“I have been writing this volume while residing in Germany for a teaching trip. I am humbled by penning these 95 theses in the same country as Martin Luther did many years ago. I submit these to the evangelical church of our day and pray that God would allow anything of truth in these pages to bend and change men’s hearts back to God.” – Greg Gordon –
It is useless for large companies of believers to spend long hours begging God to send revival. Unless we intend to reform we may as well not pray. Unless praying men have the insight and faith to amend their whole way of life to conform to the New Testament pattern there can be no true revival. – A.W. Tozer
I am currently reviewing and commenting on 95 theses to the modern evangelical church “revised”! by Greg Gordon. The following discusses the role of pastor.
The elders and pastors of the church, as ministers of the gospel, are charged by Jesus to feed the sheep. But sadly many are fleecing the flock to supply their wants.
John 10:12-13 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
1 Peter 5:2-3 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
Revelation 2:15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
I leave it to God to judge the hearts of man. I have little doubt, especially after watching certain evangelical TV programs, that some pastors certainly try to fleece their flocks, so to speak. However, the one or two pastor friends I have known in the past definitely had a heart for God and his people. I feel that they way they attempt to feed their flock misses the mark shown in the Bible. This is more by design (how our churches are organized with hundreds or thousands of members listening to one pastor on a weekly basis) than anything else. However, I would not say they are intentionally trying to fleece their flock for money. There are clearly some pastors (Such as prosperity Gospel teachers) who are the exception to this.
The qualities most in demand in today’s pastorate are frequently foreign to the qualities which are made most important in Scripture.
1 Timothy 3:2-3 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
1 Timothy 3:5 If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?
1 Timothy 1:5-7 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
I have spoken about this numerous times with my friends, It amazes me just how far removed from the above scriptures the process of choosing leaders has become in church today. Churches seek men who have seminary training, great research skills, the ability to speak with grand-elegance, and the ability to handle challenging situations. Many (if not all) churches normally seek these talents from outside their current congregations. I could spend pages explaining how we got from the Biblical model, to the methods we have today.
Mind you, I don’t totally discount the need for educated, well spoken teachers of God’s Word. However, the scripture shows us that the qualifications for leadership within the church must follow a pattern that defies our human logic. We must trust in LORD with all of our heart and lean not on our own understanding.
By His Grace,