Dear Pastors | Blog Series
- 2012 Mar 06
You stimulate change. That's your goal. It's what you've been called to do by God. Your position is one of pressure and divine dependance. Without God, you would called a public speaker and many of you might not even choose that occupation. You'd rather be a business man, a construction worker, or even musicians. But God has seen it fit for you to be speaking publicly, here and now, the Gospel to your world.
He has chosen you as His representative. You directly and indirectly represent the almighty, all knowing, all present and all powerful God of the universe. And yet, with that kind of reality, there is still the danger of distraction. Distraction with myths, petty disputes, false doctrine, and endless studies of genealogies and timelines that promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith (1 Timothy 1:4-5).
You pick apart nuances of meaningless issues and waste words, energy and paper on making sure the world knows "you disagree with so-and-so."
Your job is love (1 Timothy 1:5). Love "that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."
I feel I have a miniature amount of encouragement on this issue because I have been on the wrong side the pulpit; both as a speaker and a church attender. (To be clear, I do not preach as a teaching pastor in any church.) I have gotten caught up in the debacles of theology and Christian life. I have started those conversations and ended them with full fledged judgement and an absence of love. To one whose world is studying Scripture, they are both desirable and distracting. Controversy breaks up the monotony.
But it is also destructive. It destroys credibility and community. "When [we] swerve from [love], [we] wander into vain discussions, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what [we] are saying or the things about which [we] are making such confident assertions" (1 Timothy 1:6-7). It's so easy to lose sight of the weight of responsibility we have to make absolutely sure people see and know the love of Jesus Christ.
As ministers of the Gospel, your purpose is to display God's perfect patience as an example for the world. Not an idol. Make sure you are building God's kingdom and not your own. Make sure that in everything you do or say, people can still see Jesus. The real Jesus. The loving, merciful, risen from the dead Jesus. Make sure you are seeking God's heart as you stimulate change in your world. Because remember, you represent Him.
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