Spiritual Gifts and RV LivingPastorT
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The list of essential gifts for the Church on Wheels models Ephesians 4 but are also extended to be used in a mobile setting. Anything concerning gifting and leadership is predicated on having a teachable heart. People must come prepared to learn; leaders should be the ultimate example of humility. Leadership standards will be based on 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1 for deacon and elder qualifications. The cell leader must understand how the gifts of the body operate. This is why apostolic training is required for all leaders to accomplish this. Juster confirms this, stating, “[The Cell leader] must know how to encourage all to share, to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and to oversee so that no one dominates the group” (Juster 2015, 37).
The Pastor of the congregation should be bi-vocational and not dependent on support from the congregation. RV life is expensive, and we all have a burden to carry with insurance, fuel costs, time off from work, membership fees, and costly repairs. Donations need to be funneled to ministry or something practical when the church begins to tithe. The Shepherd is responsible for leading the congregation and can be the primary teacher of the group. The Church is not a democracy, but it is also not a monarchy. The Pastor should lead with patience and humility as a primary example for others to follow. The Pastor’s duty is to propagate this gift so that the congregation begins to think and act pastorally for each other. “When they equip the flock, the members begin to care for one another’s needs. The whole congregation becomes pastoral in their heart toward each another” (Juster 2015, 11).
This will be effective during prayer meetings. Persons keen in the Spirit should carefully express what the Spirit is doing and saying to the Church. Today, this is the most abused role since many use their emotions to determine the Spirit’s commands. A solution could be to get feedback on their utterance before they speak to the congregation. Also, course corrections and full transparency if mistakes are made in real-time, so people are not confused. There is no need for “this saith the LORD.” We are not writing scripture and believe the canon is closed. Juster explains, “Prophetic ministry is for confirmation, encouragement, direction, and application. It is not for writing revelation” (Juster 2015, 13). This is why I added the term insight to this role. I think some people are confused by the function of a New Testament Prophet, and it can get mystical and unorderly when people let their imaginations control them.
This role is in high demand. It is hard to find a good pastor, but someone with a good hermeneutical framework and who can teach any book of the Bible is even rarer. This person should be very knowledgeable about the Bible, Theology, and Christian History. Since there is a low possibility of finding someone like this, the church will have to build up people to fill these roles, but initially, there are videos and books that some of the elders and deacons use to guide the sheep. In this case, it is better to have quality over quantity so that the church reproduces this gifting to build up the body. “The effect of the teachers is a well-taught flock where most members can teach newcomers the basics of the faith” (Juster 2015, 11).
Some people have a charismatic ability and social poise, enabling them to cross paths with many people. We should draw this out and encourage this gift since organic growth is the best way to expand the Kingdom of God. I added the recruiter aspect because the focus should be to increase our members, those who share our vision and want to be saved. I’m also not requiring all people to join the RV Church if they are just interested in the Gospel message. The Church on Wheels evangelist will help us use camping opportunities to reach other families who don’t know the Lord. “Evangelists influence the whole flock to share their burden for the lost” (Juster 2015, 10).
The RV Tech is a person who can answer RV technical questions and support our community. This is not a direct spiritual gift but an indirect gift of service. The RV lifestyle is not easy, and every cell group needs to depend on this person(s) to be a guide. This is a practical role that keeps the RV Church on the road. The interstate is full of surprises, and people who have faith in God know you can never be totally prepared for what is down the road. Even so, RVers are good planners and executors, not waiting for someone to tell them what to do. Juster gives some biblical advice about service in a deacon role like this. “The Scriptures in Acts 6 and 1 Timothy 3 make it clear that deacons are not just those who serve (the literal meaning of the term) but are those who administrate serving areas” (Juster 2015, 26).
An admin is an organized, calm person who coordinates events and communicates with the congregation. During travel season, there will be many opportunities to share a change in plans or call meetings. The administrator will be coordinating events and fielding questions. This is someone who has the availability to answer questions (sometimes the same ones repetitively) and who will not be frustrated by ambiguous situations. This person needs to exhibit joy and peace, which are the behaviors of a person who lives by the Spirit. Juster defines this as a deacon role, “Deacons must also attain an ability to work with people and to govern in their administrative fields” (Juster 2015, 26).
Sanador means healing in Spanish. This role is necessary because we will meet all kinds of people on the road, some of whom are in troubling situations. I envision this being a combination gift of prophetic healing, helping, and welcoming. The practical aspect will be guest services for new members because new people need to experience genuine love and acceptance of the Church. We need to move beyond the Sunday morning greeters who don’t seem to surpass Walmart employees.
People we meet are hurting, and from experience, I camped next to a couple who were legally divorced but living together again. The woman was outside in her pajamas when we backed into the site. She was slightly rude at first (probably because she was embarrassed) but softened up as we spoke to her. I said, “Maybe you two will work out your differences and restore the relationship.” She didn’t look optimistic, but I could tell she hoped it would change. The idea saddened her, and she walked away with that thought hovering in the air between our campsites. I never saw her again, but if we had a community with us, there could do something to include her. We could have found some way to reach her together.
The Sanadora is a person who must be naturally flowing with empathy and has prophetic insight, and is energized to meet people. Her activities will include contacting new members to pray and facilitating unifying experiences. This is not mentioned in the five-fold list but is derived from a few main categories. Juster highlights the dynamic aspect of gifting, “We recognize people in five-fold functions with prophecy, prayer, and the laying on of hands. This recognition of five-fold ministry is fluid since a person may come into new functions and anointing by the Spirit and be recognized again as moving in new equipping roles” (Juster 2015, 14).
 Juster, 13.
 Rom 8:6; Phil 4:4