I have no interest in being a pastor.
Jentezen Franklin has a very good message on his podcast called Carry Your Cross Through the Marketplace.
He says everyone is anointed to do something and this does not have to be on a pulpit or in church ministry, necessarily.
Your anointing could be to a businessman. He adds the world needs more Christian people in business, entertainment, in different vocations like teaching and we all don’t need to become pastors.
I second that. I think I can shine my light for Jesus in my career. I see myself as an author, speaker and business owner.
I have not been called to be a preacher and would be a horrible one at that.
I don’t think I am a good teacher because if I get something in a few minutes I don’t understand why someone else does not do the same. I also don’t know how to distill a difficult concept into something easy so that someone else gets it.
So in my church I would not have any empathy and sympathy for Christians who did not get it
I would literally not allow them to come to church. I would have a congregation of zero.
It’s not trying to judge people and act like you have/ have not had any struggles of your own but walking with God will require obedience on your part. Some things will have to go. Some difficult choices have to be made.
At the start you may think it’s a silly rule from God, but eventually you learn it’s for your own good.
The other days in the news a NYC female pastor was defending her pregnancy and talking about people in church being the biggest condemners out there. It wasn’t that. When I first got saved I had no idea why God did not want me to have sex outside marriage. I really did not get it. But I prayed and asked Him to show me. I was having sex even after I got saved, but after I got my answers I am not having sex with anyone and have not been for a long time. If I am not having sex, then you are not going to do that outside marriage and say you are a pastor. Well you can but you can’t pastor me.
Anyway, about this whole pastor business.
It must be really hard to be a one. Especially when some pastors seem to grow their church over months. And you see them flying all over the world and acquiring a lot of material possessions.
But one thing I would do if I was a pastor is put people in groups depending on where they were with their walk with God.
Christianity is a journey and where you are the day you say yes to Christ is not where you will be a few years down the line.
An encounter with Jesus is radically transformative. You do become a new creature. No joke.
It does not happen in a day. It is a unique journey for everyone.
But basically along the journey there are habits and associations that God wants you to drop. And as you progress there are more challenges thrown at you…hard things like forgiving people who have clearly wronged you, getting rid of bitterness, being the bigger person in almost all disagreements you have with people etc. It is an epic journey that I find particularly engaging coz I always have something to work on even after working on one issue. Definitely not boring.
Pastors must also have benchmarks that tell them how well a church is doing. I think some measure this by number of people who showed up or how many members a church has.
In my imaginary church, my main interest would be making sure all my members who gave their life to Christ develop a full relationship with God. That they would reap all the benefits of having a vibrant, loving and real relationship with God.
Few people attain this. But when they do they lead spectacular lives and attain success in all facets of their lives. Marriage, finances etc.
People like Rick Warren who wrote a book that was so successful; he literally gives away his money. Or Priscilla Shirer, who was writing books and teaching the Bible then got a call from the Kendrick brothers asking her to star in their movie War Room. She had never acted before. Or the Kendrick brothers who were given the idea of a movie in a dream. It was the number one movie in America during its 2nd weekend release and as of May 2016, made almost 74 million dollars worldwide.
To get to this point with God, it means you love and seek Him more than anything else in your life and you understand how He works. That His immense love for you does not mean He won’t put you through extremely uncomfortable situations. That He is up to something even your life is engulfed in chaos.
That your relationship with Him has not always involved having a happy and successful “War Room” moment but a whole bunch of tears have been shed behind the scenes and over the years of loving Him.
Your love for Him makes you obey what He wants you to do. No matter what it is. Sex before marriage, drinking, smoking, going clubbing, eating McDonalds’ daily, drinking 20 cups of coffee a day. I mean whatever.
Since this would be the goal of the church, I would register the date people gave their lives to Jesus and enroll them in a class. Say kindergarten for believers. In class everyone would go through an Introduction to Jesus course. We’d discuss things that they were facing in their lives and no would come down hard on you because you were a baby. The focus would be to fall in love with Jesus because the more that happens, the more you don’t desire the things you used to.
We’d have this class for 2 years.
Paul actually mentioned the concept of baby Christians in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3. They do what they want, even if it’s not what God wants. They throw tantrums if God does not quickly give them what they want….a comfortable life with no hardship. They think they can be lukewarm and dabble in a little bit of God when it is convenient and dabble in the things in the world that they want. Sorry to burst your lukewarm bubble. Jesus can’t coexist with 50 Shades Darker.
After that would come the Adults Class. Concepts that are uncomfortable to deal with would be addressed. People in this class would not be lukewarm or at least they would know they should not be.
Every decision about where to put someone in my church; be it in a small group etc. would be based on the date you gave your life to Jesus. Although the journey is very unique, my system would at the least make you aware that hey it’s been 2 years since I met Jesus I should not be doing this or this.
This is a simplistic model suited for a blog post. But I feel that pastor and churches are short changing believers lives by coddling them and letting them think that they can do whatever feels good to them, even if it’s the wrong thing.
photo credit: IASD Central Porto Alegre Igreja Adventista do Setimo Dia Central de Porto Alegre | www.iasd.org via photopin (license)