– Pastor Bimbo Animashaun
Very early in ministry, the Holy Spirit taught me the principle of “RIGHTLY DISCERNING THE LORD’S BODY” in all facets and spheres of ministerial life.
I was also privileged of God to have my spiritual father, Pastor Peter O. Morakinyo, who taught me by precept and by example the sanctity of “THE BODY OF CHRIST” in all ministerial undertakings.
You see, one way to go into extinction in ministry is to begin to despise and attack “THE BODY OF CHRIST” through your preachings or teachings.
One way for one’s teaching ministry to enter into spiritual relegation is to begin to despise the Body of Christ with insensitive words, uncharitable remarks and unwholesome practices.
If you want your teaching ministry to impact generations and also to outlive you, then you must “RIGHTLY DISCERN THE LORD’S BODY”.
It’s a simple principle but extremely potent and powerful.
No man or woman can be wiser than the whole Body of Christ.
You cannot talk to God’s people anyhow. You cannot use abusive language on them and treat them as thrash or as a dung.
You cannot despise them in your heart and use very insensitive words on them.
No, it is an act of spiritual violence against the Body of Christ.
You cannot look at a segment of the Body of Christ and call them stupid, insane, and imbecile because of doctrinal differences.
That’s the fastest way to dig the grave for your ministry.
If you do such, you will suddenly discover that with all your “big revs”, you’re saying it but you’re the only one listening to yourself; you’re on your own because you have despised the Body of Christ.
Even when you correct the people whom you have spiritual oversight of, you have to speak the truth in love – Eph.4:15.
Yes, rebuke your spiritual children sharply so that they can be sound in the Faith – Tit.1:13 but it must be with the motivation of love.
Somebody might say, “But Paul said O ye foolish Galatians…” – Gal.3:1.
Well, I’m not Paul and none of us is Paul. Note that the same Apostle Paul told the same set of people:
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
This was nothing but the heart of a father. We cannot lift a scripture out of context and begin to run with it.
The same Paul said in the Book of Second Timothy:
2 TIMOTHY 2:24-25
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; BUT BE GENTLE UNTO ALL MEN, apt to teach, patient, note
25 IN MEEKNESS INSTRUCTING THOSE THAT OPPOSE THEMSELVES; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.
Gentleness of spirit is a mark of a true man of God. It’s not gentleness when you use harsh words on people and you despise them.
Paul says further that in your ministerial adventure, you will find people who oppose themselves. In other words, they’re confused, yet they claim to know it all.
He tells us how to treat them – IN MEEKNESS INSTRUCTING THOSE THAT OPPOSE THEMSELVES..
We deal with them IN THE SPIRIT OF MEEKNESS; not rain fire and brimstones on them.
That’s a man who had a heart for the Body of Christ.
Some years ago, the Holy Spirit showed me this scripture that capped it up – it was the same Paul giving parting words to the elders of the church at Ephesus:
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to FEED THE CHURCH OF GOD, WHICH HE HATH PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD.
This is a powerful and explosive scripture. It tells me that THE PRICE OF EVERY BELIEVER IS THE BLOOD OF JESUS.
It also tells me that if I treat the Church of Christ shabbily, I despise the blood of Jesus, and dear friend, THAT’S THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE TO BE.
Anytime you preach or teach the people of God, you must see them in the light and through the mirror of the precious blood of Christ.
That’s why by God’s Grace, I don’t talk to God’s precious people anyhow.
I don’t believe in being a controversial minister because in the things of the Spirit, CONTROVERSY IS NOT EQUAL TO DEPTH.
You see, the same Paul who told the Corinthian folks that they were carnal – 1 Cor.3:1-3 also told the same set of people:
1 CORINTHIANS 2: 3
And I was with you IN WEAKNESS, and IN FEAR, and IN MUCH TREMBLING.
This fear is not the fear of a rattlesnake, in the words of Dad Hagin; it’s a holy and reverential fear of the Lord.
This scripture also goes to show the part of Paul perceiving the precious people of God in the light of the sacrifice of Christ, hence his manner of approach to them.
The Lord has taught me to be sensitive to the Body of Christ – whether in TEACHINGS or in DEALINGS.
By God’s Grace, when I teach God’s Word, I do not lose sight of that revelation.
It is not rightly discerning the Lord’s Body to teach in such a way that a segment of the Body of Christ is painted black – there must be BALANCE, and BALANCE does not mean COMPROMISE.
