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Support Your Local Pastor
It's been a good week, and I hope that there will be something that has
been said that will be an encouragement to you and a challenge to you. I just
want to do a little more of that tonight. I'm working under a deficit. I
walked off and left my glasses at the house so I am going to have to stand back
just a little bit to see what's going on down here. So If I say something
really strange, it won't be any more strange than what I've already said this
week, so maybe we will get through.
As time goes on in your ministry, you learn things and make a lot of
mistakes. Things become more important and some things become less important.
You learn to prioritize. So you ministry changes. The way you preach changes.
Sometimes some of the things you preach about change. The Bible stays the same.
The truth is always true. But you learn to prioritize in the ministry. This is
the only second time in my almost 30 years that I have ever preached this
particular type of message. I don't say that to scare you but I guess I just
hadn't come to the point to see the real need in my own life and my own
I want to talk to you tonight about the relationship between a pastor and
a church. I don't know why God laid this on my heart. I know it's not because
I feel like there are a lot of problems here because I definitely don't. I
thank God for what I see. You know, you walk into a church and you can tell
what is going on. You can't see a lot of problems and those things underneath
but as far as the relationship that people have and share and the relationship
that a church has with it's pastor; that's pretty obvious. I commend you for
what I see because I know the Lord sees a lot more than I do.
But I have to say as well, that we have never lived in a day like this.
We have never been where we are today. Things are happening before our eyes
that we just never could have dreamed of before. So I want to focus on that
because, let me say that in this process we have talked about building and
spending a lot of money and putting a lot of effort into things. We've tried to
talk about some fundamentals and to me this is one of the most fundamental
things. It's your relationship as a church with your pastor. Now I didn't tell
him what I was going to be talking about because he probably would have said,
'Why don't you just head on back to the house.' I can promise you that I have
sat where he is sitting. I didn't come here to make him comfortable, and he
probably won't be tonight. He didn't give me any money for this, ...yet
(laughter) . In the 78th Psalm I want to read just a couple of verses there (2
or 3 verses) and use David as our example.
Do you believe God calls pastors? Sure He does. When you take an
aptitude test like you did in high school, at the end of it they tell you what
you are suppose to be. Mine was either a ballerina or a brick layer, I don't
remember what it was. I don't know that you can take one of those and it says
that you are going to be a preacher. If it did, it would probably still be
wrong. I believe that's what God does. I have enough of a hard time trying to
figure out why God called me to not have to worry about why God called somebody
else. But I know without a doubt that it's a call. I've never had to question
that. That makes it very special because that makes it God's business.
(Psalms 78:70) That's a shepherd. That's what a shepherd does. What
God did was transplant one shepherd from one field of shepherding to another
field of shepherding. He took a little boy from leading the sheep and all he
had learned about that, and He put him into the position of the ultimate
shepherd, leading God's people and feeding them. And He fed them by and
according to the integrity of his heart.
Let's pray: 'Father, would you take this time now and speak to us.
Lord, I pray for an open heart and mind. Lord, I pray for clarity. Lord, that
nothing will be said that doesn't need to be said. I pray that you will have
that freedom, Lord, through me tonight that the Holy Spirit's presence will be
so real. Bless these people, encourage and strengthen them. Thank You for
their love and for what you are doing here, Lord. I thank you from the bottom
of my heart that I have been able to enjoy and see just a little bit of what is
going on. We look forward, Lord, to great things but tonight we need you. I
trust, Lord, that your presence will be felt in every heart and life here
tonight. In Jesus Name, amen.'
What is a pastor? What makes him tick? What makes him work? What is he
suppose to do? What does he actually do that he is suppose to do? There are a
lot of questions. How should a pastor be viewed? I think we would agree, if
you've been in church any length of time, that pastors are viewed differently
today than they used to be viewed. They don't hold the same position in the
eyes of the people today that they used to hold. How should he and his family
be treated? What kind of relationship is he suppose to have with his members?
All of these things and more are questions that I believe are very relevant to
where we are today as a church, and these things are changing. The position of
the pastor today is very precarious at best. And it always, very nearly always,
is misunderstood. In all the years I've been preaching, as I said, I've never
done this much. Not because it hasn't been the need but because I have never, I
guess, been to where I am in pastoring. So I just want to share some things
I heard a lot of messages on what pastors are suppose to do. They are
apt to teach and instant in season and out of season. The verses go on and on
about what a pastor is suppose to do, and churches sit and listen very
attentively as preachers preach about what pastors are suppose to do. But
honestly, I can tell you (and I don't mean this grudgingly), I've not heard too
many messages on what churches are suppose to do in relationship to their
pastor. So, that's what I want to focus on. This isn't Charles Empey day, and
this isn't 'Worship Your Pastor Day' or anything like that. But I believe there
are some very fundamental things that are missing in our world today, and we
need to be reminded of these things and especially now because of where you are
and where you are going. We need to concentrate on these things. So, I want to
talk about them.
First, three things I want to mention when we talk about the pastor.
There are three forces at work. The first is what I call external forces.
These are the worldly influences in the world around us today. Ralph Waldo
Emerson said, 'Once we had wooden chalices and golden priests. Now we have
golden chalices and wooden priests.' There have been some changes. There have
been a lot of guys out there that have been on TV and they have goofed up and
messed up. Their lives have broadcast. You say, 'Well, I'm not a Jimmy