Posts Tagged ‘Pastor’

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  – Galatians 6:1-2

I’ve been through church crisis one too many times. The longtime head pastor of my church that I grew up in passed away due to cancer. Our popular youth pastor was fired abruptly because the new pastor that came in wanted a whole new staff in place. My good friend became an intern for our church (after just becoming a believer) and had an affair with one of the staff members. He took his life soon after. The accountant at my last church embezzled almost half a million dollars. My current pastor had to resign due to extramarital affairs. Yes… the church experiences death, scandals and affairs just like the real world. I must note that in most of these situations, the church handled them very poorly (something I’ve experienced personally as well).

But how are we doing as Christians in handling these situations? Do we deal with those caught in sin in a loving way? Do we restore them gently back to Christ with the truth of the gospel? Do we act Godly when the media tears into us or do we get defensive and attack back? All I know is Satan loves to attack the church when things are going well. All the situations I described above happened when the particular church I was at was at their peak and experiencing tremendous growth. We forget that when we became Christians that Christ warned us that we would face persecution. One of the things I know is that Christians today do not handle persecution well. Look at the Chick-fil-a and Duck Dynasty situations and see how defensive Christians get when our views are spoken against. I’ve been embarrassed how Christians have reacted in the media about gay marriage and other topics that go against our beliefs. Do we not trust that God will ultimately prevail?

Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.  –  Acts 11:19-21

God works during times of despair. He redeems and restores and takes these situations and uses them for his glory. The church isn’t perfect and it isn’t about one man or a building. It’s a living organic body of messy believers that come to together to grow and worship our Lord. We treat Pastors like rock stars and put them on a pedestal so high they could never meet the expectations we put on them. Pastors are just messy people being used by God. But God isn’t going to let his church fall. He is still faithful even when we are unfaithful.

What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.”  –  Romans 3:3-4

I have been impressed with my current church and how they have handled our current crisis. They are doing it in a loving biblical way. My last two churches were clueless in dealing with people caught in sin and usually let them leave without any restoration. When I heard the news in church, the first thing I did was look at myself. I took this as a warning sign that I myself am a step away from falling into temptation and sin. I am thankful for my community and that I can come to them about anything that I may be struggling with. I am thankful for my church and that God called me to be here during this crisis so I can see firsthand his redeeming power at work. I remember when my last church was going through its scandal, I was quoted in the paper at that time by saying “God is bigger than this”. My viewpoint is still the same – God has got this and He will prevail.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world – John 16:33

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Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly

1 Peter 5:2

It’s been a crazy few weeks as I have been really staying attentive to God and His will for me. I had this moment a few weeks ago where I was able to retrace my steps of where I am at today to a moment when I was struggling in my walk and I listened to God’s voice and made a step in obedience. It set off a chain reaction of events during a difficult time that brought me to where I am now. It’s so cool to know that God is always working and always restoring and all we need to do is listen and follow. Last year I set myself up financially for later in life with investments and retirement funds, etc. It dawned on me that I have a son who starts college next year and another one just a few years behind him and that I need to be a better steward of God’s money. So I got responsible with my finances and have been preparing myself for my future and where God may want me later in life. God has put some incredible mentors in my life that have walked me to this point and now I am able to give back to those younger than me. I have also had the opportunity to get some good teaching lately from some conferences of what is going on in the world and how I can acclimate my heart to God’s will. But recently He has called me to something that I didn’t think I would diving into anytime soon – church leadership. My first experience was both good and bad. I am always appreciative of Cornerstone church for giving me my first shot at leadership. I really learned a lot from that experience (and a lot about myself). But the biggest thing I regret about it is that I never had any formal training. I was hand-picked for the job and thrown to the wolves by doing it on my own. I was still a pretty new Christ follower and had lots to work through with myself. The last thing that the Pastor of that church told me when I left was that I had all the potential to be a leader and that I should continue to aspire to be a leader after I have taken care of my stuff first. I really took his words to heart that day. Today I am in a totally new phase of life and through praying with many of my mentors and people I trust, God has led me back to the first steps of returning to leadership. I honestly have no clue what this looks like as I refuse to try to define God’s will for me. But I do feel God is allowing me back out in the world and He is saying to me that this time we are going to do it right (that would be His way). I am beginning an intense lengthy training on church leadership next week with some of the most predominant church leaders in the valley. I am so looking forward to soaking in some teaching and learning the biblical principles of what it means to be a leader from some of these Godly men. I am excited because the training doesn’t just include leadership in the church, but also at home and in work field. I do have some nervousness yet at the same time I am excited to follow in God’s footsteps. It’s good to be in His will and take the proper steps for growth.

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