I am on one of my many business/ministry trips right now. I am particularly moved. I am particularly taught, strongly by the Lord. Many of us were EXCITED by the prophetic and apostolic ministries. God says: rewind. The pastoral is what God wants to RESTORE in the Body. But what kind of restoring?
The kind of restoring where we HONOUR and RESPECT the pastoral ministry. It is far much more than preaching, leading the Sunday meeting. It is the Monday morning disciplinary meeting. Where those who are unsubmissive, and problematic are discussed and decided on what action to take. Right now what we have is people who feel that harsh judgmental and verbal executions of so called discipline will resolve. Maybe it will shut up the gossip, maybe it may get a problem person to leave for another church. Problem over? NO…that is where problems begin.
First, Christ will require their blood from your hands. Jesus took hold of 12 problems, called the disciples. When you look at all their character traits, there is every reason to disqualify them from any spiritual leadership. Jesus, saw beyond this. He spent 3 years guiding, instructing, empowering them. Look at concrete results: John a zealot, a son of thunder, who wanted to call down fire, became an apostle of love. Peter, a big mouth, became a preacher who message saved thousands. The pastoral is exactly this, he sees beyond what disqualifies and invests time and enabling to those people.
Itinerant ministry seems to zip in, do their stuff and zip out again, without knowing and having an awareness of the pastoral implications of their ministry. Maybe they abuse and mislead the flock. Who picks up the pieces in this case is the pastor. And he is mostly forgotten.
I believe the pastor has sometimes been devalued and forgotten in the other ministries of the 5 fold. But unless we gain an awareness that without the pastor, the Body has no “skin” to unify and to protect, then we are a poor church.
Let us get to the real things. Take brother Smith. The prophet zips in, prophesies over brother Smith…prophesying potential. Yet on Monday this same brother Smith, is hitting his wife, is violent with his children. Who goes to him? The pastor. The pastor sees wrongdoing, but through friendship, firmness, and faith, he tirelessly shows brother Smith the error of his ways. But what shines out to Brother Smith is the pastor’s faith and love to him. He begins to feel guilty about his behaviour problem. The pastor guides him to take steps of victory. Until he begins to change attitudes at home.
Then the pastor shows steps of trust, because brother Smith has a call to preach. So he asks brother Smith to give a reading. Little by little he instills self-worth to brother Smith.
So, can you see? We need to value the true pastor. Being honest with you, I am not sure if I have the social skills, not really a people person, but one thing I do have is a new consciousness, without the pastor no disciple will reach his full potential. He will be cold and calculating. The pastor teaches us love, patience and friendship.
What I call for, is for God to honour His Pastors in His Body.
In Christ Jesus, pastor of pastors.
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