Unhealthy Relationships in Ministry (Part 5): Ministry Pyramid Schemes

In the last post we saw how Hagar’s dream of becoming significant through another person’s calling imploded.

In the end she got just the opposite of what she wanted.  She ends up running away in strife and fear!  Self-ruled “leaders” often create methods to bring Hagars (those who are insecure and aren’t established in an identity in Christ) under a Sarah-type ministry or vision.  And because they are insecure, the Hagars of this world are looking to “attach” themselves to someone or something that appears “successful” and “anointed”.  This is one of the darker reasons why there is so much ministry promotion, methodologies, programs, and conferences in Christendom.  This is why some preachers need their personal jet airplanes.

For instance, if you want to be a successful leader of leaders, you’ve got to look more successful than other leaders and one way of doing that is to get people to come to your conferences.  The more people you get to come, the more successful you appear.  They say that the conference is for your benefit but really they’re the ones getting promoted.  And the more attendees they get, the more hype they get, the more promoted they feel.  And when the conference attendees return home, if they sell the vision or method they just learned to their constituents, then the next pyramid level has been created!  And on and on.

But that’s not God’s plan for us.  That’s not grace.  That’s not the New Testament. That’s not Jesus.  Jesus didn’t come to take, he came to give.  He didn’t come with a slick presentation and great publications.  He didn’t come to sell a system or a formula.  He came to give us Himself.  “I am the light of the world.”  “I am the living water.” “I am the bread of life.”  “If any man is thirsty let Him come unto Me and drink, and out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”

But today’s Sarah-type ministries are always looking for Hagars to bring under their control:  “By becoming a partner in this ministry you will become a partaker of the anointing that’s on this ministry.  So send in your best seed gift today.”  (Ever heard something like that on Christian tv?)  There are so many modern day Sarahs manipulating Hagars into an unhealthy dependency and a vain hope.

Too many are like Hagar slavishly serving  Sarah, never having her own real experience with God and ministry from God.  God wants to bring every member of the Body into a fruitful place of ministry where you’re not “getting” somebody else’s anointing.  You have a personal anointing when you’ve been with the Lord.  You’ve heard His voice. You know that He loves you.  You no longer feel compelled to prove anything.  You are secure in a love relationship with God.  That frees you to serve without fanfare.  It empowers you to minister from a place of contentment and security.  You are serving the Living God and He takes notice of you.  You don’t need to be noticed by people.

That’s God’s plan for each one of us. This doesn’t mean that we all need to be independent believers, lone rangers, who blaze new trails without any connection with other believers or without recognizing God-placed spiritual authority in the church.

But if we are feeding off of another person’s calling it will sooner or later end in deception or disillusionment.  There is no doubt excitement and emotional thrills when we are able to get close to someone or something that really appears to be exceptional and successful.  But until we are serving the living God based upon our own personal connection with Him through Christ, there is no life change. There’s no deep-seated, lasting peace.  So in substitution for the real thing we have to go to the next “experience” to feel fulfilled again.  It’s always just pursuing another experience, another new teaching, another self-centered fad, another new and best conference.

That’s bondage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s