My God! We’ve made an audience out of them. And they were an army!

John Wimber, as quoted in Carol Wimber, The Way It Was, 180-1:

During the period of the prophetic era and on into the new renewal, our people quit starting small groups, they quit prophesying, they quit healing the sick, they quit casting out demons, because they were waiting for the Big Bang, the Big Revival, the Big Thing. They were waiting for the apostles to come into office and for things to get into the right place. I thought, “My God! We’ve made an audience out of them. And they were an army!” We in effect told them, “You can’t do anything. You aren’t talented enough. You’re not gifted enough. You’re not holy enough. You’re not prepared enough. Stand back and let somebody who is, do it!”
We did it by, not so much by precept, but by example. In effect, I said, “Time out” and it went against everything I believe in, in terms of freeing the Church to minister. You see, at one time in the Vineyard we kind of had an “everybody can play” attitude. I would say things like, “Well, if you know the Lord at all, get up. Let’s minister. If you don’t know the Lord, you soon will because when you realize that you can’t do anything until the Lord moves, you’ll want to know him.” So that sounded a little reckless but really all I was saying was, “everybody can play.” Let’s do it together.
Everybody can worship. Everybody can pray. Everybody can prophesy. Everybody can heal. Everybody can win the lost. Everybody can feed the poor, and on and on. If anything, people felt included. It wasn’t so bad. I’m not defensive at all about what I’ve done except I sometimes think I need to explain why I’ve undone certain things and I’ve had to pull back on certain things because they were altering us, changing us from who we were and what I felt that we were called to be.

Why Jesus’ Burden is Light

One of the most popular, most comforting things Jesus ever said was:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11.28-30)

Another thing Jesus said that is decidedly less popular (especially in modern Western cultures) was:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6.19-21)

And it’s rare for pastors to teach on this basic instruction Jesus gave to all those he sent out to do kingdom work:

“Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt.” (Mark 6.8-9)

It occurred to me this morning (in one of those Aha!/Doh! moments) that the comfort of the light burden and not taking any luggage on the journey go together. The yoke of Jesus is easy, the burden is light, because he tells us to leave all our stuff behind.