Organization Is Rooted in Fear
What we are discussing is God’s heart. Is it administrative? Is it organization? No, it isn’t. In twenty years we have never had a program or any salaried positions or any titles for anybody other than, “I love you.” That’s not a title, is it? “I love you. I will die for you.” That’s the only title we have for each other.
There is no special person who is supposed to start or end meetings. I don’t ever start or end meetings. I might sit there for hours and never say a word. I’m watching, I’m praying and I’ll do my part if and when my time comes for me to say or do something. I just do what everybody else is doing—I respond to the moment. If there’s something God burns on my heart and it’s a fire burning within me that I have to let out, then I do that. But so does everybody else.
I may be doing a lot of the talking right now, but I wouldn’t be if I was at home. I might be “invisible” for a month at a time when I’m at home. It just depends on what I need to do. My gift has more to do with sharing building truths in other cities and countries, maybe more so than some of the other brothers in the church that I’m a part of. And that’s just fine. Their gift is just as important as mine whether their gift is encouragement, helps, teaching, shepherd, or other gifts that I don’t have. I need those in my life every day. I’m just a brother amongst brothers when I’m at home. So, don’t misunderstand what you’re seeing right now. My gift has to do with building the Body of Christ in other places, and that’s why I might be a little more visible in this setting than I would be in others. That’s because it is Organism, not organization.
I’m not the boss of anything or anybody. For instance, I don’t have anything to do with the money. Brothers other than me are involved in making sure that the saints in Africa get money if they need it. Those brothers will gather money from the different saints and distribute it. If needs come up in the local assembly of believers, such as somebody needing groceries or clothing or home repair, then others will gather the resources and make sure those needs are met.
So, we are all watching and praying and looking for needs, and then responding to those needs. Everyone is being faithful to share their gifts. “When you come together everyone has a word of instruction, a psalm, a song, a revelation.” “When revelation comes to the second, the first sits down.” God is a God of Order, and that is the context in which those verses are found (1Cor. 14:26-33).
It is orderly to live that way because we’re letting Jesus order it instead of putting superficial, man-made programs, systems and controls on everything. We do that because we’re so afraid that God won’t do a good job ordering our life! It’s like putting your legs and arms in braces, because you might break your arm someday. You want to make sure you never fall down, so you hook all sorts of gadgets, casts, crutches and bandages to yourself so that you don’t ever fall down and get hurt.
That’s what we do to the Body of Christ. We put all these systems, programs and gimmicks in place and we appoint leaders. “You be the leader because you’re the one who knows the Bible in this group. You are now in charge of starting the Bible study. And every time somebody says something, you make sure you are the one who corrects them and comments on it.”
Instead of being simple believers gathered like we are right now, it turns into a system and form with a man out front. Whether it’s a little tiny guy up there who is a slick new leader or whether it’s a great big, smart, spiritual man that’s an old leader—we put them in charge as the head guy. But that concept is nowhere in the Bible! Read Acts 15 and you will see, “Peter said…” and “Paul testified…” Other brothers, leaders from the church, were there and then after a while, “James said…” You see a dynamic about it. No single person was in charge and nobody was boss. They didn’t figure it all out in advance. It wasn’t a sermon.
In Acts 13, how did Paul and Barnabas end up being sent off? They were worshiping and fasting together and the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me these men…” That wasn’t a “missions program”! It wasn’t a missions program anymore than the time when Paul woke up from a dream of the man from Macedonia (Acts 16). Was that a “program”? No way!
That was Paul obeying God. And Luke said, “We agreed together that the dream was probably from God, so we went.” That wasn’t Paul being boss. It was, “We agreed, so we went.” They decided together to go and see if something was there in Macedonia. The man from Macedonia ended up being a woman and some other people by the river, and the man in his dream that he met was probably the Philippian jailor. Maybe Paul wouldn’t have gone if he had known that he would meet the man he was supposed to meet from inside the jail, right?
The point is that God does have a Way if we will trust Him. We don’t have to bandage ourselves or put braces all over ourselves in order to make sure we can walk safely and not fall down. We create all these forms and systems, programs and gimmicks and appoint leaders, because we’re afraid that God won’t do what God does.
After twenty years I can tell you for certain, in my own experience as well as from traveling around the globe a few times, that God wants to be free to be God. After seeing Him do His work with convicts in federal penitentiaries, as well as with people in countries and tribes, with languages and nationalities and cultural backgrounds that you can’t imagine, I know He wants to be free to be God. And allowing Him to be God allows us to be an organism which has order just like your human body does. But it’s not by organization.
We’re so afraid that He can’t be trusted to keep us from falling apart so we put all the braces on and then we can’t run very well anymore. We’ve bogged ourselves down with all of our good intentions. “Oh, we better be sure that we have a curriculum, and order everything in advance and practice our sermons in front of a mirror. We better make sure that we practice everything before we have a “worship service.” We don’t want anybody to mess up the music, so we better practice everything. We have to decide in advance exactly what’s going to happen. We better figure out a system to feed the widows.”
God is looking for men and women full of the Holy Ghost and full of wisdom. He wants that! If He gets that, we’ll have all the order we need. And, like putting your finger on the skin of your arm, it looks orderly, and meanwhile all the cells underneath your finger change. You lift your finger and it’s different.