Handling a Christian Meeting (Zacharias T. Fomum)
In a meeting, the practical aspects are as important as the spiritual. The success of it all must comprise the two aspects. If the physical fails, the spiritual inevitably fails and vice versa. When there is a loophole in whatever plane, the devil may take advantage of it.
All those who must intervene in any aspect of the meeting must be known before hand. The leader and his interpreter, the preacher and his interpreter, singers, ushers etc, must be known in advance and actually prayed for.
The ministers must do all to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and the leaders must ensure that all who must intervene are prayed for in a thorough way.
The ministers must also be committed to make the progress needed, to bear the weight and number of the audience. The ministers of exhortation must labour to rise up in spiritual weight, so that they can be able to raise the people up to God.
Normally, praise should go in an ascending order. The question; who should be called to intervene at what level of a praise meeting is an important one. The person leading the meeting must know the singers so well that he knows who may or may not intervene where and when. Every intervening minister in song must make sure that he raises the people higher than the preceding minister.
The interpreter, where he is needed, must as much as possible be of the same weight and spiritual experience as the one he is interpreting. This is also a crucial matter. People of great spiritual disparity cannot minister at the same level. The power to lift up the people must not be miles apart.
We are calling for ministers to rise, but also that these will know their level of ministry. The leader must continue to make progress as the church is progressing. This is to be so that he may be able to keep pace with the progress of the church. If the church out-progresses him, he loses his standing of leadership. It is not possible to lead from the back.
The minister of songs cannot be a pessimistic and morose person. He should be able to lift people in all hope and optimism. For that ministry, an unforgiving spirit is disqualifying and broken relationships are eliminating.
The same applies for those playing at the instruments. For the guitar to minister, it must be in the hands of the one who can flow. The guitarist’s depth with God, his sacrifice and monuments built for God all go into what the strings can produce.
Spiritual ministry cannot be based on talents and gifts alone. It is based on history with God. There is no substitute for a person’s personal spiritual history with God when it comes to spiritual ministry.
The dimension of “all your might” must come into the service of the people of God. If we had no enemy to resist our ministry, we may not need to do all with all our might. But there is a fierce enemy, who must be overcome. The man who ministers does so against satanic barriers (like the satanic barrier against the answer to Daniel’s prayer.) There must be that momentum that does not spare whatever stands on the way. He must spring off with a force, a might that is capable of breaking through enemy resistance.
Have you ever appreciated how much hell fought against the coming and ministry of Jesus? Without the last hour intervention of Hannah and of Simeon, the Messiah’s coming should have been resisted for a longer period.
One should not pray as if there was no enemy on the way. Prayer, of course, is war. Why then should a man talk to God as if there was no war? Why should a man war as if he were begging his enemy? Why should a man minister as if he were needing the enemy’s permission? No. No. No. It cannot be so in Christian spiritual ministry.
Violence, not wickedness, must be an essential part of so violent a warfare. Violence is also an essential part of the dynamic progress that the minister of the word is involved in. Also, it is not because you ministered well yesterday that you can take it for granted that you will minister to the same degree today. It does not work like that.
The minister who delights in ministering at the same level all the time is in for failure. He is in for disaster. The champions of yesterday must not boast of their championship today. They must ensure that they have moved with the time and demands of the moment.
The Christian minister should also know that the way he presents himself is important. It is also a message of what he is from the inside. Dressing talks a lot of what a person thinks of himself and of the people before whom he appears. By his clothes a man makes a confession about himself and the people before whom he stands.
Clothes, voice, facial expression are all part of the minister’s message.