Let me refer you back to how our video in this series ended. Remember the story of the pastor who was so grateful to the spiritual formation workshop at his church that he followed up with a thanks that he no longer had to pull a message from the file draw anymore and read it on Sunday?
As I recounted that story it hit me pretty hard as I really never know what words or experiences the Holy Spirit wishes to give me.
So why was the pastor so grateful. He was grateful as he had been shown a way forward to a fresh vibrant life with Christ through the spiritual disciplines that gave him a current, new and bold word from God to share with his flock.
In the video I also shared Henri Nouwen’s thoughts on being a pastor with a series of to dos always before him. By contrast when the pastor truly “knows” Christ and authentically communicates that along with the means he employs to keep that an active process he no longer has to manipulate the flock into action. He can effectively lay down the burden of getting people to do things. They begin to understand the credibility and authenticity he shows to his people in knowing Christ and the passion that is imparted from that reality of the goodness of life in the Kingdom with Jesus. Then any requisite result or action they leave to the Word and Spirit speaking and moving in the hearts of their people.
Again may I emphasis to you that this is not a passive faith it is a faith of action. It is a vital course correction as a pastor you must take if you really desire your people to have a faith that governs their life and is more than “social conformity’ or a response from fear.
There is so much on the line. I once heard Pastor Tony Evans give the following process on how we transform our world for Christ. Tony was preaching on John15 and our need to ABIDE as the source of real transformation of our hearts and minds. Tony said as one individual is transformed then goes the family as the family is transformed there goes the neighborhood then the subdivision then the city then the state then the country. Transformation does not happen when a person realizes their need for Christ’ atoning work on the cross for their sins, it happens when they pick up that cross day by day by day and as an apprentice works with the Master in His shop, His Kingdom, His will! Then that authentic reality spreads throughout the family, then the neighbors, then the city, the state, the nation. You say no way, I don’t see this happening. YOU ARE CORRECT! Why? Because there are so few of us who claim the name of Christ who care enough to be different, to be transformed and that in all due respect sadly includes the pastor.
That is why an authentic pastor who really invest in knowing Christ and has the “cred” with his people can have a significant effect on starting the transformation dominoes to fall. In fact it truly is the pastors sole responsibility and it lays in church after church undone. Again I think here as well Matthew 6:33 is the bottom line.
What is it going to take for pastors and flock alike to just solely SEEK FIRST, instead of getting in front of the Kingdom, and trying to achieve “all these (other) things?” Seriously if you know don’t be quiet, COMMENT! We desperately need to dialogue on this central question in the church today. It is a matter of survival.
Whatever your situation, there is nothing more important on earth than to dwell in the knowledge of Christ and to bring that knowledge to others- Dallas Willard,Knowing Christ Today
Let’s talk this through then above all ACT!