As A Pastor I Have A Problem
by: Bill Kinney
Introduction: 1. Some pastors have more problems than they have people willing to accept the solution to the problems.
2. Every pastor at some time or another has probably thought of throwing up their hands and quitting. Problems tear the heart out of pastors.
3. Realistically speaking, many of the problems are brought on by our own failures. Our contentment, our complacency, our at ease in Zion attitude, our neglect of strong teaching and preaching, our failure to keep accountability in the church, our refusal to say "Thus saith the Lord" whether they will hear or forbear.
4. All our problems are not because others have refused to listen, some of them are because we would not stand for the truth. After all, we are called to preach and if we offend the folks with truth, they will get rid of us.
I. As A Pastor I Have A Problem With Church Folks Saying They Love The Church But Will Not Attend.
A wise old preacher once said about church members...........they are just like old cars........when they start skipping.........they're fixin to quit!
A. How can you say you love the church when you never give her your attention. Wives you will understand this. How can your husband say he loves you and never gives you any attention. Men how can your wife say she loves you and never gives you any attention. Husbands, wives you know if your partner is giving their attention to another man or woman their love for you is not genuine. Men, women how can you say you love the Christ and not give him any attention? How can you say you love the church and not give her any attention? Your actions speak louder and truer than your words. When you say you love the church and do not have a love affair with her, are you speaking with a forked tongue?
B. How can you say you are devoted to the church and your life is AWOL from her. You give the church no time, no talent and no tithe.
C. What is your definition of "loyalty?" Loyalty
includes faithfulness, reliability, dependability, fidelity, closeness,
truthfulness and fellowship with. When you do not attend to the
house of the Lord your speech is
like [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
D. A life of sham is a life damned. It is profession most likely void of possession. It is a show based on blow blowing of hot, empty, vapor words that disappear in the shadow of actions. When the heat of judgment and close scrutiny is applied the make-believer will be exposed as to the hollowness, emptiness and uselessness of a life misspent. A voiced love for the church void of full participation is a wasted, squandered, fruitless, worthless, frivolous voice and life which will haunt you in eternity.
E. A Christian is to be a preoccupied person not an occupied person. His or her spiritual relationship with the Lord ought to be such that the body is brought into subjection unto the Lord. "The devil made me do it" might be true especially if you are still a child of the devil. "I cant help myself" may be true especially if you do not want to help yourself. "I am only human and humans do err" has some truth to it but will not serve as a reason for neglecting the church established by the Lord Jesus Christ.
F. Could a part of our problem be that we as pastors have not led the churches we pastor to practice church discipline?
II. As A Pastor I Have A Problem With Church Folks Saying They Love The Lord But Will Not Tithe.
A. The New Testament doesnt teach tithing. The Old Testament taught tithing but that was under the law instructions and we are not under the law. The New Testament principle is give as you have been prospered.
B. No argument about Abraham paying tithes before the law. No argument about tithing being incorporated into the law. No argument about tithing being an Old Testament principle.
C. What is found in the New Testament? What did Jesus say?
LUK 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Enough said. Case closed!!!
D. Could a part of our problem be that we as pastors do not tithe ourselves and preaching this truth would make us uncomfortable?
III. As A Pastor I Have A Problem With Church Folks Saying They Love Jesus But Will Not Witness.
A. Every saved person has been called according to the purpose and grace of God and that purpose has been given to every believer, 2 Timothy 1:9. The purpose of God is that all men be saved, Titus 2:11. God is not willing that any should perish, 2 Peter 3:9. Every true genuine member of the Lords church is to be a witness, Acts 1:8.
B. Christ Jesus gave a direct commission (command) to His church, Matthew 28:19-20. He said to go and make disciples. Making disciples involved witnessing, telling the good news, calling the lost to face their Sin and sins, publishing the good news, declaring the true gospel, preaching the message of repentance. Jesus said "Go" and I ask you, " What part of the word Go do you not understand?"
C. There is a phrase that characterizes many claiming to be Christian. That phrase is "closet Christian." It could be linked with "closet homosexual" in that neither the closet Christian nor the closet homosexual want to be seen for what they are. Both know they are wrong in what they are doing. Both desire not to be seen. Both must be ashamed of what they are else they would be open to what they are and what they are suppose to believe.
D. Could a part of our problem be that we as pastors do not participate in personal soul winning?
IV. As A Pastor I Have A Problem With Church Folks Saying They Are Saved But Will Not Separate From The World.
A. Many folks in the church look like the world. They are often not distinguishable from anyone else. Men shame the Lord with long hair and women cut off their glory by bobbing off their hair. Male and female alike adorn themselves with body piercings, tatoos and wear items unbecoming a Christian. Some drive their automobiles to church with a Playboy or gambling sticker on the bumper. This is not nitpicky this is truth.
B. Many folks in the church walk like the world. Their demeanor is not unlike the world. They go where the world goes. Their steps are not ordered of the Lord. They walk their own way, doing their own thing, despising authority and denying accountability to anyone.
