Feb 25, 2021.
We live in an egalitarian world. Western civilization is rooted in the same Greek-based social construct that spawned democracy. So, any suggestion to ‘take orders’ tends to rub us the wrong way. On top of that we have a situational storm brewing; the idea of anyone exercising authority ‘over us’ is becoming referred to more and more as toxic – especially if it is a man. And truthfully, many have exercised their authority without humility, which has led to this generalized frustration with men and power. And yet, a scriptural understanding of power and authority reveals it as one of the great blessings God has given to the world. Hmmm. But it is scary stuff to talk about in this day, much less endeavor to practice.
#JesusStories: Matthew 8 tells of a Roman army officer who comes to Jesus requesting healing for one his servants. Jesus generously offers to go with the pagan officer to his home to heal the man. Interestingly, the officer objected and said, “Lord, you do not need to come to my house. I have officers who give orders to me, and I have soldiers who take orders from me. I can say to one of them, ‘Go!’ and he goes. I can say to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes. If you will just give the order, my servant will get well.” Here was a man who understood power. Perhaps his training in the Roman military had taught it to him, or perhaps he was naturally insightful in the nature of power. Either way, he had the ability to take one look at Jesus and recognized His great authority. Do we recognize the nature of Jesus’ authority as simply as this officer? We know that Jesus is the son of God and has been given all authority, that is clearly stated in the great commission. But have we connected the dots like this Roman soldier did? That Jesus’ word is all that is needed to change major things on this earth? A right understanding of Jesus’ power would undoubtedly change the way we view healing, evangelism, lifting the poor, the mission of the Church, and many other strategic components of the inbreaking Kingdom of God. Could we ever see these things as “orders” rather than theologies. And subsequently, could we expect divine power to accompany these “orders” as we engaged in them? Having a proper view of Jesus’ use of authority gives us a proper view of ourselves and how Jesus’ power is handed over to us as we carry out His orders and download His divine interventions upon the earth. This is the assumption of our working relationship with Christ. Surprisingly, Jesus credited this cursed Roman officer as having great faith, just because he understood the nature of power. There is some deep substance here for us; the size and scope of our faith is wrapped around our expectation that Jesus’ power will flow through us. Anyone under Jesus’ orders is able to expect Jesus’ power. And that is no small thing in Christian leadership.
#DinnerChurchQuotes: “As Christians, we should rarely find ourselves defending the Bibles authority. Rather its authority becomes undeniable when its compelling reality is visible among us.” -David Fitch
#PracticalStuff: Last week I invited you to a weekly DC LEADERS PRAYER/CONVO on Thursday evenings @ 4:30pm (pacific time). However, the zoom link I posted became corrupted. Here is the new one: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82544197948. Can you join us? Every vision needs a heartbeat. This is ours.
Blessings & Boldness,
Dr. Verlon and Melodee Fosner have led a multi-site Assemblies of God Dinner Church in Seattle, Washington since 1999 (www.CommunityDinners.com). In this decade when more churches in the U.S. are declining than thriving, and when ninety-six churches a week are closing, Verlon and Melodee sensed that a different way of doing church was needed for their 97-year old Seattle congregation. It soon became obvious that they were not the only ones in need of a different path. They joined the FX team in 2016 and founded the Dinner Church Collective. And then in 2019 founded the Dinner Church School of Leadership. There is a lot to be gained when church leaders begin to see open doors in the American landscape that they had previously overlooked. Therein lies the journey for those who will forge a new future for the American Church.