Should our main question be, “Is it effective?”
Jesus was effective, but his opposition did not question His effectiveness. They questioned his authority. They knew that no matter how effective a minister might be, he only has a legitimate ministry when His authority comes from God. Jesus agreed.
I was listening to a podcast last week by someone I had never heard of. In training his church staff, a guiding question for them was, “Is it effective?” While I am not opposed to effectiveness, I think sometimes we let effectiveness trump legitimacy.
The point of this series is to encourage our church to stick to what we know is biblical lest we venture too far and end up with a ministry that is effective but lacks God’s power [remember, authority, Mat. 28:18].
Last week, we covered several principles:
God’s authority is necessary to conduct legitimate ministry (Jesus himself emphasized God’s authority on his ministry).
Jesus passed God’s authority to the church (not to individuals, but to the institution. “All power is given unto me…Go ye…unto the end of the world.” Mat. 28:18-20)
Churches pass that authority by planting other churches (like Antioch laying hands on Paul and Barnabas as they went out to ordain elders in other cities, Acts 13:1-3).
Right doctrine = God’s authority on a ministry.
We wouldn’t accept a baptism from the Boy Scouts, would we? Or the Salvation Army? Or a Catholic church? No. We can show that their core doctrines do not line up with Scripture, so we cannot align our church with their doctrine by accepting their baptisms.
Tonight, let’s talk about that a little more.