Thursday, September 15, 2016

For the Love of Your Pastor

Keith Giles pens an article that hits the bulls-eye.  Pastors are struggling in North America in epic proportions.  Studies from sources such as Focus on the Family and other trustworthy ministries show frightening statistics for pastors in American churches.

One of the reasons is that for many Christians, a consumer-oriented mentality prevails.  A close look at biblical texts reveals that every member of a church is to ask the questions, What are my gifts from the Spirit?  What ministry should I be a part of in this particular body?  How does God want me to use my gifts and resources to serve and build up this body of believers?

The emphasis in the New Testament church is How can I serve God and other people through this body of believers?  In American church culture, the emphasis is often instead, How can this church meet my and my family's needs? 

In the biblical concept of church, every member is a minister.  And every member should be ministering. 

Giles shares, "The overwhelming evidence throughout the New Testament is that every baptized believer in Christ was automatically ordained by the Holy Spirit into the ministry of Jesus. There was no separation between clergy and laity.

Were there some within the Body who were gifted to teach and to encourage and to lead? Yes, of course. But the entire life of the Church did not revolve around these few. Instead, every single believer was empowered to contribute and to speak and to use their gifting as the Holy Spirit directed.

According to the New Testament, when the Church actually becomes a real Body, and when Jesus is really the only Shepherd, the entire Body will be healthy and operate as God actually intended all along.

God does this so that everyone in the Body is necessary and so that everyone contributes and shares the burden of ministry.

If you really love your pastors, the best thing you can do for them is to encourage them to stop trying to carry all of the weight of the entire Body on their own shoulders. Pray that the Church will return to a New Testament model as God originally intended. Pray that we would affirm with Peter that God has indeed answered the prayer of Moses and the promise in Joel to pour out His Spirit on all flesh so that every member of the Body of Christ can serve and love one another in love."

Read the entire article by Keith Giles here.

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