Mar 29, 2010

Who Does the Pastor Serve?

The advice is common, “If you could do anything else in the world, and be happy in it, then do it.” I don’t know if I necessarily agree with this advice, but I certainly understand where it comes from. Ministry is tough. It requires leather skin, a soft heart, the ability to speak, study, care, take criticism, all while modeling Jesus Christ to your congregation. You are called to speak so that children can understand, illustrate so that youth don’t grow bored, lead so as to attract young adults, while not changing anything so as not to offend the senior members of the church. Oh I forgot, you are to exposit the word of God, save every family member, visit multiple hospitals, homes, and ball games, develop deep relationships with 100 plus people, and make sure to not lose your family in the process. The advice to do anything in the world other than minister is the simple acknowledgment that any person who enters ministry that is not called by God will be miserable.

Over the next few weeks, I will be looking through the book of Corinthians. Corinthians begins with credentials, specifically of Paul who confronted an established church with many problems. He did not shy away from those problems, but he dealt with them because he was called by God and commissioned to serve His church.

1 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus,

The calling of God is not something to take lightly, either by the person called, nor by the people he serves. I think to the stories of David who when given the opportunity to find victory over Saul, a man by whom God’s spirit left, stated “Who am I to touch the Lord’s anointed.” David knew in his heart that the judgment of the called man did not come from men but from God. David also realized later in his life as the called king of Israel that the justice of God was far worse than the justice of men. Simply from scripture, we understand that as God calls we must respect and fear that calling.

God has gifted many men to fill pulpits today in His service. It is a common temptation for any minister to get distracted to serve any number of things other than the God he is called to serve. He is tempted to follow the will of the people of the church, people with good intentions, yet who often do not listen as keenly as they should to God’s will for the church. He is tempted to follow his own ambition and build a church that may produce external numbers, but leave the inside vacant of God. The minister as called by God is to be employed by, accountable to, and in service of God. He is called to take the church to places that it often might not find comfortable. He is called to care more for the spiritual things than the numerical things.

As we begin looking through the book of Corinthians, I want you to see Paul’s authority, and also see your pastors. Do follow them trusting that they are God’s called men, or do you view them as a people who are employed to you?

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