As I write this I’d like for it not to be just a note to my pastor but, a note to the pastor of any true born again believer. As a simple Church member, one that just has a desire to see and to be able to work with the man that stands behind the pulpit in my Church. The man that stands in the very place that Jesus Christ would stand if he were in the flesh and heading the Church that he gave his life for. We seldom consider this but, Jesus Christ is the only person that has the authority to walk into any Church and tell the pastor of that Church to stand aside; from this point on I’m in control.
There is no king, president, no other Church leader or no other Church official, not matter what his rank might be that can sit a pastor down other than Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ died and rose again for the Church, the body of Christ. We often get caught up in individualism. We like to think we are important and, salvation is a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ. However, it’s actually the Church that Jesus died and rose again for. We, as individuals are born into that body.
My pastor, your pastor stands where no man stands alone. He does not have the right to speak his opinion or even his own thoughts. We are talking about when he is standing behind his pulpit and delivering the message God has laid upon his heart. Starting with any pastor, he is not his own; just like every person he is speaking to that is a member of the body of Christ. We also are not our own. We don’t have the right to talk like we want to, act like we want to or dress like we want to. We also cannot believe like we want to.
The day my pastor asked Jesus Christ into his heart; he gave up that right. The day he surrendered to preach, he gave up his right to his own opinion. It’s now his responsibility to preach, to the best of his ability; the very message God lays upon his heart.
When a pastor does less than this, have you ever considered what he is actually doing? First of all, he is degrading the very pulpit he stands behind and also the very God that he says he serves. He is stopping the God of this universe from speaking to his own people. Secondly, he is leaving the people that He says he loves in darkness and bringing spiritual ignorance to the people of God. Thirdly, it’s very possible he is keeping the people that are lost in the darkness of this world because his thoughts or opinions cannot draw them out of that darkness.
WHO CAN BE A PASTOR?
Is this question something that members of the body should consider? Do we simply leave the qualifications of a pastor to the members of a Church? The very same Bible that we call ( God’s word ), the book that leads people to Christ also defines the qualifications of a pastor. Now, in making this statement; it does not mean that just because a person meets the physical qualifications of a pastor that; that same person has God’s hand on him does it? I. as an individual, born again believer might have to power of God all over me but, I might not meet the qualifications it takes to be a pastor of the Church that Jesus Christ died and rose again for. By the same token; just because a man meets all the qualifications to be a pastor does not mean that he has the power of God on him does it?
Since we are born again, that means that someone shared the gospel message to us and we, by faith asked Jesus Christ to be our savior. The holy Spirit, because of God’s word convicted our hearts and drew us to that saving grace. That act came from the word of God. if we are willing to trust our very salvation to the word of God; why wouldn’t we also trust the qualification of our pastor to that same book?
The members of the body of Christ, as well as any pastor can bring shame and reproach to God the Father by our very actions. It takes wisdom for a Church to pick a pastor, a man that will prepare you, one day; to stand before God. As any Church moves forward, the members of that Church must consider future generations, such as their own children and grandchildren. The people that are to come after us will also need truth and conviction from God’s word and, if we allow the man that pastors our Church to be less than all that God wants him to be then we tie the hands of the Spirit of God.
The Bible teaches us to: ( Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth ). ( 2 Timothy 2:15 )
Although the Bible does give distinct qualification for a pastor of any Church, it also teaches that the pastor should be filled with the spirit. If we read ( 1 Timothy 3:1-13 ) it gives the qualifications of a pastor and, also a deacon however, it actually doesn’t say anything about the spiritual aspect of his life.
I did notice that in ( acts 6:3 ) the Apostles tell the people to look for seven men of honest report, full of the holy ghost and of honest report. Here they didn’t say anything about them being married, having children or whether they ruled their own houses well. So, what is the point to be made? It takes study and, understanding how the spirit of God works in our lives and, that concerning scripture, our own requirements, spiritually speaking, as Church members.
For instance, can you as a Church member recognize the Holy Spirit in a man? Can you tell if he is filled with that spirit or not? How many people in your Church can you say have the wisdom to do that?
In our Churches today, we allow every member to vote on who will be our pastor. Is that a wise thing to do? In reality, today, our pastors are what the local Church says he should be and not necessarily, the spirit of God.
I realize that the verse we used in Acts is where we consider to be our instructions on picking deacons. As we look at theses verses it’s another thing we need to consider. Just because we read something in scripture does that mean that the act is spirit filled? Here in Acts for example; when the Apostles said that ( it was not meet that we should wait tables ), but that they should be studying scripture. And, at that they told the people to pick those men. Was that a move that was spirit lead? In scripture often we can learn ( what not to do ) as well as ( what things we should do ). It just takes spiritual wisdom to see those things.
Often now; we allow the children in our homes to rule the things that happen; do we not do the same in our Churches? If any member of any Church cannot recognize spiritual wisdom in a single member; why should they be allowed to vote on a pastor? When we allow children in our homes or, in our Churches to lead, we are not using wisdom. If you were ask, as a Church member to describe the responsibilities of a pastor, could you, by scripture answer that? If not, then why would you vote on any man?
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A PASTOR
We speak of being filled with the spirit of God. The head of every Church is actually Christ but, he speaks through the pastor; when the pastor is filled with God’s spirit. Can you see a ( chain of command ) beginning there? The pastor is the start of that chain. ( A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link ). If that weak link is the pastor; what do we have? That means that all the power of God through his spirit and the blood of Jesus Christ breaks at the source of that power. If you hook a very powerful tractor to a chain and expect it to move a heavy load but, the chain breaks at the very first link; the load never moves does it? The rest of those links could have done wonderfully powerful things but, they never got tested for strength because the very first link gave way.
As I write this my heart and mind goes to the Apostle Paul. I always like to point out these verses. ( Acts 9:15-16 ) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: ( 16 ) For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
We could look at the Apostle as the very first pastor. And that, of every Church he started until another man was spiritually mature enough for him to move on and start another work. However, the reason I point this out is because of the awesome responsibility God laid upon his shoulders. We see this in ( Ephesians 3:1 ) For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, (2) If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: ( 3 ) How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; ( as I write afore in few words, ( 4 ) Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ ) ( 5 ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit; ( 6 ) That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and the partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: ( 7 ) Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
If you will notice, this is all one sentence. The Apostle Paul is explaining how God, by his Spirit laid upon his shoulders the mystery as it is concerning the building of his Church, the bride of Jesus Christ.
What if the Apostle Paul would have considered the gift of hearing the Spirit of God as not important? Where would we be today? We often don’t consider the importance of simple things, simple gifts and abilities, and that, even of other people. The complete word of God had to come from somewhere. The understanding of all the parts of that one book has to also be considered and how that comes about. The Apostle Paul was a tremendous part of that. We live in that dispensation that he speaks of today.
Therefore, since the Apostle Paul understood the necessity of listening to God’s Spirit and obeying that self-same spirit; how does that relate to us today. I will seek to answer that in the ( Pastor 3 ) segment of this writing.