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Revival #5

Support Your Local Pastor

(Psalms 78:70-72) 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 ministry. 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 with you. 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 (continued...)
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