|Article Review: Two Areas Where Pastors Are Least Trusted|
|Written by Ben Winslett|
|Friday, 13 March 2015 08:33|
I'm not in the habit of publishing reviews of Christian articles or books. For starters, I don't have the time to engage in lengthy reading of any and every idea found on the internet. At the same time, if the Biblical fundamentals of an author are suspect, I would rather not have the influence of their thoughts. Besides that, it comes across as being too negative. That being said, allow me to don my "curmudgeon hat" this morning as I review some ideas presented in an article a friend in the ministry recently shared with me.
The article was entitled Two Surprising Areas Many Pastors and Church Leaders are Least Trusted and can be found by clicking this link:
To summarize the article, the two areas congregants distrust their pastors is not what you'd think: sexual infidelity and money. That's surprising, as the article states, because these two reasons are why most charlatan TV preachers make it on the nightly news. Rather, the authors presents to us that most people lack trust in their pastor in the areas of COMPETENCE and EXECUTION. In other words, they feel the pastor doesn't know what to do and then after that can't actually do what he is supposed to be doing.
Let me be clear - whatever we find to do, we must do it with all our might. This includes the pastor. Preaching should be less like the cub scouts and more like the marines (- paraphrasing Sonny Pyles). But take a moment to read the linked article and notice some of the areas of criticism or responsibility.
[This is your moment to review the article... :-)]
Did you notice some things that seemed out of place in a ministry context? Let me help:
Some symptoms listed:
Some promoted pastor traits:
*Paging Mr Curmudgeon.*
Why This Problem Exists
Allow to me explain why this problem exists in Christendom today. In the average American religious body, the role of the pastor has been redefined and his position replaced with that of a CEO! Look at the symptoms I quoted. Does that sound like a Board of Directors to you?
Now consider the promoted traits. The traits from the article I have listed all relate to EVENT PLANNING. Please share with me - book, chapter, and verse - where Jesus or the Apostles planned proms, parties, programs, youth events, etc. They didn't. Perhaps, this mistrust exists because the 21st Century Christian is expecting things from the gospel ministry that God has not called a minister to do! In fact, one could even question whether God gives grace to perform that which He has not called us to do in the first place.
Meditate a moment on the actual God-called work of the gospel minister. The very phrase, gospel minister, expresses it. We are not professional event planners. We ARE preachers of the word! Rather than planning one prom and party after another to make folks "feel" as if their church experience is fun and memorable, we are to dig into the word of God! We are to meditate on the word! We are to pray! We are to preach!
How sad and tragic it would be, for a man to feel a genuine burden to preach only to pursue the ministry only to find himself as a CEO or event planner. What a joke! That isn't his calling. Do we intend to please God or men?
Dear Church, understand what your pastor has been called to do. His job is to preach the word, to be instant in season and out of season, to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. His charge is to go and preach the gospel, to baptize, and to teach.
I submit that the departure from the Biblical model is the cause for the majority of this issue as reported in this article. What's the answer then? The remedy? A return to the Biblical pattern! Find what the early preachers did, and do it!
Our job as pastors is to study, pray, preach and teach, and call on men and women to turn from their sinful ways. Occasionally we navigate people through difficult times in their personal lives, but even then we are not called to be arbitrators of each congregant's personal problems (Please see Luke 12:13-14). Want a meaningful, memorable event at your church? As the first century Church, meet to learn the Bible. Do it on Sundays. Do it on Wednesdays. Do it when you have that annual meeting. That's simple, isn't it?
This is our work. This is our job. Take the burden of modern religion off your shoulders, lay it on the ground and leave it behind, and then pursue the work God has called you to do. Preach the word!
*VISION. Pastors and church leadership are always talking about their "vision for the church." That sounds good, doesn't it? After all, who wants a stagnant church culture? This comes from Proverbs 29, which says "where there is no vision, the people perish." However, the true meaning of that verse has been hijacked! When Solomon wrote that, the word "vision" did NOT have reference to pastoral ambition. That's how most define it today. The word vision actually refers to prophesy. A vision was a God-given word to a prophet or seer. So, what Solomon is telling us, is where there is no WORD FROM THE LORD, the people perish. Guess where we find that word today? You guessed it - our Bibles. Where the Bible is not taught, God's people perish from lack of knowledge. Let's retake the teaching of this verse!
|Last Updated on Friday, 13 March 2015 10:18|