Tag Archives: 5 fold ministry

Notes from A Preacher & His Models

As a pastor I am always seeking new opportunity to grow in my calling. At a pastor’s meeting I recently attended, Mr. James Stalker’s lectures at Yale were recommended. I know I can surely say I was blessed by reading through The Preacher & His Models, and wanted to share my notes and prayerfully edify others.

“…the mission of Christianity is not to occupy a respectable place apart, but to leaven life through and through” – Penetrate the world with the Gospel! Heal the Nations! Callings the Restorers!

Pastoral calling is not tame!

“We have too tame and conventional way of thinking about our career. Men are not even ambitious about doing more than settling in a comfortable position and getting through its duties in a respectable way. WE NEED TO HAVE MEN PENETRATED WITH THE PROBLEMS AS A WHOLE, AND LABORING WITH NEW DEVELOPMENTS WHICH THE TIMES REQUIRE”.

THE PREACHER AS A MAN OF GOD
“God’s man” – prophetic call, vision of God, vision of sin
“His whole being is taken possession of for the Divine purposes and subjected to the sway of Divine inspiration”.
“…the outer must be preceded by the inner; public life for God must be preceded by private life with God; unless God has first spoken to a man, it is vain for a man to attempt to speak for God”.

THE PREACHER AS A PATRIOT
“Our message in modern times is addressed to the individual; but the message was addressed to the nation”. – we are called to implore the nation with criticism, denunciation, comfort (Isaiah 51:8)
“It will be conceded by all that the preacher exists for the promotion of righteousness and the denunciation of sin in the world”.

THE PREACHER AS A MAN OF THE WORD
Compelled to preach – Jeremiah 20:9; 1 Corinthians 9:16
Demolish Strongholds – Jeremiah 23:29; 2 Corinthians 10
“The prophets had to go amongst men, even if it were at risk of life, and deliver the Divine message. They had to use every device to make it telling, striking it at every opportunity and giving line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. They did not disdain the homliest means, if it served a purpose”.
– thought and expression – win their attention and keep it!
“The more a Bible is searched, the more it will be loved; and the stronger the conviction will grow, that its deep truths are the Divine answers to the deep wants of human nature”.
“To obtain command of language it is good to hear the best speakers and to read the best books”.
“The writing of books is perhaps the likeliest of all avenues by which to carry religious influence to the most select minds”.

THE PREACHER AS A FALSE PROPHET
“There will always be a demand for smooth things and an appropriate reward for him who is willing to supply them in the name of God…But popularity may be purchased at too dear a rate. It may be bought by the suppression of the Truth and the letting down of the demands of Christianity. There will always be a demand for a religion which does not agitate the mind too much to interfere with the pursuits of a worldly life”.
“Neither orthodoxy nor heterodoxy is a guarantee: the only guarantee is a humble mind living in the secret of the Lord”. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

THE PREACHER AS A MAN
– responsibility
– use of intellectual gifts – “Cultivate your strengths”
Using the Apostle Paul as an example – “…there was never a time when to receive the approval of God was not the deepest passion of His nature”.; “He could never have allowed himself that which would have robbed him of his SELF-RESPECT”.
“People do not respect “the cloth”, unless they find a man inside it”.
“It is the manhood in ourselves which enables us to understand the human nature of our hearers; and we must have had life experience, if we are to preach to the life of men”.

Martin Luther’s Qualifications of a Minister
He should be able to teach plainly and in order
He should have a good, level head
Possess a good power of language
A good voice
A good memory
He should know when to stop speaking/ giving wisdom
He should be sure of what he wants to say
He should stake everything on the Truth
Study diligently
Suffer himself to be vexed and criticized by everyone

THE PREACHER AS A CHRISTIAN
1Timothy 1:5; 2 Peter 1 – BeingCHRISTIAN; Growth charts
A personal attachment to the Savior

THE PREACHER AS AN APOSTLE
“…obtain a a definite sphere to fill and a definite work to do” – “God inspired impulses”
“The Christian man says: Here is my own task – If I do not accomplish it, no one else can. This is my corner in the great labor field, which I, and no one else, have to make fruitful and beautiful. I shall be answerable to the Judge of All at the last day for the manner in which the work assigned to me is done”.
“…to love and be loved is the secret to a happy and successful ministry”.

