Any Volunteers?

5 09 2006

Does God ask for volunteers for gospel ministry? David Hegg in his helpful book Appointed to Preach, says:

When it comes to putting men into pastoral ministry, the evidence shows that God drafts those He intends to use in leadership. Far from calling for volunteers, God descended upon Moses, upon the prophets, the disciples, Paul, and a host of other men down through history. The idea that God is waiting for men to come to him and sign on as leaders in his kingdom may appeal to our modern sense of nobility, but it just won’t stand up to the evidence of Scripture.” (p. 17)

I really appreciate this picture that Hegg draws here. I remember as a new Christian looking around at the pastors that God had surrounded me with. I remember guys who were apathetic, compromising, and less than zealous in their post.

I visited The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville and Dr. Danny Akin, who was at Southern at this time, articulately said just what I needed to hear: “Many pastors should not be pastors.” He went on to exhort all of the men who were in attendance with a quote from Spurgeon where the Prince of Preachers said: “Do not enter the ministry if you can help it.” Akin rightly continued exhorting those in attendance : “if you can do anything else than do it!”

This was helpful for me in trying to integrate what I was seeing in ministry from what I was reading in Scripture. It is always good to have my leash tugged by the Word of God. God has gone through great lengths to eradicate any confusion as to what kind of man is supposed to lead his flock.

Here is just a brief job description for a pastor:

desire the post (1 Tim. 3.1)

be above reproach, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach (1 Tim. 3.2)

not pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money (1 Tim. 3.3)

be a leader in his home (1 Tim. 3.4)

be disciplined (1 Tim. 4.7)

be a good example of a believer for a believer (1 Tim. 4.12)

be committed to public exhortation and teaching (1 Tim. 4.13)

be absorbed in ministry and clearly making progress (1 Tim. 4.15)

be paying close attention to his life and his doctrine (1 Tim. 4.16)

be persevering (1 Tim. 4.16)

be impartial (1 Tim. 5.21)

be continually pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness (1 Tim. 6.11)

be fanatical about personal sanctification (1 Tim. 6.14)

be unashamed of Jesus’ gospel (2 Tim. 1.8)

be willing to suffer (2 Tim. 1.8)

be strong in grace (2 Tim. 2.1)

be committed to discipleship (2 Tim. 2.2)

be captivated by the risen Savior (2 Tim. 2.8)

be committed to his flock (2 Tim. 2.14)

be diligent & conscientious in the study (2 Tim. 2.15)

be fleeing from youthful lusts (2 Tim. 2.22)

be pursuing righteousness, love and peace (2 Tim. 2.22)

not be prone to arguing (2 Tim. 2.24)

be kind to all (2 Tim. 2.24)

be able to teach (2 Tim. 2.24)

be patient when wronged (and you will be!) (2 Tim. 2.24)

be committed to gentle correction (2 Tim. 2.25)

be scared to death of offending Jesus (2 Tim. 4.1)

be committed to preaching the word of God (2 Tim. 4.2)

always be ready (2 Tim. 4.2)

be correcting, admonishing, encouraging> all patiently and doctrinally! (2 Tim. 4.2)

be sober (2 Tim. 4.5)

be doing the work of an evangelist (2 Tim. 4.5)

be loving the flock of Christ (Acts 20.28)

and the fuel of it all:>> be loving Jesus Christ preeminently! (John 21.15-17; Jam. 1.12)

Any volunteers?

For the sake of the glory of God, the good of the church, and the preservation of your own sanity, if you are not being fitted by God to carry out such a ministry then please do something else!

On the other hand, if you are being shaped by God for such a work, know that God has always and is now drafting, sustaining and fueling men and thanks be to God!

It is so good this way, for it is in such a system the man of God will not rely upon himself to lead the church but upon the church’s very head, the ultimate Senior Pastor, Jesus Christ himself who will forever outrank everyone.

O’ may pastors fear and love Jesus until we see him!

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How do you destroy a denomination?

23 08 2006

driscoll.jpgdriscoll.jpgMark Driscoll provides a helpful and barefaced top ten list on how to destroy a denomination.

I think #10 is my favorite…

1. Have a low view of Scripture and, consequently, the deity of Jesus.

2. Deny that we were made male and female by God, equal but with distinct roles in the home and church.

3. Ordain liberal women in the name of tolerance and diversity.

4. Have those liberal women help to ordain gay men in the name of greater tolerance and diversity.

5. Accept the worship of other religions and their gods in the name of still greater tolerance and diversity.

6. Become so tolerant that you, in effect, become intolerant of people who love Jesus and read their Bible without scoffing and snickering.

7. End up with only a handful of people who are all the same kind of intolerant liberals in the name of tolerance and diversity.

8. Watch the Holy Spirit depart from your churches and take people who love Jesus with Him.

9. Fail to repent but become more committed than ever to your sinful agenda.

10. See Jesus pull rank, judge you, and send some of your pastors to hell to be tormented by Him forever because He will no longer tolerate your diversity.

Here is the rest of his article.





Clown-led Worship…that makes sense!

18 08 2006

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These pictures showed up in my in box yesterday thanks to a couple of twisted friends. Providentially, it became an edifying email.

Why?

Because it motivates me to study, practice and teach (like Ezra–7.10). It motivates me to invest time in people that they might be impressed with Jesus and not tolerate clown shoes in a pulpit, fried dough in a communion tray, or a circus in the blood bought church of the Savior.

This type of display only makes sense when God is emasculated; having been stripped of his holiness, justice, knowledge, power, and goodness only to be carved into a caricature of himself complete with a squeaky nose and irritating mannerisms. They are merely reflecting the god they have carved. Their god is a joke so they can worship him in clown clothes. This is sad.

If God has impotent and lacks authority then why worship him, why fear him, why submit to him? Why not mock him? This only makes sense.

So friends in Jesus, know that if not for the grace of God so affecting your own heart, you would be going to this church-circus…or worse, you could be leading it!

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