Sunday, March 22, 2009

Is Your Church Promoting Jesus or the Pastor

I have noticed in the last few years how in many charismatic churches the pastors, guest speakers and "prophets" spend more time promoting themselves than they do promoting the gospel of Jesus Christ and the work of His ministry.

I heard so many sermons in my former church by the pastor tooting his own horn that it was almost an inconsistency for part of the sermon or the majority of the sermon to be about anything other than him. These messages entailed his achievements, his great anointing, his great wisdom, how he was always right, how he was to be respected, how he was to be honored, how the world needed to hear what HE had to say and nothing or no one else compared to HIS interpretation and delivery of the Bible, how we needed HIM to speak into our lives, and much more.

When guest speakers came in, whether they were billed as pastors, evangelists or "prophets", they preached on pretty much the same things. The only difference was they had to toot their own horn too. They also had to make it clear, along with the respect, honor, and devotion that was due to the home pastor, what was due to them.

Now of course, all these men managed to find scriptures to interpret for us to somehow substantiate all of this propaganda they were spewing forth. They also managed to spend enormous amounts of time convincing the congregation to GIVE, GIVE, GIVE.

In retrospect, I began to realize how the sermons I had heard for several years actually had nothing to do with the message Jesus taught or the messages Paul taught.

I also began to realize how warped the tone of the congregation was when congregants that never displayed stickers proclaiming Jesus on their vehicles began sporting stickers promoting the pastor on their cars.

Of all the sermons I have heard since leaving my former church, no matter what church I heard them at, NONE was about the pastor of that church. Not one man promoted himself or even mentioned his accomplishments or attributes. Of all the sermons I have heard they have been about Jesus, His love, His grace, the work of His ministry. No one has tried to manipulate $$$ out of congregants pockets.

Once, as I was helping clean up after a service and I heard a congregant say, "Wow! Now that's something I haven't seen in a long time, a pastor who will take out the garbage!!" As I heard this I thought, you know, neither have I.

I so deeply regret all the years that I spent buying into this false "doctrine of the pastor" and convincing myself that I was doing something for God when I could see that there was no work of the ministry of Jesus in the church.

I encourage you, find a church where the pastor is more interested in Jesus than he is in himself. Find a church where the pastor would be appalled of someone put a sticker promoting him on their car. Find a church where the pastor is interested in being a servant and not a diva. Riding to visit those in the hospital and not riding in a limo. Flying to the side of those in need and not flying in his own plane. More interested in the size of the peoples' need than the size of their wallet. Believes you are worthy of his time because you are a person Jesus died for not because you are a regular tither. A pastor who, in times of trouble, asks you,"What can I do to help?" and not "Are you a tither?"

It is time for all of us to examine what we associate ourselves with and what and who we support. It is not acceptable to stick our heads in the sand and say, "Well, God called me here and there is nothing I can do about how things are handled." That is nothing but an excuse not to spend the time and effort or have the backbone to be a good steward.

We have been called to be good stewards of what God has given us. That includes our time, our money, our endorsement and our service. Let's make sure that we are involved in things that will stand the test of fire as gold and not burn up as wood, hay and stubble.


john john said...

Good Word

Deanna said...

excellent post!

GW said...

Excellent post! You nailed it.

"I so deeply regret all the years that I spent buying into this false 'doctrine of the pastor' and convincing myself that I was doing something for God when I could see that there was no work of the ministry of Jesus in the church."

Very well said. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Jesus said, "The greatest among you is your servant". There will be many people in heaven getting rewards that no one will have any clue about...because they served without being seen. Some of those will be pastors..