The Principle of Organization

The Principle of Organization

Words of Faith 7-9-18

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Luke 9

       [14b] But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each."  [15] The disciples did so, and everybody sat down.  [16] Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people.  [17] They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 

 

         There was a big task before the disciples.  About 15,000 hungry people needed food.  We have seen that it took trust and obedience to see the Kingdom miracle that God had planned.  But there was one more principle that Jesus taught here-- organization.

          Now this is the part of most seminars where I start to nod off.  Church administration was not my favorite course in seminary.  But we cannot miss the fact that Jesus revealed a model for accomplishing a big task.  He organized it. 

        You see, it was one miracle to make the food by multiplying the loaves and fish.  But the distribution to 15 thousand people was another miracle.  A mob of people scrambling for food does not befit the Kingdom and tends to bring out the worst in people. The plan Jesus had was perfect but it took faith and obedience to organize those people into groups for a picnic when the food had not yet arrived. 

         We live in a day when many people are skeptical if not antagonistic of the "organized church."  The reasons given include the many sins committed in the name of God by "organized religion."  Frankly, it is quite true that an organized religion that is not listening to God will make bigger blunders and sins than sum of its parts. Terrible things have been done by organizations in the name of Christ, but that is no reason not to be organized. 

         The truth is that there is nothing wrong with organization or administration.  Jesus did it.  The problems arise when organizations stop listening to God and become self-protective.  This is the problem in many denominations and streams of Christianity.

         Organization can be a remarkable thing.  I remember the first time that I attended a Promise Keepers Conference and watched about 30 thousand men get fed a lunch in about 45 minutes.  That is pretty miraculous.  How did this miracle take place?  Organization and cooperation with a plan!  Some people don't like that.  They want everything to be "of the spirit." Organization is somehow "unspiritual" to them.  But Jesus was an organizer in on least this occasion when it was required. It was only as they were obedient to organize that the miracle began to take place.  

        The problem with organization is that so often we begin to trust in our organization rather than trust in God.  If we trust our church polity rather than God we are in big trouble.  We are called to organize, but then to trust in God for His guidance and provision.

         Some reading this are expert organizers. The church needs you.  You know how to break down a task into workable parts and keep it moving.  That is not unspiritual that is a gift of the Spirit called administration (1 Cor. 12:28).  Others of you know how to take a plan and serve in it.  That is a different gift of the Spirit called helping (1 Cor. 12:28). These two work hand in hand to make any task easy, even an enormous one.  

         It is interesting that Jesus did exactly the same thing that Jethro the father-in-law of Moses did in Exodus 18.  When Jethro saw that the ministry of the Word was overwhelming to Moses.  He broke the huge Israelite nation down into smaller groups.  We see the same thing in the book of Acts when the Apostles needed to be relieved of the physical labor of feeding people so that they could concentrate on the ministry of the Word and Prayer.  They set up an organized system for feeding people.

      It is interesting.  If you asked many people what they think the ideal size for a church is, they would probably describe a church they recall that was big enough to do the work of God but small enough that it could feed all the people effectively.  In some traditions, churches are never allowed to grow larger than 300.   But what we see here is a plan for ministry to 15 thousand people.  Now that may be larger than the Lord wants in a specific area, but properly organized, a church of 15 thousand can get the job done and be personal all at the same time. How big should a church be?  Exactly how big Jesus wants it to be.

          The provision of God is a thrilling and exciting thing to observe.  Can you imagine those moments when God began to provide thousands of fish where there had been two?  There were suddenly bales of bread where they had been five loaves?  More important, full stomachs where there had been hunger?  The Greek word in this text indicates that they were "gorged or fattened" filled to the point where there was no hunger.

         God calls the church to feed people so that they are satisfied, not self-satisfied but full, gorged with God.  The task is much larger than ten or fifteen thousand.  It is a world.  God is calling the church of this age to feed a hungry world physically, emotionally and spiritually.  If we look at our finance reports we will walk away in defeat before we ever start.  If we look at God's balance sheet we can step forward in obedience.  It is as simple as that.  God is calling us forward in obedience to organize to as to be in ministry.

 

          Where are you today?  Have you been puzzling over the finance reports?   Listen.  God is speaking among us.  When He speaks what we do next tells what we really believe about God.  Let us trust.  Let us obey.  Let us organize.