Tag Archives: Preacher

Dear Critic: You are not the Captain of the Gospel Ship

In 21 years of salvation, I’ve never once considered walking away from Christ and back out into the world. There’s nothing there I want. After knowing Christ, His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy how could I even consider turning away from the peace that affords. Craziness! But the ministry for which I’ve been called, I can say in the 7 years since then, that I’ve pondered the notion of stepping out of it on a few occasions. It’s not easy being on God’s staff. I hadn’t really thought of it in that capacity until a few weeks ago, but that’s what being called is and it bears a pressure that is unseen to most. I’m not complaining, nor God forbid, am I seeking accolades. Stick with me as I get to where I am going.

This morning as I often do, I scrolled Facebook before getting out of bed just to see if anything happened whilst I slept upon my pillow. I know. That shouldn’t be the first thing on my mind when I get up, but it often is, because it’s handy. But as I scrolled I noticed a post on a pretty popular preacher and one I happen to listen to each week online. The post was one with a headline intended to entice the reader to click the link for more to the story and upon so doing I discovered an outright lie, meant as satire against the preacher. I didn’t know the person who shared the post, it was on a page for Christian bloggers, not on a “friends” page. The post sickened me because I’ve seen God’s people torn down so much lately.

Please don’t misunderstand, no one has been mean to me or critical; but there is an ever increasing awareness that everything I do is under scrutiny by the world because to the unsaved and to many saved people, ministry is a performance.

I was listening this week to the same preacher mentioned on the Facebook post, who had encouraged my soul on the matter of where God has me at in life and he spoke these words, “God didn’t call me to be a performer, and that takes the pressure off of me.” I found great truth in that statement. Too often I look at my ministry, be it singing or speaking, as a performance. It is in that capacity I’ve set myself up to be rated as a performer and critiqued by the world who has no spiritual foundation to do so.

There is one judge, and that is Christ Jesus.

But I live in a fallen world who feels they’re entitled to put every minister of God on trial, be they super star, local pastor, Sunday School Teacher or serving saint.

We’ve not progressed a whole lot in 2000 years in regards to that matter. Apostle Paul said in his day in 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

There’s a manner of judging ministers that’s acceptable. Do they line up with the Word of God? That’s not judging, that good sense. But when it comes to a minister’s heart, there is no place for that in God’s word. I’m not so much concerned with a minister who’s suddenly become rock star status, because usually, the minister didn’t do it. It was the people that launched them there. That too happened in bible days. Paul said in Chapter 3 of 1 Corinthians that they were doing that very thing with him and Apollos. But what happens when they achieve that status is it opens the door for Satan to have greater access as well and more damage to the Kingdom of God.

The danger lies not so much in what the world thinks but what Christians say. A Christian judging a pastor or other servant of God gives a validity to doubt the authenticity of the word of God. That’s what stirred my dander this morning when I saw that post. The fact that a Christian was spreading a non-fact as truth without researching the matter cast a doubt upon a man of God who’s sharing the gospel. That is dangerous ground to tread on.

So before we utter the first word of “critique” on a minister of the gospel or a child of God, we need to understand that they’re not performing, they’re relaying a God given message or ability for the purpose of edifying the Kingdom. Those who cast doubt will one day stand before the Almighty God and give account for that.

They’re style or delivery of the message may not float your boat, but you are not Captain of the Gospel Ship.

Post positive things for the cause of Christ. There’s enough negative Nancy’s out there in cyberspace.

How’s Your Hinges today?

chick labor

There are days when I write that I think I’m writing to read what I have to say. Then I am reminded of the preachers of little country churches who preach Sunday after Sunday to a house of  a half dozen filled seats and a dozen or so good intentions who didn’t show up; it is then that I count it a privilege to have a place that I can share what God speaks to my heart. Every soul that reads the words I write, and are encouraged by my thoughts are soldiers in the field of battle that I’ve had the opportunity to support. God knows each one and I’m encouraged by that. It still however does not stop me from counting and complaining. For myself as a writer and speaker, and for the Pastors that labor and study to fill the pulpit on Sunday, preaching to more air than mass.

Ecclesiastes 12:8-11

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. 10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

It reminds me of that song “I’m working on a Building.”

Church attendance is not proof of salvation, but the lack of church attendance is evidence of commitment issues. If people attended work like they do church they’d be fired. And before you say that you have to work to survive and pay bills, let me call to remembrance the scripture in Ephesians 2:17-22 (speaking of Jesus)

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Sunday is the day we go to the hardware store! While that job that pays the bills is important for survival and filling your house with the necessities of life therein, it’s a temporary housing unit for life. Our permanent dwelling isn’t finished yet. (Lest we’d be in it!) And the building material necessary for that life is found in the house of God and in the Word of God.

Solomon said that all was vanity. We spend so much time living for ourselves that we forget our real purpose. Solomon the preacher was wise and taught the people. The people were wise in that they showed up! He reminded them that this life is short… James 4:14 says ~ It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

The words of the wise (the preacher) are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. He’s talking about the building, that’s us! Paul in verse 22 of Ephesians said “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:” That’s the church! The men and women of God who share His word have got the construction material for you to build your house, and if you don’t  show up at the hardware store on Sunday, and read and study His Word the rest of the week, your doors may fall off the hinges, or your pipes might break! The preacher is a goad… it doesn’t sound very flattering but I hope I’m a goad to. Someone that pokes you and prods you into living closer to cross of Christ. That was the first thing He built for us… and then He died on it. So that we could live in this house of flesh and serve Him where we are.

Glory to God! I’m workin’  on a buildin’, I’m workin’ on a buildin’, I’m workin’ on a buildin’ for my Lord, for my Lord!

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