For twenty years Set Apart Ministries (SAM) has been focusing on the relational work of His kingdom, both among ourselves and with others; trauma resolution for “normal” trauma as well as SRA/DID trauma, and the development of maturity as we have built an equipping community. We call it a Messiah centered Torah pursuant relational maturity model community.
A recent interview on Reunion Roadmap was a rare thing for me, in which I provided the history of my coming to where I, and now SAM, are. Much of our website is focused on writings/teachings that deal with these needs for His people: shepherding needs, not just teaching, because shepherding and teaching are NOT the same skills…and they are not interchangeable roles, though they are often overlapping.
As we consider the remnant, we see the pain and chaos of too many groups forming without attention to relationship/maturity/personal growth… all matters of the soulish work needed. Then when they come apart, even more pain is caused…and what we see as scar tissue is left, making it harder for them to try to recommit once again elsewhere. Repetitive forming and breaking is like trying to graft a new shoot into a tree, only to have it not “take.” Both the parent tree and the new shoot are damaged in the process. We see far too many damaged parent trees and shoots in the HR movement. In the end, when we are looking for fellowship, after carefully considering people's beliefs, actions, etc. of a group as far as we are able to discern, it is not so much about FINDING the right people to fellowship with, as it is about BECOMING the right people to fellowship with...
Because knowledge gained outside the context of relationship IS only half of His plan for us.
And it is in the process of becoming the "right people" ---those who are individually and corporately submitted and identified with Messiah, and able to keep rank, knowing their place in the Body, personally clear and free from emotional woundedness, built together in echad, into that "chowmah" wall that is the Bride, that is the spiritual house--- that we become most equipped to stand and defend and war the warfare that is surely increasing as the time for Messiah's return approaches.
Our contention is that so much focus is put on knowledge that the relational aspects of Kingdom work have been lost. Knowledge alone puffs up! We see this as contrary to the recommendations found in Proverbs 1:8-9.
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
Papa’s Torah is generally acknowledged as being about the intricacies of the Law, and was to be taught after the foundation of Mama’s Torah, the development of character and maturity. We contend that the failure to have a well-developed character and maturity has led to much of the misinterpretation of the Word and false, harmful teaching we see; both in “churchianity” and in HR circles. This is commonly called discipleship work, but as you know, it takes time and the leading of the Ruach haKodesh before people come to the place in their faith where they truly desire to be a disciple!
The chains about the neck are not just like a necklace, but more like a bridle with two sides: taken together, we see that both Papa’s and Mama’s Torah will guide us in a path of righteousness. Too much emphasis on either one alone will made you go in unhealthy circles! Although we teach Torah study skills and Torah in our community, we also spend a good deal of time with Mama’s Torah study, outside our Shabbat worship and studies. We have learned much we believe our Abba is telling us it is time to speak out about.
It seems obvious to us that in order to be ready as Messiah's Bride for that Marriage Feast of the Lamb, one needs to be certain that one is a child of Yah first! This means starting at the beginning, and being willing to re- examine what was understood in our past faith experience, and learning line upon line, precept upon precept just what a Messiah centered, Torah pursuant life looks like!
Good shepherding means familiarity with the sheep. Knowing of the depth of personal issues people have is NOT a punishment or intent to cause shame or harm! One can’t address and resolve them until they are identified! It is in the context of shepherding that we find the concept of iron sharpening iron, so as to be able to more fully fellowship together. In Messiah, we can draw on His Presence and strength to help through community relationships as well as personal prayerful counsel! Unfortunately, too many people—both leader types and member types—fear that exposure as too much vulnerability and see it as bad. It can be a hard thing to welcome it as the necessary refining of the sanctification process…unless you have found safety in the assembly.
We do acknowledge that there are very sad stories of people who have been subject to spiritual abuse by leaders of an assembly and so we understand why this can be a difficult relationship to establish. Rebuilding trust is so much harder than being able to begin in trust! On the other hand, we have also heard horrific stories about how people treat those who are trying to help them. In both cases, people often retreat into isolation rather that finding a way to pray, stay and not run away.
They settle for limited contact via internet teaching. When those in retreat have been in leadership I call them “reluctant shepherds.” They have experienced so much abuse from those they try to help that they no longer feel able to carry out their calling. I submit that this may be a part of why so many fall back to just teaching knowledge…because of the messy expectations and struggles of relationships with bedraggled, unruly sheep.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they watch over your souls as those who must give an account. To this end, allow them to lead with joy and not with grief, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Hebrew 13:17 Berean Study Bible
As we are about raising up the next generation of the remnant, our hope is to be a part of laying a stronger foundation as they come together. We see the need for all to understand the importance of the relational work of His Kingdom as well as being grounded in the Word. It is in good character and YHWH honoring relationships that mirror the echad our Messiah prayed for us to find that we can best learn to walk in the Whole Counsel of YHWH. Barbara L. Klika, MSW Undershepherd