Ministries and Accountability

If the godly government of the Five Fold Ministry/Leadership Teams were at work, first in our individual churches, then in our cities, many things would be very different. Among the differences would be the way that travelling ministries come and go. They do so now totally without accountability. They come and minister. For good and for bad they influence and affect the church in our area. They arrive without an interview, and leave without so much as a "debriefing."

Elders of the City

Imagine if there was a local council of the "Elders of the City." In order for a visiting ministry to receive the recommendation of the churches in the area they would be expected to sit down and have a meeting with this Apostolic Council. In this meeting the travelling Apostle, Evangelist, Prophet, or Teacher would have the chance share what they believe God has placed on their heart for the area. They could give an explanation of how they operate. The Elders could then deliberate. If they thought the ministry worthy of their support, they could then go back to their individual churches and with confidence recommend that the sheep in the local flocks attend the meetings.

Apostolic Debriefing

It would also be understood that no ministry would receive the blessing of the Elders of the City unless they were willing to be continually accountable to local leadership while here, and meet afterwards for an Apostolic Debriefing in which they could be told what had been a blessing and which areas may need correction. If it were merely a church meeting and not city wide, the visiting ministry would be expected to be accountable to that local church's Council of Elders.

Not Necessary?

You say it sounds good, but you don't believe such a thing is necessary? Really. I sure do! In our little city I have seen all sorts of ministries come and go. Some gave what good they had to give. Others left behind a whole lot of difficult "stuff" that needed to be sorted out and ministered into. And there was not one measure of accountability.

Some of the things I have witnessed have been most distressing. Let me share with you several incidents, one city wide, the second involving a handful of churches, and one within a local assembly. (Unfortunately, I could share a dozen others as well.)

City Wide "Healing" Crusade

One of the top healing televangelists came to our city several years ago. I am sure that God used him and his ministry to authentically touch some lives. However, there were just as many who left distressed, some in tears. (I was one of them.) There were several things glaringly wrong.

  • The emphasis on money was excessive. Manipulative tactics were used to collect that money. People who made $1000. pledges received "special prayer." Everyone who gave was promised a blessing proportionate to their giving.
  • There were times when what was attributed to the Holy Spirit was merely masterful crowd control, and worse.
  • He came to a city already somewhat divided over some issues and furthered the polarization by going on a 15 minute rant. It was none of his business, and he interfered in a matter on which he should have been silent. I wondered just with whom he had lunch that day.

This man was never called upon to account for his actions. This was a disservice to the community. It did not help him any either.

The Tragic Tale of the "Teaching" Prophet

Unfortunately,
some "respect the anointing"
so much that they
fail to demand
proper ethics and integrity
of those who minister

A prophet visited our city and tried to teach a seminar. During the "ministry time" he took a disliking to a friend of mine and ministered to everyone else but refused to minister to her. She asked him for an explanation and he gave her the regal brushoff. In great distress, which was apparent to everyone who witnessed the situation, she again approached him only to be treated worse the second time. All she wanted was to know the reason why. She was treated with great personal disrespect, leaving wounded. I do not care how "anointed" you may be, such actions are wrong. (Unfortunately, some "respect the anointing" so much that they fail to demand proper ethics and integrity of those who minister.)

This unsanctified prophet was never confronted. There was no means to do so. If there was he could have been told two important things. First, he has absolutely no gift of teaching and should never teach again. Then his destructive behaviour could have been addressed, and corrected. He could also have been told of the things he did that blessed those to whom he ministered. As it was, the sheep were not protected at all from his ungodly behaviour.

Miraculous, or Mass Suggestion?

The third incident involved a prophetic evangelist's use of Raveen-like hypnotic mass suggestion. He first shared that in some of his meetings the "Glory of God" settled down so strongly that some people felt "glued" to the floor. Do I believe that such things actually happen? Certainly! In his ministry? I do not know. As he talked in a low smooth soothing voice describing in exacting detail just how it happened and how it felt, he suddenly raised his voice saying, "It's here! It's happening! Over there to this lady in the blue dress. The weight of God's Glory is upon her. She is glued to her seat. It will take two strong men to move her. You brother, and you, go over to her. Lift her up if you can and bring her to the front and lay her on the floor [why she needed to be put there was never mentioned]." They obediently did so and the dear suggestible lady obligingly went limp and "had" to be carried. From there it went from one to another as he energetically pointed out people to whom it was happening.

And then he made a mistake. He pointed out a friend of mine as the next one "now receiving this blessing." This lady is very rational and not the least open to being suggested into anything. However, she deeply loves the Lord and would respond if He were genuinely moving upon her. Standing at the back watching this spectacle unfold I said to myself, "Now you've done it preacher!" and I waited with great curiosity to see what would happen.

She just sat and looked at him as he stated she was being overcome with this special "glue you to the floor" anointing. He asked, "Do you feel it?" She didn't, and said so. With that his suggestive hold on the congregation was broken. He immediately recognized something has changed and said that she was not one being so blessed. God allowed this to happen to teach us a valuable lesson. Even a mighty prophet like he could make a mistake. To be sure, the mistake part was true. He just failed to see what his real mistake was.

There is a vast difference
between being open to receive
and being open
to being deceived!

(As an aside let me say that sometimes we Christians, especially those of us with a Pentecostal or Charismatic bend, are so hungry for the miraculous, or to "receive a word," or to experience an overwhelming blessing that we make ourselves overly suggestible. There is a vast difference between being open to receive and being open to being deceived!)

Discernment, and Second Guessing

There are services such as these when some of us suspect that something is wrong. We feel overwhelmingly uncomfortable. Because there is no legitimate channel through which we can express our concern, this tends to provoke a crisis within us.

  • The first thing we are inclined to do is be suspicious of what we are feeling. After all, good Christians do not have such bad thoughts or such negative feelings about people in ministry.
  • We then tend to second guess and criticise ourselves. If we think that we are the only one sensing something wrong and we have no one else with which to confer, it is very easy to just dismiss things as "having a bad day." We tell ourselves, "I really need to correct my attitude." But there may be nothing wrong with the day or our attitude. We may be discerning between good and evil.
  • Because we are overly impressed with big names, slick machinery, and a supposedly powerful ministry, we shelve our critical facilities.
  • We are afraid to honestly engage our legitimate doubts lest a "lack of faith" prevent us from receiving a blessing.
  • Many of us have also swallowed the "touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm" idea to the point of the ridiculous. We many not all be prophets, but we are all God's anointed. God have mercy on those who minister unworthily to God's kids.

I was at a conference in the past few years at which whenever the worship leader "ministered" I became nauseous. I had to stay away from the meeting until this individual had done his thing (and believe me, it was his thing). If what I believe I discerned is true, not only did the young man need to be confronted for his own good, but the congregation did not need the defilement of his ungodly life poured upon them service after service. But, I honestly could not figure out what to do about it. There was no Apostolic Council with which to meet.

To the best of my knowledge none of the individuals I have mentioned received correction before they went on to the next place to minister. This travesty has to change. God's Theocratic Church Government must be established. It is time.

Correction and Confirmation

The desire of every godly minister is to do what they do as best they can, and to do it better the next time they stand before God's people. If Theocratic Church Government was established, and Apostolic Councils set up, not only could the bad be challenged and corrected, but the good could be affirmed. Just imagine how much mobile ministries would benefit if they had this kind of input everywhere they went. Imagine how much faith destroying manipulation the local church could be spared if God's Government were truly in place. Imagine how much better things would be.



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