THE PREACHER AS A THINKER
Titus 1:9 – encourage in sound doctrine and rebuke those who oppose it
– knowledge of Church History and thought
– The Holy Spirit by Owens
– New Testament Theology by Weiss
– Life and Epistles of St. Paul by Conybeare

“Pay close attention to YOURSELF and YOUR TEACHING; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you (1 Timothy 4:16)”.

“All of our work is determined by this – the Spirit and power of our preaching, the quality of the influence we exert, and the tenor of our walk and conversation”.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Rendering You Neither Useless nor Unfruitful in the Knowledge of God – MAKE DISCIPLES!!

Rendering You Neither Useless nor Unfruitful in the Knowledge of God”

As of June 2015, I (Pastor Michael Miano) have begun leading a discipleship program that I have developed through years of learning from other discipleship programs. We are calling this “Immersed Discipleship”.

The name says it all. I am endeavoring to disciple others the way I myself was discipled- by being immersed into the knowledge of God. Keeping in mind the concept of ‘milk & meat’, I seek to bring together those who want to be discipled and show them with the ‘things of God’ -whether it be deep doctrinal stuff, life application, or challenging ourselves in regards to outreach and evangelism- the goal is to help those coming into the faith to be “neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:8)”.

There is really no limit or boundary in regards to what we discuss at ‘Immersed Discipleship’. For example, last week in one of our classes, some of our discussion was based around the historical controversy of the Donatists. Here is an interesting article on those details for your studying pleasure:

http://gregsvoboda.com/2013/01/the-donatist-controversy-the-most-important-heresy-youve-never-heard-of/

Surely, as persecution of Christians continues, we can find some relevancy for ourselves in that historic conversation.

All of those details noted, a point that I made at our recent class was that 2,000 years after Christ first instructed His Apostles to preach the Gospel, we find ourselves sitting in a local church class room endeavoring to be His disciples. I regularly have the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel and see people become interested in what Jesus offers.

*Keep on the ‘lookout’ for an upcoming video I will release, “The Fulfilled Gospel in 6 Minutes” on YouTube in days to come.

After we heed the Gospel (namely the truth of Matthew 7:24-29), we then should be seeking to “walk worthy of 2 Peter 1:8.

For the remainder of this blog, I want to share with you a couple of ways I believe discipleship should be worked out in your life. God willing, I will provide you with a basic knowledge of how you can apply 2 Peter 1 to your life.

Missiologist and Theologian, David Bosch noted “For the disciple of Jesus, the stage of discipleship is not the first step toward a promising career. It is itself the fulfillment of his or her destiny”.

As a disciple your priority should be to gather with other saints to exhort and encourage each other to be accountable in personal discipleship, as well be the ‘healing of the nations’ as a community. At the Blue Point Bible Church (which I pastor) we have the following ‘mission statement’:

The purpose of this church shall be to make disciples, that is to produce mature believers, by carrying out God’s objectives for His Church in the world, evangelizing the lost and edifying the people of God”.

I call this the COLLECTIVE part of your discipleship.

The “collective church community” should further serve to build you up as a member of the Body, essentially the ‘purpose’ and ‘unity’ of the faith as preached by the Apostle Paul brings us in this direction. If 2 Peter chapter 1 is not an exhortation enough (which we will be dealing with as we conclude this blog), then let’s turn to 2 Corinthians 12:1-0. Go ahead and read the text.

