Sunday, April 26, 2015

“A man who first tried to guess 'what the public wants,' and then preached that as Christianity because the public wants it, would be a pretty mixture of fool and hypocrite.” ― C.S. Lewis

There are millions of churches and millions of preachers.  Why hasn’t the world changed?  Maybe because most preachers today are licensed and ordained by “the church”—not sent by God to speak His truth.  Maybe because degrees and credentials are not the same as being anointed by the Holy Spirit.  Maybe today's preachers are questioned by committees and hired to preach what the church believes and not what Christ taught and lived.
Maybe because preachers today give themselves to programs, visitation, and church business (not that these are bad), but if programs, visitation, and church business is the sum total of the ministry—there is something wrong.  Many preachers today truly preach and thus cause members to move their membership and do not ask “How can we help?”  I remember one such pastor who was fired for not preaching platitudes.  He was told that the congregation did not come to church to be made uncomfortable.  Too many preachers today are afraid that they will offend someone; Paul was afraid that he wouldn’t. If there is no offense, the cross has not been preached.  Happily, there are still powerful Christian leaders out there.  In the same way that Jesus tasked Peter (John 21: 15-17), God still appoints preachers among us who truly are called and Divinely equipped to feed and tend His sheep and His lambs. We are ultimately thankful for those who unselfishly and truly serve our Lord and help guard His flock.  If you are happy with your pastor who never offends anyone and never challenges anyone to change and never exhorts the hearers to go forth and live as Christ called them to live, you will know comfort, but you will never know Christian joy.  Here is list of things you can ask yourself about your pastor, Is there love of the congregation? Is there really effective preaching?  Does he or she have a vision that informs the entire ministry?  Does he or she readily give in to critics and fail to hold the Godly and moral ground?  And last but hardly least, can you say that “Our pastor is passionate about sharing the gospel. His or her heart and attitude are contagious and aflame?”
  I pray you are led by someone called by God and not someone who just made a vocational choice.  If you are truly blessed in your church, the 23rd Psalm defines not just the Lord, but your earthly leader as well.  There is no better test.  Your church is then a force for good and an agent of Christian change in this world.  God bless all who attend such churches whether they have ten members or 10,000.  Christ said that wherever two or three were gathered in His name, He was there.  I pray that He is there with you every Sunday morning.  If this sounded like a rant, I apologize, but I just feel we need to be doing more and I praise God for those congregations who understand that.
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