O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
My New Mexico friend and brother in Christ, Dewey Moede and I speak often. How that friendship began is most assuredly a “God thing.” We are kindred spirits across the miles and both with a burden for our hometown. I just happen to live in mine while Dewey lives 1100 miles from his. Funny thing about Windom; it’s kind of became my adopted hometown, even though it’s 1000 miles from me. I know the people, I know many of their stories. I travel there each year for a revival, begging God to move in that place. It’s why when I read Matthew 23:37, I read it as Jesus’ hometown verse. He was so burdened. I get it. Dewey gets it. We want our people in Heaven with us. No circles broken. What about you and your Hometown?
I love that Jesus used a chicken in His illustration. In my brood of chickadees I have two fancy little girls named Glo and Sue. They’re of the Silky variety. I have no roosters, just hens, but that doesn’t seem to stop the Silkies from thinking that there’s a baby inside that egg. So when I go to rob the nest I literally have to fight her off the eggs. I’ve been pecked on more than one occasion, and it’s then that the plain ol, plain ol chickens are looking closer to being the favs. But I can’t argue that she’s just defending what she believes to be her babies. Just like Jesus who claimed us as His babies when His rejected Him and broke His heart.
And now, His adopted tribe is following the same path and it breaks the heart of the Father, and the children, or so it should.
Killing the Prophets
Although there are those that have literally lost their lives trying to share the gospel of Christ, there are far more who are just dead in the pulpit. I pray for my Pastor. I try to encourage him as well as many others in our church. We don’t take Victory Baptist for granted. Dewey Moede drives 5 hours every Sunday, one way, to serve as an interim Pastor in New Mexico. It’s one of the many reasons I love that he’s my friend. We have people who won’t drive one mile to get their home church because they’re not burdened for their own family, so the hometown burden isn’t even on their radar.
Many Pastors stand in the pulpits across America on Sunday and either preach the blood of Jesus to a faithful few, or they preach an entertaining watered down version to the masses. Yes I know there are some Mega churches preaching the blood, but they are few. In most hometowns the churches on Sunday morning have a fraction of the community. Where is the burden that Jesus has?
According to a 2016 Lifeway survey, 250 Pastors in America leave the pulpit each month. They called that “promising” because a previous survey said 1500. I don’t think that’s promising, I think it’s disheartening. Two hundred and fifty prophets are being spiritually killed each month.
A Pastor friend told me one day how his church, a mostly family affair (not his family), governs his preaching and his pastoral leadership to the point that it sucks the life of him. To me that’s every bit as tough on the hide as a stone thrown from an enemy. Who put those people in the place of God?
If you look at the biblical directive for pastoring a church, nowhere does it say that a Pastor is under the authority of the congregation. It’s God. The Pastor. The Church Leadership. Then the congregation. God is the God of order, not chaos and confusion.
Gathering the Flock
That’s our job. Everyone, not just the Pastor. When Jesus gave the commission to tell the world about the gospel of Christ, and lead men and women to Him, that was for everyone.
Calhoun County, West Virginia, USA, the world. That’s my hometown.
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