C. Many folks in the church talk like the world. Some preachers curse more than lost men. Some church members tell filthy jokes folks in the world would not tell. Some have such unruly tongues that a multitude are pushed away as a result of the hypocrisy.
D. Many folks in the church dress like the world. "Its my body and its nobodys business what I wear." It is not uncommon for pastors wives and daughters to expose themselves at church. After all, this is 2003. We do not live in the stone ages anymore. Styles change. Looks change. "God gave me this body." "I try to stay fit." "Gone are the days when women had no voice in matters concerning themselves. Yes, this is 2003 and hell is still waiting for rejecters of God. Yes, styles do change so does hell. It is ever enlarging its mouth to accommodate you. Yes, looks do change; but, the judgment of God does not change. In the end every knee will bow to him and every tongue will confess rebellion and regret for not doing what God wanted.
E. Many folks in the church act like the world. They drink like the world. Do drugs like the world. Commit adultery like the world. Steal like the world. Hate like the world. Neglect the will of God like the world. Dance like the world. Listen to music like the world. Think like the world. For all practical matters, many professed Christians have never come out of the world, are still a part of the world system, are under the control of the world, and damned like the world.
F. Many folks in the church are more involved in worldly activities than church activities. Church softball, basketball, soccer does not meet the need of the spirit. Build a gym and get the youth in. Body building, yoga, meditation, aerobics dancing. The general attitude is do what the world is doing and that will get them in. It is better to build the heart and keep the Christ in.
H. Could it be that many folks in the church are of the world
and not of God. That would explain why the church has no power,
no real outreach, no commitment, no unified effort to win the
lost. Could it be that most folks in the church are lost and on
the way to hell?
I. Could a part of our problem be that we as pastors have not come out of the world ourselves? Our priorities are world related.
V. I Have A Problem With Church Folks Saying They Care But Have No Vision.
A. There is no vision as to growth. It is often said "We dont need to add on to the church." Most folks in the church do not consider that if every member of the church would do what the Lord has told them to do then the physical plant would be in a continual state of being added on to.
B. There is no vision as to the need for additional ministries. "We have Sunday School and preaching. That is enough. We dont need to start a bus ministry." Little consideration is given to the parable of the king sending messengers to the highways and byways to compel folks to come. "A bus ministry would cost too much." What is the value of a soul. The Father considered that and sent His Son to die for you one soul. The Son considered that and came to die for you one soul. The Holy Spirit came to indwell you one soul. Is the truth of the matter this you have become so apathetic to lost souls and so satisfied with doing nothing that you would rather sit back at ease in Zion watching folks go to hell rather than being bothered enough to bring them to Christ? What is one soul worth? What is your soul worth? Are others of less value than you?
C. This church doesnt need to get any larger. Is this attitude tied to this church being a "family" church, a "clerkish" church, a "controlled" church controlled by certain elements within the congregation. Does this attitude come from fright fright of losing your position, fright of not being able to have your way, fright of losing your power. Many are saying "This church will never grow any larger than it is now." That is the truth especially when considering that there is no vision for growth and no room for it. Folks like this not only shut out lost folks needing to be saved, they shut out the Christ wanting to save them.
D. Complacency destroys vision. Self-satisfaction cuts off the blessing of Almighty God. Contentment with doing nothing raises a veil between the eyes of the make believer and those needing to become believers. Complacency "We are just happy with what we have" is a mocker of the goodness and grace of God. Complacency is nothing less than self-gratification much like the contemporary praise songs now replacing the old hymns of faith in many so called churches. Have you ever noticed how often the word "I" occurs in these so called praise-worship chorus stuff.
E. Visionless church members are lazy, shiftless, hard-hearted, egotistical, self-centered anti-ers bent on destroying the purpose for the existence of the church. This type professor does not leave Satan much to do. He just sits back and laughs at the folly couldnt care less folks naming the name of Christ.
F. Could a part of our problem be that we as pastors have a vision of the wrong things. Retirement, nice homes, new cars, money in the bank. Nothing is wrong is providing for future needs; what is wrong is having a vision of plenty in old age and not having a vision of plenty in the world to come.
VI. I Have A Problem With Church Folks Putting On A Pious Face On Sunday But Living For Hell The Rest Of The Week.
A. We often hear "Oh, I love Jesus with all my heart!! (cough! Cough!) Jesus has done so much for me!! (Cough! Cough!) I know He can give me strength to overcome anything. (Cough! Cough!). Has anybody got a cigarette? (Cough, Cough)" The body of the Christian does not belong to himself. He belongs to the Lord. We are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto the Lord. We are bought with a price. Anything we do that is detrimental to the temple of the Holy Spirit is a sin.
B. Some say "Jesus is everything to me. The Holy Spirit is my guide." How strange that so many take Jesus and the Holy Spirit into bars, dope dens, gambling casinos, whore houses and every other imaginable place. They are not taking Jesus and the Holy Spirit there as a witness of righteousness and holiness, they are taking Them there to witness open sin, defiance of what is right, compromise of a sanctified life. Many have fallen under the guise of Christianity Jimmy Swaggard, Jim Baker and countless others. Whether you are a preacher or a pew sitter be sure your sins will find you out.
