Who should or should not participate in these sorts of ministries? This is a topic worth considering on various levels.
- How many people in the city are seeking the heart of God?
- How many of those people are participating in an Ekklesia? Or more?
- Perhaps I am the least of these.
- What number, or percentage, of the Ekklesia are residents of the city?
- Regular attendees or participants, as well as those fringe participants.
Only God knows the true answer to how many residents in the city are seeking Him and His heart on the matters at hand, including an intimate relationship with Him.
The truth is that we do not know how many people truly seek Him and participate in what He is calling each of us to do and to be. Perhaps I am the least of these, but it does not matter as long as I am doing what He calls me to do. The same is true for you or for anyone else. We all have the same responsibility, which is to fulfill the call upon our lives that is made by our Creator.
Concerning participants, they should be those who are called to participate by Almighty God. Where it would be ideal to have an Ekklesia in every city, or even every neighborhood, there may not be that many out there yet. The institutional church system had so taken control in our culture that religion and denominations are hard to break free from. I believe we are living in a time of transition. As the movement back to Ekklesia continues to grow, people who hunger and thirst for the things of God will be seeking the truth and power exhibited by those of faith that are outside of the church system.
There are times when, especially in aggressive spiritual warfare assignments, the call to participate needs to be clear. It is always good to seek a yes or no from the Lord concerning one’s participation. The absence of a clear answer does not mean the participation is optional to the person. For safety sake, no answer is a no unless further information is received. There are times the Lord leaves something optional to us, where He allows us to choose. There is no need to open oneself up to the backlash of the enemy. Pride and other sinful positions can open one up to unexpected painful situations. For an example, read the story of the sons of Sceva in Acts 19:13-17. It seems to be an extreme example, but don’t be fooled by this single account. I know of a number of examples from tame to extreme that prove this out. it is always best to know the will of God concerning one’s own actions and participation. This obviously requires an intimate relationship with God.
Concerning qualifications, believers of the Way (Acts 9:1-2) are welcome. There is no other requirement, in my opinion, than professing one’s faith and seeking to grow in faith and understanding of the call of God upon one’s life. There are precautions that need to be taken, however, depending upon the activity that is taking place. Certain activities should not be undertaken unless one is directly led by the Lord to participate in the task. The reason is primarily for the health and safety of the individual, as well as the group. It is a dangerous thing to overstep one’s call or authority since it will often take one outside the full and complete protection of God that is enjoyed when walking within the will of God.
Concerning the call of God, when a believer is doing what God asks, when and where it is supposed to happen, and how God instructed it to be done, the peace and safety of God is beyond measure. I propose that whenever any of these parameters are missing, that bubble of peace and safety lessens as the will of God is being replaced by the will of the flesh. Seeking God and waiting upon the Lord is crucial to our well-being. These things are also essential to the growth of our intimate relationship with God.
There were originally seven men and women who came together in City to seek the Lord on behalf of this city. I was the only resident of City when we first gathered. Only three remain from the original group, along with others who now participate. If not for those from other cities who had a call from God, and obeyed the calling, this Ekklesia may not have been established at that time. We must always support one another in a genuine call of God to accomplish a task. And sometimes outsiders are required. The same is to be said of experience. God used us, and used what we had to offer, as we submitted ourselves to Him. Experience and qualifications for different things grew as Holy Spirit led us and educated us along the way. We are now being brought into position to help others do likewise.