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Rules for Success and Rules for Failure

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These rules are your key for success; failure if not. This is a Christian site so I’ll be showing how churches fail. But the rules are the same for all secular and religious enterprises. Here are the four steps.

Word  Authority  Process  Timing

Everything is to be done in order. The Word of God is essential to any enterprise. If His word is not in the project, then it will soon become a dreaded work of the flesh; if not, then it has 1/4th hope of success. Flesh-works are not evil, they simply go nowhere. God has no particular interest in promoting religious affairs that do not meet His plan.

However in secular circles, that is in the business world, the ‘word’ to guide you is not simply God’s direction but also based on your information level. No one starts a dental practice if he has no training in dentistry. We’d certainly hope he’d have a license, but at the very least information.

Just feeling moved to do something is not enough. The world demands credentials and even though we might not see them God demands His credentials for His projects.

Can you start something without God being in it? Of course you can; it just won’t go very far in advancing the Kingdom.

Two – authority. God insists that His work be done His way which means that the person(s) in authority are to be chosen by Him. Many people believe they have a good idea, the money to put it in place, and the zeal to match the demands of the job. Many young men think they should start a church. They may even have the Word behind them. But who is in charge? If the authority is wrong and individuals are competing that conflict will taint the future of the group until it is dealt with.

Three- process. God wants the church to be the work of 5 distinct leaders, apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. {Ephesians 4:11} They are to have one-fifth vote over the congregation.  How often do you see that?

In very large churches this may take place, but not in smaller ones. Very large corporations can also suffer from an imbalance of leaders, such as a letterhead board of directors who rubber stamp and fail to mind the company. Both secular and religious groups are then headed for failure. In fact they may already be there.  Many churches rely on a single pastor and this often backfires.

Four- timing. Of all the difficulties this one is the worst. If you do some research you’ll learn that important, ground-breaking inventions of all kinds appear, almost as if by magic, across the world at the same time -sewing machines, radios, and other inventions. Even cola drinks started at the same time.

An idea before its time will fall. There are also many inventions which give profits to the person who did not invent it; they just came to market sooner or had more capital backing.

The Bible from Genesis to Revelation is filled with examples of timing issues. I list them here because you may have not noticed them before.

Genesis 15:13 that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

Can you imagine the frustration of Jews in Egypt wondering why they were stuck for 400 years, waiting for a prophecy to work itself out.

Romans 5:6 (CEB) |6 While we were still weak, at the right moment, Christ died for ungodly people.

There is a right moment.**

It is puzzling to realize that God has timed events on his calendar. That should help us when we pray for a lost one. The time might not be right. Of course it is right for us!! We don’t have eternity and God does. That family member might well be saved after you are dead and gone. God knows the timing.

You can come up with your own list of failures. Since four points are required for success and any one of them can lead into failure, I include some examples. In every case at some point these four steps were ignored.

Example 1:

A woman is called into the office of a residential-old folks-home and asked to start a religious service on Sundays. The idea here is admirable because no secular operation is supposed to sponsor a Christian or other religious service. Having the service on Sunday is proper and its management is given to the residents. So far so good.

But there is a problem. The woman who gives the authority to the resident is not herself a Christian; i.e. she has no authority under God to appoint anyone to His office. She does have secular authority; she has, for example, authority to appoint an exercise leader.

The resident who originated the service then is not under the proper authority. To make matters worse she does not know the Bible very well, and she refuses all offers of help especially from those who have training or expertise. She is a natural pastor but there are not four others to instruct or direct; in fact, it is her way or the highway!

The group decays over a 2 1/2 year period into what one member called “a self-help support group” for the leader. It was said of this group there was no “life” because “he who has the son has life.”

John 5:12 The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have God’s Son does not have life.

