was drew plays on the chalkboard, if he never took the team out to the practice field and made them “run through their plays,” if he didn’t give them the chance to practice what they had learned in the “chalk talk,” they would never be able to function as a team during the game. If they never practiced, how would they know who was the best passer, or runner, or blocker? How would the players know what position was best for them? How would they ever defeat the opponent?

You see, the difference is Coach Tressel develops the players and gets the ball to the one who can score. Most pastors won’t let anyone else carry the ball. They are coach and quarterback, passer and receiver, blocker and tackler, cheerleader and trumpet player. Today’s church is the ultimate one-man show. Is it any wonder our team is doing so poorly?

Ephesians 4:11-12 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: Paul told us some of the positions on the team. Why don’t we train people to play them? Isn’t that how the “work of the ministry” gets done….by the team? If the job of the Coach is to train the team to run the plays, what then is the job of the pastor?

“But Coach,” some pastors will lament to me, “I can’t get anyone else to carry the ball. All they want to do is sit around and eat of the good of the garden. They don’t want to hoe it.”

Wonder what would happen to Coach Tressel if the Buckeyes were losing because the team wasn’t trying? How long would the Buckeye-Nation listen to the coach blame the players? “Coach ‘em, Tressel. That’s what you get paid for," 106,000 voices would be screaming.

“Coach ‘em Pastor, that’s what you get paid for!” Whip the team into shape. “We’re tired of watching you carry the ball!”

One of the ways that folks try to marginalize a guy like me is by calling me a “fundamentalist,” as if that was something to be ashamed about. Talk to any good football coach and he will tell you that you win the game with fundamentals. If you can’t block, tackle, hang on to the ball, avoid penalties, and play as a team it doesn’t matter how good your playbook is. Song of Solomon 2:15 …the little foxes, that spoil the vines:.. If a football team can’t win without performing the fundamentals why would we think a church could? We have a great playbook. Why won’t we run the plays?

I am convinced that the biggest disconnect in America is between the pulpit and the pew….between the talk and the walk. The “coach” knows the playbook inside and out, and he is convinced that his team is ready for prime time. The players have listened to the coach talk about how the plays need to be run, but they have never had the chance to run the plays for themselves.

No wonder most pastors have no one to pass the ball too. So, pastor, take a clue from Jim Tressel. Take your team to the practice field.

Don’t just pray for the poor, go to the “practice field” and feed them.

Don’t just preach against abortion; lead your team to fight it.

Don’t just preach against the homosexual agenda, run a play to stop it.

Railing against pornography is not enough; tackle the issue in your community.

Tired of the secularization of the schools? Take your church to a school board meeting.

Don’t just tell your people to vote. Train them HOW to vote.

If saving souls is important, take them on a field trip to witness to the lost.
You might be surprised how many playmakers you have on your team, sitting on the bench. “Put me in Coach,” they may be crying. Could it be that they are tired of watching you hog the ball?

I do a lot of street ministry. That doesn’t make me a better Christian than anyone else, so please don’t take it the wrong way. It’s just that my whole life I’ve loved to be in the middle of the action. That is why sports were such a rush for me; fast paced, reactionary, challenging. I loved the “human drama of athletic competition.” I am convinced most real men share my passion for action, but they aren’t aware of the “wrestling match” going on around them and that there is a position for them to play.

I remember when I asked my friend Jim to join me for a trip to help those ravaged by Katrina. He had never played in a “Faith Game” before. For five days he gave of himself to meet the needs of others. He returned home a changed Christian man.

“You know, Coach,” he told me as we bounced along the freeway on the way home. “I would never have done something like this if you hadn’t asked me. I had no idea that the Lord could use a nothing guy like me. I’ve spent my entire life in church and never did anything outside the four walls of the building. Thanks for helping me get in the game.”

Want to help the church win, Pastor? Quit trying to build a ministry and start being one. Look out in your congregation. Some folks are ready to play. They are waiting on you to pass them the ball. Are you the Quarterback or are you the Coach? You can’t be both.

….perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Christianity is a team sport. We have made it a spectator sport.

“Put me in, Coach!”

Well said Coach. Amen and Amen!!

Here's a list of several of his articles. Worthwhile reading.