The need for more ordained ministers and more churches

 

Today’s reading: Hebrews 7, verses 11-21

 

11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. 17 For He testifies:
      “ You are a priest forever
      According to the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath 21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him:
      “ The LORD has sworn
      And will not relent,
      ‘ You are a priest forever
      According to the order of Melchizedek’”)

 

(End of Bible reading)

 

 

Last night I attended an ordination service for the wife of a friend of mine. After seven years of study, she was being ordained into the Wesleyan Church and may now use the title “Reverend.” She had been serving as an Assistant Pastor. There were several others being ordained that night, and the ceremony took nearly three hours.

 

The officiator at the ceremony had given a talk and mentioned that the number of “unchurched” had doubled and is now over 150 million in this country. I did some research on the Internet to verify this information, and the numbers vary according to source. One source (not current) said that the number of unchurched has increased 92% from1991 to 2004. Six years have passed since that report put the number of unchurched at 75 million, so if this growth continues at the same rate, it would be safe to say the currently the number of unchurched has more than doubled over the last 16 years and is probably around 150 million in the United States.

 

If you look up this topic on the Internet, you will find list after list of reasons why these people do not attend church, but the real reason is simple: no one has given them a good reason to! Now, the question is, can we afford to wait for the existing pastors at the existing churches to eventually evangelize to these people and lead them to Christ?

 

I think that many of these people have already had this opportunity and were not satisfied with the results, so they went back to their “old ways.” If we had many new pastors appearing on the scene and opening many new churches, each pastor will bring his or her personality, strengths and weaknesses into each of the new churches, and if enough new opportunities were to become available, I believe that a large number of the unchurched would be able to be approached in such a way that they would hear a valid reason to attend church, and once they do, they would find more people like themselves in the church and would feel more comfortable being among these people, therefore becoming a member of the body of church members. It’s the age old equation of “numbers.” The more pastors on the scene actively trying to bring these people into the church, the better their chances.

 

Now that I am satisfied with my decision, and I hope that you will agree, this brings me to part two of the dilemma: “what will these new pastors be teaching and preaching?” Since Jesus established the Christian Church two thousand years ago, the Bible has remained unchanged. But that doesn’t stop disgruntled church members from leaving the church and starting their own church which teaches their own beliefs. Look at all of the churches in existence, and you will see that most of them carry the historical description of “founded by.” Look at all the names of all the founders of all these churches. How many of today’s churches were founded by Jesus Christ? I’m not condemning these churches, but any existing church that has broke away from the original church needs to be scrutinized to make sure that the original meaning of the Bible was not changed. In studying all the different religions available today, you would laugh at all the crazy beliefs that I have run across that are part of the church doctrine! Oh well, that is an idea for a future article. In the meantime, join me in encouraging those you know that have received the “call” to ministry to listen to the call and to follow their heart and allow themselves to be led by Jesus so that they may have the opportunity to one day reach out to the “unchurched” and bring them to Christ. It would please me to re-visit this article in ten years and discover that almost all of the people in the world are members of an organized Christian sect. May God be with you.