Friday, August 04, 2006

Quotables: Books

"For one to be in authority does not depend on his having ideas and thoughts; rather does it hinge on knowing the will of God. The measure of one's knowledge of God's will is the measure of his delegated authority. God establishes a person to be His delegated authority entirely on the basis of that person's knowledge of God's will. It has nothing at all to do with having many ideas, strong opinions, or noble thoughts. Indeed, such persons who are strong in themselves are greatly to be feared in the church."

-- Watchman Nee, Spiritual Authority

"What a striking statement! 'Such persons who are strong in themselves are greatly to be feared in the church.' Why? Because they will rely on their own abilities or charisma or persuasiveness rather than on God's will and anointing, ruling by the power of the flesh instead of the power of the Spirit. Yet a leader's primary purpose is to bring people into a deeper knowledge of God and greater usefulness in His Kingdom. Leaders are not raised up to fulfill their visions or build their kingdoms or draw disciples after themselves (see Acts 20:28-31) but rather to draw people after the Lord."

-- Michael L. Brown, Revolution in the Church

Bob started the discussion. "I don't think we should see the church as a consumer organization. I'm serving on this council because I believe in our mission, not because I'm receiving some service."

Dan joined in, "I agree. We need to help our people understand that this is their ministry, something we all share in together."

Paul then asked, "How do we get them to understand this?"

Pastor Robertson sat back and thought for a moment. "You know, I think we have something backward in our conversation. We are discussing what the church is supposed to do, and that's important. But maybe we need to step back and ask ourselves a deeper question. Maybe we should ask, "What is the church supposed to be?"

-- from an illustration in Craig van Gelder, The Essence of the Church


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