Reading through 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, not only do you get a glimpse of the Apostle Paul’s concerns, you also see that God’s strength is shown in our weaknesses. The goal of gathering “collectively” is for us to not only see, but come to realize it is not about us- it’s about Him. The “collective church community” should seek to exhort and encourage the believer through the knowledge of God, bringing about a “strength” that only comes from God, and could never be exemplified through man. Again remember, it’s all about His glory! That should be your INDIVIDUAL focus.

The work of the “collective church community” and the “individual” is to seek out, understand, and live in proper doctrine. Reading through the Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy shows this very clearly. Go ahead and read through 1 Timothy chapters 2-4. Bad doctrine, or a messed up understanding of the things of God is compared to “dirty water” in Scripture. Who wants to drink “dirty water”? Worst yet, how does one feel after drinking “dirty water”?

In matters of discipleship we have noted that not only are ‘eschatological doctrines’ among many other areas in need of “study to show ourselves approved”, sadly even the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (or what we might refer to as the ‘practical applications’ of our faith are distorted as well. Some have referred to this as “The Crisis of the Sermon on the Mount”. A great article on that topic can be found here:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1995/july17/5t8038.html

As we contemplate the ‘true knowledge of God’, what should become clear beyond anything else is that without Christ, we will never “walk worthy” of the things of God. God offering covenant to us without Jesus is essentially “bad news”. We cannot and will not walk worthy- thus demonstrating the need for Jesus Christ. In these regards I enjoy this quote by Leo Tolstoy:

The test of observance of Christ’s teachings is our consciousness of our failure to attain to an ideal perfection. To the degree which we draw near, this perfection cannot be seen, all we see is the extent of our deviation”.

If you can come to that conclusion each and every time you study the doctrines of God, your DOCTRINAL understanding is in a healthy place.

That brings us to the final point, some may argue the most important- How to apply these things to my life? I have come to refer to this type of questioning as “diligent discipleship”.

I am fond of reading and learning from others, even to the extent that I recently accused myself of “following man”. However, praise-fully, I was rebuked by the Word. As the Apostle Paul himself admonishes the saints to be followers of him in 1 Corinthians 4:16 as well as in 11:1. Timothy was told in the letters to him to be mindful of who he received the faith from, and live like them.

Surely that brings together- collective, individual, doctrinal, and application discipleship. It must be done in community, it must be done diligently, and ultimately for the glory of God.

In our Wednesday Bible Study (just another way we walk worthy of our purpose at B.P.B.C.), we have been reviewing a series done by a man named Ray Vander Laan, and he details much of what I detailed in this blog- yet he refers to our lives in discipleship as “a well watered garden”. Author Vera Nazarian has noted, “The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants the seeds, and pulls the weeds. If you merely stroll through the garden, you are but an acolyte. “. I pray this blog has further exhorted you to become a ‘mater of the garden’ as it pertains to your discipleship.

In keeping with that line of thinking, here is a list of things to do in the Garden. Let’s start calling it our “Gardening List” (cf. 2 Peter 1)

  1. applying all diligence” – do this with a concentrated and constant effort
  2. in your faith supply moral excellence” – remembering that “faith” cannot be seen (Hebrews 11:1), the excellent morals we live by can be seen (read Philippians 2:1-11)
  3. add knowledge” – awareness, facts, information, and skill about the “things of God”
  4. add self-control” – ability to control one’s emotions, behavior, and desires in the face of external demands
  5. add perseverance” – be steadfast in what your doing despite possible trying circumstances
  6. add godliness” – Desire to bring glory to God
  7. add brotherly kindness” – do good to others, especially those of the household of faith
  8. love- love God with all your mind, heart, soul, and strength as well as love your neighbor as yourself – Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about his calling and choosing you: for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you (2 Peter 1:8-11)”.

Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you (2 Peter 1:12)”.

In His Service,

Pastor Michael Miano

Blue Point Bible Church

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Called to Ministry (Part one)

            As of March 2013, I was called to pastor- The Blue Point Bible Church (BPBC). Considering that BPBC is more of a “traditional structured” church, it has provided a delightful challenge for me, considering I am used to being the pastor of an “emergent conversation” style church community and director of a discipleship ministry. As I read through the “constitution” of Blue Point Bible Church, as well as talked with the membership, I realized the “high regard” this congregation held toward the pastorate. I have never been one to just accept a role with complacency, so I took this calling as a challenge.

