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Power in the House (3)

 

By Pastor Sam Adeyemi

Acts 2:42-47

We’ve been discussing on the New Testament structure of ministry and we’ve zeroed in on the significant difference in the way God structured things to run in the New Testament and the way it used to be in the Old Testament; where ministry occurred mainly in the temple. In the New Testament, as soon as the Church was born on the day of Pentecost this structure evolved in Acts 2; daily in the temple and from house to house. Here, people met together prayed and miracles happened. A large chunk of Jesus’s interaction with people happened outside of the temple, many happened in people’s houses. One observable thing is that when He went to people’s homes, people that will usually not come near the temple now had access to Christ. When He sat in the house of a tax collector, other tax collectors filled the house. This is really significant because even believers today think that we own Jesus and the main place that you can encounter Him is in the Church, so we want people to come to church whereas Jesus Himself commanded that we go but our emphasis is ‘come’. However, in the new structure, the house to house is evident and the result is the same.

Looking at critically at Jesus’s ministry, when He went out of the temple structure women, for instance, were able to approach Him and even touch Him; they wouldn’t dare do that in the temple. The temple guardians and power brokers complained when they saw this happen. Sometimes, we fail to see the ideological underpinnings of some of the things that Jesus did; they weren’t just mere acts, they were things to overturn the belief systems and culture of His day. Women were treated as second or third class citizens, children were treated even worse. Children as well who would not dare come near to see Jesus in the temple but insisted to see Him outside the temple; even the disciples of Jesus found it condescending that children equally would demand the attention of Jesus and our culture is similar to the culture of Jesus’s day hence they shooed away the children but Jesus stopped right in the middle of His sermon and demanded that the children be allowed to come close to Him and He then made them the sermon. He was bridging power gaps, attacking discrimination and lack of value for human life. All this happened outside of the temple and even today, Jesus is needed even more outside the Church than His is needed inside. Let’s take Jesus out!

Our emphasis is that in the New Testament every Christian is anointed. On the day of Pentecost, when the power of the Holy Spirit came, His outpouring was on all; sons and daughters would prophesy meaning gender gaps were bridged; young men shall see vision and old men dream dreams; meaning age classifications crashed. Wherever power and leadership are not understood, we’ll always look for excuses to create power structures and classes hence, even age is an excuse for discrimination. There’s no discrimination when it comes to the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. We had a massive turnaround in our church when we better understood Ephesians 4:11-12. Ministry work is for all the saints to do contrary to the temple structure where it was secluded to those within the fivefold ministry. Asking everyone to join the work of the ministry usually sounds strange and those outside the fivefold ministry may query essence of those in it; they may even wonder what the pastor, for instance, is being paid for. The old system of ministry apparently suits both the pastor and the congregation. The pastor’s ego is fed by the feeling of importance due to the number of people listening to him while the congregation is happy by being entertained and given hope by the pastor. However, in the New Testament, it is the ministry of the saints; every saint’s involvement and commitment is required. Hence, a Sunday Service is like a leadership conference.

The platforms and opportunities for ministry are from house to house and why we are emphasizing this is because alignment with God’s plans and purposes guarantees successful outcomes; Romans 8:28. God will always back you up on anything He has sent you to do; He does not pay for what He has not ordered. There are a lot of things we are engaged in that He did not send us to do and He is not obligated to fund such assignments. Divine help is guaranteed if you are engaged in what God sent you to do; John 5:19. We’re aligning with the New Testament structure where everyone is a minister.

The house to house model helps achieve all the five purposes of the Church at a go and any church that fulfils these five purposes is guaranteed to thrive. These purposes are fellowship, discipleship, ministry, missions and worship. Jesus said that we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else we need, will be added to us; when we join in to do God’s bidding He’ll ensure our own needs are met.

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