By God’s Grace, I have been privileged of God to preach in several churches – both orthodox churches and pentecostal churches and the precious people of God were tremendously blessed to the glory of God alone.
Talk of CAC, RCCG, ANGLICAN, BAPTIST, METHODIST, THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH, WINNERS’ CHAPEL, CHRIST LIFE CHURCH, VICTORY CHAPEL, MFM, AFRICAN CHURCH, GOSPEL FAITH, TREM, plus much more!!!
I have ministered by God’s Grace in all of these churches, and I never attacked anyone.
I never took anyone of them to the cleaners because of matters of minor importance.
I flow with their structures as supported by Scriptures and we had a great time together.
If any church invites me and they call their Pastor “Papa”, I flow with it because it is Scriptural.
We fight too much over “semantics” while there are many other weighter matters to deal with.
“Papa”, “Father”, and “Daddy” are synonyms – they talk about a spiritual father – 1 Cor.4:15.
To now major on that and begin to attack them shows I don’t know what I’m doing.
There are other things to talk about that will edify the people of God.
Also, I have had situations when I taught on Facebook ((EVERYTHING SAID PERFECTLY SCRIPTURAL) and a beloved brother or sister would private chat me and say, “Pastor, thank you Sir for your teaching. I was really blessed. Sorry Sir; there’s something you said…, even though it is Scriptural but it may offend the sensibility of a segment of the Body of Christ”.
I would go back to the post and edit. It could be to change the word or rephrase the statement and I would deeply appreciate those who pointed my attention to it.
You see, it doesn’t reduce me to replace a word or a statement if it’s going to really have a negative impact on the Body of Christ.
Every gift of God we exercise is to EDIFY not MORTIFY the Body of Christ.
1 CORINTHIANS 14:12
Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the EDIFYING of the church.
For instance, why would I teach that women uncovering their hair is perfectly Scriptural and I employ a language that disgraces, embarrasses, and despises those who prefer to cover their hair?
That’s not rightly discerning the Lord’s Body. That’s why I always trust God for BALANCE in everything such that the Body of Christ is EDIFIED and Christ alone is GLORIFIED.
As I close, let me just reel out some principles to follow while teaching or preaching, taking cognizance of the sanctity of the Body of Christ.
(1) Don’t teach or preach to compete with anyone.
(2) Don’t promote your personal bias above the revelation of God’s Word.
(3) Don’t paint any segment of the Body of Christ black because of doctrinal differences.
(4) Don’t use vulgar languages.
(5) Don’t teach or preach to embarrass anyone.
(6) Accept constructive criticisms and amend where necessary.
(7) Don’t threaten or curse people even if they act in an immature way.
( Don’t teach to attack anyone or denomination.
(9) Submissions should be issue-based not attacking personalities.
(10) Don’t compromise the integrity of God’s Word because you don’t want to offend anyone. The balance is that so far you’re not “offensive” in your teaching or preaching, anyone who is offended is on their own. You can’t please everybody.
(11) Avoid mentioning people’s names in a bad light.
(12) Deal with personal mannerisms that do not edify.
(13) As much as possible, avoid being a controversial minister. We’re not confusionists. We’re called to make all men see.
(14) Be kind and tender with words. You may have great revelation but your manner of presentation can make a mess of it.
(15) Don’t be distracted by cynical criticisms; face front and be focused on your work.
(16) Keep it simple. Keep the Word simple. God is not complicated; He has revealed Himself to us in Christ Jesus.
(17) Follow the leading of the Spirit and accept God’s Word as your final Reality.
(18) Honour all men. Respect people. Let it show in your words and conduct.
Plus Much More!!!
These, and many other principles are the things the Holy Spirit has taught me in my teaching ministry.
When we don’t rightly discern the Body of Christ, we become sickly and the death process is set in motion.
Little wonder Paul said:
1 CORINTHIANS 11:29-30
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, NOT DISCERNING THE LORD’S BODY.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
In the context of ministry, people’s ministries go into oblivion and are abandoned on the dunghill of history if the Body of Christ is not rightly discerned.
We’ll do well if we begin to consider “THE BODY OF CHRIST” as we teach and preach the Word, for that alone will EDIFY the Body and GLORIFY Christ.
Learn to speak tenderly to Zion. Learn to deal with the Body of Christ in kindness. Learn to treat God’s people as precious because that’s who they are.
In this will your ministry be an immaculate expression and flawless extension of Christ in a world of dark and gloom.
May the Lord help us all!
I hope this made little sense Sirs and Mas?