         As I have talked with other men in ministry leadership I have noted a variety of styles, there really is no “one way” to do it. This makes it even more of a challenge since there is no specific “right” way to be a pastor..ahhh, how is one to know if he/she is doing it “right”?

            Let me make a personal conviction clear. I have struggled with the concept of “full-time ministry” for years, since I believe all Christians are called to “full-time ministry”. We are ALL called to “evangelize”, all called to have knowledge of the Scriptures, have a strong devoted relationship with God, and to make disciples- so what’s the deal with this “leadership ministry” stuff? I have come to a point where I recognize the importance of “leadership” because it helps empower, engage, and encourage others within a congregation. It is with this mentality that I enter into the role of “pastor”.

            So, I picked up a book recommended by a friend, a Baptist pastor. The book is called “The Christian Ministry: An Inquiry into the Causes of its Inefficiency”. Yikes, quite the title, right? This book was written in the 1800’s as a critic of the problems within Christian leadership. As a brother recently said, “the deader the better”.  It is time we get a historic look into the details of this style of ministry.

 (From here on out, I will share my thoughts, notes, and quotations from the book)

WORKING AS A COMMUNITY (WHAT I WOULD REFER TO AS THE “APEST”)

“The privileges communicated to the Church by its instrumentality, are union with her glorious Head, and the communion of the several members with others in their diversified relations, and mutual dependencies”.

“Each member contributes to the establishment of the system”.

“The whole body…is enriched by the MUTUAL IMPARTATION of the gifts severally distributed to the members, EACH OF WHOM READILY FORGETS HIS OWN PROPER INDIVIDUALITY IN A CONSIDERATE REGARD TO THE GENERAL INTEREST”.

“And surely it is not easy to conceive of a machine better adapted for the grand purposes which it was intended to subserve- the completion of the Church, and the regeneration of the world. Suppose it to be in its full effective operation- how admirably it is framed to make the Church the most important blessing to the world”.

            ARE YOU AWARE OF YOUR ‘WORKING IN THE BODY’? GET ON THE FREAKED OUT MOVEMENT’S EMAIL LIST FOR HELP IN THIS AREA. EMAIL: CHRISTIANITYGONEWILD@YAHOO.COM

“The dignity however of this SACRED OFFICE belongs to a kingdom “not of this world”. It is distinguished therefore, not by the passing glitter of this world’s vanity, but by eternal results, productive, even in their present influence, of the most solid and enduring happiness. For surely it is ‘the highest dignity, if not the greatest happiness, that human nature is capable of here in this vale below, the have the soul so far enlightened as to become the mirror, or conduit or conveyor of God’s truth to others”.

Oh, how we have failed to recognize the ‘sacred office’ of being a Christian, being an ambassador of His kingdom. Amen? As this next line exhibits the reality of what we face today in Christianity:

“The moment we permit ourselves to think lightly of the ChristianMinistry, our right arm is withered; nothing but imbecility and relaxation remains”.

When we return to “a sense of dignity of our office” by recognizing the need for proper discipleship that is “accurately formed, carefully maintained, and habitually exercised”, we will then again place Christianity in our lives and the lives of others “of the highest importance”.

“We must work, like Nehemiah and his men, with the trowel in one hand and the sword in another”.

“’Fools rush in where angels fear to tread’. But though many see little necessity for preparation; here, if ever, LABOUR, DILIGENCE, OBSERVATION, AND INTELLIGENCE, are needed to produce a ‘workman that needeth not to be ashamed’”.

 Let us walk worthy, Blessings in Christ,

           Michael Miano        Christianitygonewild@yahoo.com

     Be sure to visit www.bluepointbiblechurch.org

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized