Musings from the Pastor

While calling in on folks who have visited our Church over the past nine years I’ve observed an insidious trend. Many are unimpressed with the sound of the musical instruments and the light shows and especially left high and dry by the preaching, or lack thereof, from the pulpits of the churches they have attended. Sometimes this is told to this Pastor as a way of complimenting the preaching of the cross when they attend Lake Drummond Baptist Church. Yet, my heart is broken whenever I here this example given of “other” churches.

You see, I and every other preacher of the Gospel work toward the same goal. We preach that all might be saved. We remain on the wall giving the warning that all would hear and positively respond. God hasn’t given us prey to prepare for the dinner table. HE has given us flocks to care for and if need be . . . die for. The people of Lake Drummond Baptist Church do not nor will they ever belong to this Pastor. No, they belong to God in Jesus’ name when they believe that He died on the cross for their sin, was buried, rose again the third day in resurrection glory and confess Jesus as their Lord!

Well, you may ask, why is this guy making this point?

As pastors, we tend to the flocks that God has entrusted us with but we also lift each other up. Pastors are not in competition with each other. We all work for the same Boss! When another Pastor’s ministry is blessed I praise the Lord with him and thank God for His ministry. This is a man of God being used as His vessel. However, there is the other side of the coin where I’m reminded of the person behind the pulpit not being interesting, or not reading from Scripture during the message, spending the entire worship time telling the church how his team did last week or using his color, creed or ethnicity to enrage or “work up” worship in a group of people where non is.

I’m heart broken when I hear of this. This is a jab, an incitement, against all who stand behind that sacred desk every Sunday morning. The joke goes, “Well all Pastors do that,” or “All Pastors say this.” As a Pastor, I pray that all Pastors preach Christ and HIM crucified and resurrected. I pray that all Pastors would preach so that the people will either hate their sin or the Pastor. I pray that Pastors preach from no place else but the Word of God. The world is looking for a word from the Church. Pastors, let’s not stutter.

We are in battle and must become that band of brothers that always form in the field of battle. The only reason that bond isn’t forming is that we are not in the same battle nor do we care to be. Our hope is based on the commands of our General and not in the enormity of ourselves. Friendly fire isn’t. Pastors helping pastors is great but if you’re using your church as a stepping stone to bigger and better things or If you’ve decided to use your church as a place to coast until retirement. If the fire isn’t in your gut to do that which God has called us to do. Get out! Please, just get out. If God hasn’t called you into this ministry you won’t find the time, energy, nor money to do that which must be done. But, if HE has called you, you will reap if you faint not. Being where you shouldn’t be will only draw others to fall. Remaining at the helm of a sinking ship is not the picture I want to empress here. If the Pastor has lost his vision or never had it to begin with, the church will fail if they do not have the discernment to acknowledge that there is no leadership and replace it.

Sadly, many churches are failing because they hired a hireling and didn’t call a shepherd. This is the fault of churches and pastors. Some churches get shell shocked over pastors using them for stepping stones, some have had splits that injured the body and some are just mean. Every one of these examples has a man-of-God that can be used to shepherd that flock. Given time and prayer, the right man can be called and everyone is amazed. Pastor, it is at this time you are most vulnerable. Everyone brings you accolades for what you have done. If it hadn’t been for you, the church would have closed its door for good. You came and saved them! But we both know that’s not correct. God blessed the ministry; The Holy Spirit led people to salvation, Jesus saved them.

Know this, this Pastor acknowledges that there but by the grace of God go I. I hope and pray when I start to waiver, my brother-in-arms will snap me out of it before I end up getting him or others wounded. We are not home. We are ambassadors in bounds and we need to stop looking at our Churches like they owe us. If we do what we do for Christ . . . does anybody or anything owe us?

People will still leave the Church you’ve been given the privilege to serve. It happens. Paul preached on Mars Hill and some mocked, others said they would hear him again but others followed Christ. That’s the response every time the Gospel is preached. There will be some in your Church that are just looking for excuses not to come. Quit making it so easy for them. Think on the light you are shining, are you placing yourself in the spotlight or are you shining the light of Jesus so that people may see HIM? Everything we do must point to Jesus. We no longer have the luxury of self. Self should have died with our call to the ministry. Some will say, “Well, what about me?” What about you? Are you saved? Are you sure of your calling and election? If you are, stop taking the easy way out, stop quitting, stop giving excuses for doing or not doing what God has called you to do.

I say this in love knowing that one day you may have to slap me around and bring me back to my senses. I am not home yet and do not claim to have all the answers but I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Don’t let your seminary training get in the way of the Word of God. Don’t let your traditions keep you from meeting the needs of others and don’t let your needs or wants keep you from doing that which God has called you to do. This may sound campy or bootcampish (if that’s a word). Shouldn’t we prepare? Shouldn’t we be instant in season and out?

Many will get mad at what is written here. It will merely prove this Pastor’s point. Let’s call sin sin and wrong wrong and point everyone to the Way, the Truth and the Life. Let’s pray for one another and not talk about each other. Let us be that band of brothers that years from now will think on the battles waged in Jesus’ name and lift a glass to the memory of victory due to our obedience in the high calling of Christ Jesus.