C. Some try to justify where they go and what they do with a righteous cause. "Aw honey. The guys down at the plant, the only way I can witness to them is to go sit down at the bar and have a drink with them. God understands!" What ever happened to the scriptures "shun the appearance of evil", "withdraw yourself", "come out from among them and be ye separate and touch not the unclean thing." Doing wrong in the name of right has never and will never make the wrong right.
D. Why make such a fuss over nothing. "I can go to the dance and wear this outfit! Everyone KNOWS Im a good girl. Anyway only the perverts will be thinking anything bad anyway. Everybody dresses like this." Consider that the fuss over nothing is because nothing is being covered. Consider that wearing almost nothing does not speak to what perverts may think or do, it speaks to the person exposing themselves as being the true pervert. The man or woman, though they claim to be a Christian and a church member, is guilty of blatant sin when they entice others to sin by looking upon their lewdness. It takes someone who is unashamed to expose their nakedness to others.
E. Could a part of our problem be that we become holy about midnight on the Saturday before Sunday and we at that time start looking for a sermon for the morning after having read the paper, after having listened to the news on television after having done so many other things that amount to nothing. Are we guilty of wearing that same pious face most church members wear?
VII. I Have A Problem With Church Folks Who Have No Idea Of What I Must Do As A Pastor.
A. I must feed the flock. The church needs strong teaching, teaching and preaching that does not sidestep what will please the Lord, teaching and preaching that will prepare the people for worthwhile service in the Masters vineyard, teaching and preaching that will cut to the heart and call to repentance, preaching and teaching that is focused on Christ more than on social programs and platitudes. There is starvation in the church not starvation from lack of food for the stomach there is starvation for lack of food for the soul. Pastors must get real and deal the members of the church a good hand. A hand where every member has four aces in their hand and one up their sleeve. Pastors must give their members something that will help them win the battle they are called upon to fight. Could it be that many churches are weak and ineffective because many pastors are weak and ineffective?
B. I must protect the flock. At all cost the flock must be protected. Protected from snares set by the devil, protected from false doctrine coming in, protected from lowering the standards, principles and landmarks which make us what we are. Christ died for the church. Pastors must both live and die for the church. Liberal pastors bring death to local churches through compromise, sugar coating, watering down and completely getting away from the old paths. The old paths are tried, proven, worthy to be traveled. Many of the new paths lead to destruction, damnation and doom.
C. I must intercede for the flock. The pastor who will not keep his flock before the throne of Gods grace is not worth his weight in salt. Intercession involves giving of self for the good of the flock. Lay not this sin to their charge, do not remove their names remove mine, never ceasing to make mention of you in prayers, exhorting, encouraging.
D. I must counsel the flock. Sometimes speak a soft word in the ear and sometimes bark like a dog at their sin; but, always admonish through wise counsel instructing in the way and things of the Lord.
E. I must bare the burden of the flock. Christ is the great example of burden bearing. He took our burdens and carried them for us. He took our sin and relieved us of that sin at Calvary. Pastors give a helping hand, a listening ear, a heart of love. Help is given in times of distress, death, despair. Availability, anxiously waiting opportunity to be a light, a staff, a sword.
F. I must set the right and proper example for the flock. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way. I must not become a castaway. My course is before me and others are following. My decisions must be based upon the Word and will of God. My actions must be in line with the desire of the Lord. I do not have an option before me to do what I think is right I must do what is right. My priorities must be set in order if I am to be an example to others how to set their priorities in order.
G. I must give an account unto the Lord concerning the flock collectively and each member individually. I am responsibility, I am obligated, I am destined to give such an account. The giving of that account will be true and accurate. Will I have to say of you that you were a renegade, a reprobate, an unruly person or will I be able to give an account that you were in line with truth, you exercised wise judgment and that you were a governed, controlled, and obedient servant of the Lord?
H. Could a part of our problem be that we as pastors are so caught up with doing what we are suppose to do that we fail to be what we are suppose to be?
1. My wife told me this kind of sermon only makes folks mad, that this kind of preaching is negative rather than positive. I guess that means Jesus was negative when He used words like hypocrite, whited sepulchers, you are of your father the devil, except ye repent ye shall likewise perish. Folks, no one has the right or privilege to sugar coat the Word of God. One gigantic reason churches are in such a horrible state now is because there are more false pastors than true God honoring pastors. The money and numbers game is the game of the day and that game is not pleasing unto the Lord. Pastors get raises on the basis of how many new members they have gotten into the church. Money and numbers, numbers and money. Where is that which is real? Our vanity and pride is not pleasing to the Lord. I truly believe a lot of men hang onto churches only in order to say "I am pastor of" or "I am the pastor of" or "I am a pastor." We are not pastors for the church, we are not pastors of the church, WE ARE THE LORDS PASTORS, we are pastors sent to the church. Our accountability is directly to the Lord.