(The following was shared on my Facebook page and I have since decided to share it on my blog)
I may not be the brightest bulb in the lamp but my years of pastoring churches and general observations throughout my 50+ years have taught me a few things.
I’ve learned to trust God even in the hard decisions. The easy decisions can take God for granted. The difficult ones test your personal faith.
God has taught me He does not want a leader but a servant. The greatest leader in any church fellowship is the one who serves like Jesus.
I must first serve God thus allowing Jesus to lead through me. Dictatorship is not leadership. A pastor is not the CEO, he is an Under-shepherd reflecting the love of Jesus Christ. Decisions affecting the local fellowship are to be made by the local fellowship.
Forcing ones agenda down the throats of a congregation is like forcing green peas on a newborn baby. Results are usually the same. It gets spit back out at Ya!
I’ve learned some people can put their own definition to words which do not fit the truest definition. The “Gospel” by definition is ‘Good News’ as it relates in the arena of Christianity.
However, it is not enough just to say ‘good news.’ Go ahead and tell what the ‘good news’ is. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh who Lived, was Crucified on a Cross, Shed His Blood so we may have Forgiveness of Sin, was buried and three days later Rose from the dead having conquered death, hell and the grave, and then this same Jesus ascended into Heaven to be at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. NOW THAT IS GOOD NEWS! It is good news because had Jesus not come to save our souls we all would go to hell. Are you saved? Where are you going to spend eternity?
A disturbing reality in my life is to learn the heartache of being misunderstood. Sometimes our dearest friends fail to see the sincerity and passion of our convictions. I have been the recipient of the venom of those called to love one another only for them to judge, shackle and dismiss what God is doing.
Gratefully I have experienced the love of Christ flowing through some dear saints of His. This is a gift I nor you show take lightly. It is priceless.
I have been the vessel of one who is ‘too slow to forgive.’ I have been the target of others who are too slow to forgive. It appears God’s people will keep you chained to your past sins longer than God Himself does.
Mark my words. Any local fellowship which harbors an unforgiving spirit in their fellowship seriously hinders the working of God in their midst. Revival will. Ot come where there is no forgiveness among the people.
Deception and manipulation are tools all too often found within the ministry of God’s ordained people. I have sat and heard men use illustrations which were personal to them only to have heard it the week before from a radio preacher as his personal illustration.
I’ve listened to men take credit for messages they did not prepare but copied. Philosophies of ministry pro ported as if it originated with them.
Is it no wonder God is held at an arms length. Mega-fellowships of people gather on an increasing number. Shallow preaching focusing on moral behavior instead of dealing with sin results in large crowds at ‘church?’ however, the call of God is not to water down the Holy Word so to draw great crowds but to rightly divide the Word of God.
Go out to them. Compel them to come. Give them the whole counsel of God. Share the entire good news.
I often think the pastors who may be in more favor with God are the ones who don’t have the hundreds of followers but those who when they preach the word of God will lead their people to feel the guilt of their sin and raise their joy of confessing sin.
During the sermon, you may feel bad as the preacher shares but before the closing prayer is uttered, you should at least be given a real opportunity to deal with that sin which so easily besets us.
Sad to learn in my recent years the term “traditional” church is a bad word. It isn’t tradition or contemporary or even blended which brings people to worship. It is the Holy Spirit of God honoring our obedience to Him and our giving the people what they need spiritually to live in favor with God.
Some of what I have learned. Glad to say, I’m still learning. One final statement for ponder.
You Have As Much Of God As You Want.