Monday, November 29, 2010

A NEW Look at Ephesians 4 Ministries

I have been transcribing one of Rob Rufus's sessions at the recent "Grace and Glory Conference 2010" from Hong Kong on the book of Hebrews and was fascinated by a preliminary point he made. I have always been taught from the charismatic days by men like Terry Virgo and Stanley Jebb about Ephesians 4 Ministries - "God gave some to be ...". And have always assumed that God gives the gift of one. For example - personally I have wondered frequently what I may be! An apostle? No. A pastor? Definitely not. A teacher? Possibly. And so on.
Rob Rufus brought a very different and wonderfully freeing perspective to consider. Here's what he said;

"We often take the definition of who we are from other people's perspectives. We let other people define us!

From 30 years ago I had people saying to me; "I am telling you - you are an evangelist". Okay I am an evangelist. Someone else would say to me; "Rob I am telling you - you are a teacher". They would say it to me like they were the final authority! Okay I am a teacher - so I would try and teach. Then they would say; "No Rob - I am telling you - you are a prophet". Oh okay so I would try and prophesy. Then they would say; "No Rob - you are a psalmist when you lead worship". Okay great I'm a psalmist. A few would actually say; "No you are a pastor!". None said I was an administrator! Then some said I was an apostle! So I was living like a religious schizophrenic! Who am I!? I am an administrator of chaos! Then people would say - no you are an artist, a poet.

One day Bill Hamon - a wonderful prophet from the United States of America. He had never met me before and then one day laid his hands on me and said; "I have given you elements of the apostolic, elements of the prophetic, elements of the teacher, elements of the pastor, elements of the apostle, elements of the evangelist, elements of the psalmist". And I said; "Praise God for a word from heaven!". I want to say the same thing over all of you. God has given you diversity and elements in your uniqueness! I am telling you that if you believe you are pigeon-holed to a tight category then in your faith you will stay in that box and think you are being original.

Don't copy and mimic other people! We are called to imitate their faith - not mimic their methods! And there is a big difference.

We are more inside of us and becoming more as unique individuals than we realise. It is never too late to have a happy childhood!

When a chameleon stands on different colours - the chameleon becomes those colours. Paul the apostle says; "I become all things to all men to win some to Christ". Some may say - oh that's a politician, changing his colours to the political agenda of the day. No - hold on. Politicians move in fear to cater to their constituancy. They are so insecure that they want to be voted in again. That is not a chameleon. If you've watched a chameleon he does not change his colours out of fear but to be a successful hunter. He doesn't get eaten by predators like that - he gets close to his prey and out comes the tongue and he takes it out. When he touches a different colour. The colour-change doesn't come from the outside artificially. For within the chameleon is the capacity to become the colour of any colour he is standing on at that present time.

So if you don't know whether you are a poet then stand on a poetic colour. If you don't know whether you are prophetic then stand in a prophetic environment and you may see something inside of you become prophetic. If you don't know whether you are apostolic or not then stand in an apostolic environment Mr-oh-chameleon. Don't shrink your life! It is not an office you are to be unique in! You can be a whole diversity of rainbow things. It is where you express those rainbow things through the uniqueness of your personality that is most important".

I love this free understanding of the wonderful Ephesians 4 gifts - maybe this is something to consider and allow to thrill us. Imagine - God is so generous and so giving and so lavish that He isn't confined to assigned YOU a role as an apostle, or a prophet, or an evangelist - but wants you to be a prophetic evangelist! Or a teaching apostle who pastors! What an imaginative God who gives such good gifts!

1 comment:

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Think about when Ephesians was written. Everything was in flux. Church life was largely too precarious to be anything else. The first church at Jerusalem looks like a complete disaster...but think about it, if it was such a disaster, why is Dan Bowen a Christian then? Clearly wasn't so much of a disaster then.

Ministry posts on here are like a hot button. Probably to prove to myself that I am not a failure!

If the Spirit transfer of the Word of Christ is 1. alot more fleeting than we think and 2. The Spirit transfer of Christ is more powerful than we think

we can begin to understand how Jerusalem church can exist for so short a time and like blowing dandelion seed into the air, be so effective.

Human "office" structures can exist for very human reasons. Rob Rufus is a good example of someone operating on 2 levels. The man I met up at Hope Latimer Conference did not get on well in Rob's church. His son did. This tells us that at least one level of what rob does is provide a "wineskin" for 20 -35 years olds in particular who not only need Spirit input, but some kind of security hub for themselves as developing young adults. Older adults may not fit in too well to some of what is going on.

On another level, both in his church then via podcasts and conferences Rob is delivering a Grace Word that is setting countless free, and helping people transition out of the now traditional "charismatic" scene into......
you have to fill in the gaps. I have written at length on this, but only those who receive what some of us are coming up with on the net and Facebook will actually make any of it live in practice.

So we see already that we may have a local function. An international function. A function for a particu;ar subsection. A function for a limited Spirit operation over a period. Take Rees Howells Intercession ministry in the 2 nd World War, after which he died.

As I've said many times, if our goal is reproducing Christ

who bloomin well cares about proliferating particular network structures. If that recognition of Christ in you as you leads to writing a book late into the night when the children are in bed, like Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and this sets alight an important transition in history,

are we worried that she was never high profile in some church network?

If the local church is a nest, it's the birdies that fly!!!!