Managing God’s Church

Posted on September 28, 2013

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Author: Ken Lytle

America’s Cup recently took place in the San Francisco Bay.  

Americas Cup

Multi-million dollar yachts raced for victory with Team USA winning the cup for the eighth time.  The race did not automatically go in Team USA’s favor.  The New Zealand team started out strong with a 8 to 1 lead, causing many to believe that USA would not have a chance to win the cup.

“Thousands of spectators gathered on the shores of San Francisco Bay early Wednesday, where they scrambled for vantage points to watch Oracle Team USA capture the America’s Cup in one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.” — USA Today

Losing was not an option.  Team USA chose to replace the boats navigator and shuffled around other team members.  This change in leadership and an increased commitment to win, sailed Team USA into victory.

“Ellison, who famously hates to lose, looked as if he was going to lose. But in a bold move the team replaced personnel, notably the tactician John Kostecki, a Bay Area native, with Ainslie.” — The Guardian

The Bible has a few things to say about races…

“Do you not know that those running in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain. (25) And everyone who strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Then those truly that they may receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. (26) So then I run, not as if I were uncertain. And so I fight, not as one who beats the air. (27) But I buffet my body, and lead it captive, lest proclaiming to others I myself might be rejected. — 1 Cor. 9:24-27

In this spiritual race we are in, we are not racing against other humans.  The Bible says that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against the devil and his army of fallen angels (Eph 6:12).  It is imperative that we win the spiritual race at a personal level and organized church level.

Unfortunately, at the church level, we are often dysfunctional and disorganized.  Instead of making sure we have Christ-like leaders in office at every level, we walk on egg shells not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings.  GC leaders, union leaders, conference leaders, church leaders, educational leaders, and medical leaders are allowed to pick and choice what they want to believe from the 28 Fundamental Beliefs and Ten Commandments buffet, discarding Biblical truths that could make us stronger and more unified for effective mission work.

We are currently losing in the mission to seek and save the lost… the direct commission that Jesus gave us before He went back to heaven.  Like Team USA in the America’s Cup race, we too must learn how to change up and reorganize leadership if what we are doing is not working.

  • If a conference president is not effectively leading a local conference in Biblical truth and mission, then he should be replaced with someone who will do the job.
  • If a pastor is not training the church members for active ministry and effectively teaching Biblical truth, then he should be replaced with someone who will do the job.
  • If a university professor is teaching evolution and other unBiblical beliefs he or she should be replaced by someone who will do the job.

This is not rocket science.

We have the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy to guide us in…

  • Church leadership
  • Church growth
  • Church discipline
  • Church worship
  • Education
  • Medical mission
  • Evangelism
  • And so on…….

Now we just need leaders who will commit themselves to Jesus, are filled with the Holy Spirit, and are willing to truly lead.

Think about this…

If a local fast food restaurant is dirty, has nasty food, and poor service, the corporate office does not just stand by and allow the restaurant management to continue their business and reputation-killing ways.  A good corporate office would move in as quickly as possible and replace the management, clean up the joint, and put out a sign saying, “Under New Management.”

Under New Management

This is what needs to happen in many of our churches, schools, and conferences.  What we are currently doing is not working.  Churches are not growing.  Communities are not being impacted.  If a majority of our churches closed their doors, most communities would not even notice.

What can we do?

  1. Pray – Personally and corporately
  2. Study – Know what the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy says about church leadership and growth
  3. Act – Put God’s guidance into action
  4. Accountability – Hold leaders at every level accountable to the wonderful truths God has blessed us with

The time has come for us to stand up and speak up.  As more and more of us climb out of the lukewarm water and become “hot” for God, we will boldly stand for Him no matter the cost, causing the Adventist Church to shake like never before.  This shaking will shake out those who are not serious about Jesus and make room for those who are truly seeking Him.

What will you do?