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Friday, July 9, 2010

The church Jesus is building builds the people, who are the church. Her pastors are the tools to bring this about.

This most sacred institution of the church is about to change. Not by man, for he will resist every notion and attempt to alter the role of the local pastor. Nonetheless, the Holy Spirit, whose role is to magnify and unveil Jesus in the hearts of God’s people, is at work to release both pastor and people into the glorious role God intended for them from the beginning.

I know, everything inside of you is probably so tired of the continuous drone concerning the following few verses. I personally do not need one more Bible study on the five-fold ministry. I would much rather see a demonstration of genuine love, mercy and compassion toward God’s people, without hidden agendas, which would, by the way, be much more convincing than all the studies (and books) that exist to this point.

But give me chance. I just might have some words that can truly set you free from so many false expectations and wrong assumptions of the role of the pastor.

(Eph 4:11 to 13) “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

 It is amazing to me that the role of the pastor has so much diversity from denomination to denomination. However, a few things are predictably the same: Win the neighborhood, the city and world for Christ; keep the people coming; keep them working; keep them giving. This ultimately insures the continuation of the local congregation as well as the national bureaucratic behemoth that grows up to “take care” of the local churches. The primary goal is the continuation of the denomination into the next generation. Thus, the methods employed are intended to provide the smooth transition as the leadership baton is passed on.

 The value of the people, in this denominational/personal agenda model is determined by their contribution to the over all vision and desires of the pastor and/or larger organization.

I wonder if we are willing to look carefully at what the vision of the local pastor should really be.

Other than these responsibilities, the pastor has the freedom, in most arenas, to build his own dream with the people coming along to finance and work out the details of what God has shown the pastor to do.

But this is not New Testament pattern.

The pastor’s role was to equip the saints, not use the saints. The New Testament pastor is to encourage and empower the saints, not drain them of their resources and sap them of the anointing God gave them, using them for his personal plans and dreams.

I know that the local congregation can provide a good base of operations. It has incredible potential to finance whatever personal ministry the pastor seems to have beyond the local work.

But the New Testament pattern is much different. This pattern has the focus on the preparation and release of the people. It focuses on discovering the dream and the anointing God has for His people and preparing them to respond to Him in that dream’s fulfillment.

Please stay with me for a minute. The pastor is much like the principal of a school. The principal understands that the students come to go. They come to be educated and equipped and then sent to the four winds to do what burns on their heart to do. The real fulfillment of the principal is the release of those who come to be prepared to go. The highlight of the principal is releasing those whom he has touched, counseled, strengthened and encouraged to go after their dream.

The principal lives to see the students released to change the world. His reputation as a principal, indeed, the reputation of the school depends on the successful release of the students into their dreams.

The true work of the school can only be fulfilled when the principal’s undivided attention is given to those in his or her care. If the principal has any other ambition than the preparation and release of the students, he is really not a principal at all. The students, the school and the world all suffer. The lack of premium education that can only be accomplished by the leaders’ undivided attention becomes an extreme point of frustration to the students.

The church Jesus is building is no different. But in the man-centered church system, success is measured, not by those who graduate and move on, but by the size of the church and the pastor’s ability to fulfill his own destiny.

( be continued)

Posted via email from donnorisr's posterous

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