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Chapter 5 - The Pastor - A one man band
In considering modern church practice, the analogy to the description of a football game comes to mind: 50,000 people who desperately need exercise watching 22 people desperately needing rest.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: - Ephesians 4:11-12
How Christian practice came to be an institutionalized organizational system administered by a professional class could be a confluence of bad intentions such as leaders seeking greater control as well as laity adverse to any requirement to put forth effort. It was supposed to be regular Christians doing the'work of the ministry'
A Christian may find that his sincere desire to grow in Christ, minister to others, and die to self frustrated by his encounter of actual opposition from his own church, pastor, and other church members. Organizational church structure has a momentum and inertia that does not welcome change or deviation.
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. - Mark 7:7
A pastor that sees his church as a machine and that it is his responsibility to keep the machine running smoothly may see any request outside of the functions that the machine has been programmed for as a threat. While the Christian may expect his pastor to enthusiastically support his desire to walk more by the Spirit, he may be surprised if he encounters disinterest or even hostility.
But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. - Revelation 2:6
The word 'Nicolaitan' has not been identified as a particular group in history. However, it is likely that the word is a compound in the Greek meaning power over the people. Pastors today face a real difficulty to their faith as well as the faith of their members. Organizational systems tend to push the leader into the flesh to keep up with all the system demands as well as de-emphasize others who might be able to share the load. When a church does not seek or cannot recognize wisdom within their membership, it is an indication that they rely too much on their pastor.
I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? - 1 Corinthians 6:5
The church member seeking help to subordinate the inclinations of the flesh and die to self may find that the pastor is so encumbered with his system duties that he can be of little help. The other members of the church may just refer a person to the pastor.
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