Wrong authority, wrong attitude, and wrong process. Only the timing was correct but since everything that preceded it was wrong, the entire operation went downhill. The process of having five leaders was not followed so even though the timing was right nothing else was, and like Humpty Dumpty can’t be put back together again. Many Christians spin their wheels for decades not seeing what they have done is not in divine order.

Example 2:

Jack Welch of General Electric was everywhere acknowledged as a model corporation leader. When he retired the company fell into trouble and today it pays not a penny of its billion dollar taxes having moved manufacturing to China. There is no special indication Welch was a Christian; it doesn’t matter.

In the secular world you only have to do things right and in right order. The company now lavishly supports a failing TV system (MSNBC) in order to prop up its tax-exempt status. When another national government takes over I suspect all this will come crashing down. God has no obligation to support evil motives. How many women have married the wrong guy and then prayed for years that God make him right? You can answer that one! Pray before marriage not just afterward.

Example 3:

Several months ago I got a phone call from an old friend whose extended family has an evangelical ministry traveling around to mainly coastal churches. Their daughter at 16 showed great talent in singing so their plan was to make her part of the ministry team.   She attended a music school but by the time she was 20 she was in the hospital dying. The family believes in and practices divine healing so they were distraught. Finally God said to them plainly, “I have not chosen her for a music ministry.” When they dumped that idea she was healed.

This family was blessed that God would show them their presumption in assigning ministry when it was not theirs to do so. Jesus is the manager of His church. The poor girl had not been given the authority; she can use her talents elsewhere!

Example 4:

I asked God to confirm whether I was to return to China. I have everything in place including a job and a place to live except the sure word in particular the money. The following week I received a check for almost $2000. Since financing the trip was the key I was temporarily elated. By the end of the week I learned the check was a scam.

Thankfully I lost no money. My prayer partner said the lesson was I have been involved in a fraud.  The local group here is not under proper authority as well, talking Christianity but having no real understanding of it. Phonies everywhere. So I scraped my plans for China for the moment. God can always revive them if He wills.

Example 5.

John Hagee of San Antonio tells of how he started his mega-church. He went to his denominational  authorities and said God had pointed out to him a street corner where He wanted a church.  Hagee’s authorities said no, he was not to proceed but he did anyway. On many TV stations today you can see him at least twice; his ministry especially to Jews is worldwide and well-known. It is one of those cases where the authorities of the denomination were wrong. Maybe they did not pray adequately for the will of God to be revealed.

One of the key scriptures on the abuse of authority is found in Matthew 21. The Jewish leaders refused to answer Jesus as to where their authority came from because they jolly well knew it was not from God. End of argument.

We are coming now upon the last days, the time of the end. Even secular people who don’t know God have a hint of this. If we expect to get anything done, we need to go back to the rule book and get things straight.

If you are struggling with failure get out a notepad and start writing things down.

1. Do I have God’s sure word on that?

If not I must go back to where I got started and reaffirm I am in the right place. Have I fasted and prayed? Have others affirmed? If not why not.

2. Is the authority right?

If I am not in charge who is? Is the person functioning under God or something else? Have we done our homework about what we are to do?

3. Process.

We must go over our plans. Do we have 5 people minimum in charge with equal voice, and do we require a unanimous vote? Is someone competing with others for leadership? God blessed unity. See the passage on the Upper Room. The book of Jude which could be subtitled Acts of the Apostates cites 2 enemies of the church. They are greed and control.

4. Timing – Do we put this off?

Are we actually behind? What have we forgotten? If we wait what do we wait for? Are we getting God’s results or only ours? Is this Kingdom results or just natural? A huge congregation may not be what God is looking for.

If you feel that you are on secure ground with your program and can leave your denomination or group then do it, but follow the 4 steps regardless as they will apply to all your efforts throughout your life.

**Prophecy is important to religious planning.  Daniel saw in his scriptures that God would release the Jews after 70 years and he began to pray.  Modern prophecy is more and more relevant in today’s Church .  I support prophet Kim Clement of Camarillo, California.  He has been found accurate.

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