“Hello Sir, I have known you and liked from at a distance for years. I just heard recently that you are also now a Pastor. I must confess I never saw that coming, I thought you were a business man. Are you really a Pastor, why are you doing this?”
The brother that asked me this question is someone I can’t recollect ever meeting before. He has an unforgettable face, so when I see him, I’m sure I’ll recognize him. The conversation above happened in my dreams, a way of God prompting me to make a statement about my origins, for those who are within the spheres of my influence.
Jobless pastors make working pastors look less committed to God. Beware of preachers whose source of income is tied to equipping God’s people. One of the key red-flags around a pastor should be whether or not he needs anything from your emotions or your pocket. “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned” – Matt 7:15,16.
I serve God fully, I work for God fully. I work for him in business, work for him for my nation, and work for him to equip the saints for the work of working for God. The distinction between clergy and laymen is best an error perpetuated by the devil to rob believers of their true heritage. Work preceded the fall, and is divine. Anyone who does not work, should not eat. Pastoring the way we have it in our nation today is what the Bible refers to as “Freeloading”. To be a freeloader and have Jets, own schools and live a luxurious life when 70% of those who make the contribution can’t afford decent accommodation, is outright evil.
Under what authority however do I say all these? Am I not just barely 2 years in ministry? What do I know about Ministry and the Church? What do I know, is it not just business I know? Let me state equivocally here that what matters is Jesus! What matters is seeing the Lord, and being aligned with him. The barrier between God and man was broken in him, there is no high priest, we are all kings and priests. Permit me to borrow a template from Apostle Paul in Philippians 3. If anyone has an occasion to boast in the flesh, I do too, but the boast should not be in the flesh, the only person that has made our lives of any significance is Christ Jesus.
Phil 3: 2-4 “Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials.”
Here is my pedigree: Born again in 1991, for the last conscious time after having stood for altar call innumerable times. Baptized in the Holy Spirit by early 1992, presided over a small fellowship, organized evangelistic outreaches, fasted often, for 100 days in a year, absolute fasts for 3 days, prayed daily for 3-6hrs plus, casted out demons all before 1994. Concerning sexual purity – never involved with any woman or lady outside my wife. Not led anyone astray or confused. Concerning finances – I have not coveted or unlawfully taken over any body’s resources. As of 1994 was certain of an end in full time ministry in the order of the perversity that reigns in the world today, until God reached me, and set me off on the path to true ministry in the market place. As a business man, I had a goal to lead 365 to Christ yearly, as a businessman I fasted 365 days a year. As a business man, I read my bible with passion, as a business man, I preached yearly in many churches. All of those exploits I see for what they truly were, dung! Dung, in comparison to the awesomeness of seeing Jesus! Of realizing that once Jesus is not the source and end of our pursuit, then error runs lose.
In the eyes of the world, there are superior pastors, some are called Bishops, the others are fathers to Bishops, in God’s eyes there are those who serve God, and there are those who serve self. Church for me is not about what I can get, it’s about what I can give! It’s not about how big it can grow, or how big our camp or land can be, but in how much like Christ the people can become. It’s not about raising a following that makes me important, it’s about following Jesus every step of the way and being considered privileged to be among his many membered body!
“The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s
I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back” – Phil 3: 7-14 (MSG)
Yes… I’m excited that the scriptures resonate with my life. There is a lot out there in the name of God! Be like the Bereans, check it out for yourself.
P.E.N. – Unrepentantly so.