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Aug

16

What Your Pastor Can’t Do For You

By pastorbillwalden

(This will meander a bit…please read it through and connect the dots) the_incomplete_man_in_grey_by_alexkhaine-d7682rf

I’ve been a pastor since 1989.  Most of the pastors I am friends with genuinely love people.  They sincerely care.  There are other pastors that I have met that seem to be more concerned with being celebrities, but they are in the minority of my personal circles.

If my experience with other pastors is accurate, my conclusion is that pastors care about people.  That means they feel things…emotional things…spiritual things…and they think about things…and are concerned about people…and situations…and potentials for danger…and possibilities for greatness…and the list goes on.

Good pastors don’t just work with their minds and bodies…they also work with their hearts.  Their hearts are their most valuable asset, and perhaps their area of most vulnerability.

Good pastors are anointed men.  When they speak, it can sometimes seem larger than life…and that’s because it is larger than life.  There is an anointing from God upon them.  When they are doing their thing, it’s other worldly (Heavenly).  The Apostle Paul said, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels”.  The pastor is only a clay pot, at best.  The treasure is Jesus, and the treasure is the Gospel message.  Sometimes people confuse the treasure with the clay pot.  If a pastor is really “bringing it”, some people erroneously focus on the man instead of on the treasure. There seems to be a fine line between the two.

A good pastor is an honest man, and seeks to be transparent…and he lays his heart out there…and sometimes he makes people feel like they have become his confidantes. Most people I know crave intimacy and honest relationships.  A good pastor might seem to be offering that on an individual level, when all he is really doing is trying to be transparent from the pulpit and make a point about the frailty of man and the greatness of God.

(I hope you are still reading…I’m going to connect the dots soon)

A good pastor has wisdom from on high.  He can counsel in many ways…sometimes from the pulpit or sometimes face to face.  It can be an amazing thing to receive a word from the Lord through a pastor.

A good pastor is an encourager…he encourages people to have faith and to be everything that God intends them to be…and he sometimes genuinely believes more for a person than they believe for themselves.

A good pastor is a good listener…he isn’t in a hurry to find a solution to your problem.  He knows that you are more than a problem to be solved…you are a person to be understood and loved.

A good pastor seems to be able to move forward when other seems stuck…he has navigated through his life well enough to be further ahead than he was five years ago.  Paul told Timothy…”Let you progress be evident to all”.  A good pastor’s progress in life is evident.

(Dot connection now follows…)

If all that is true, then here’s where it can get weird for some people and their pastor.  I’ll list a few things numerically.

  1.  Your pastor cannot be your best friend. Yes he is a good listener, and genuinely cares about you…but that doesn’t put him in the BFF status.  It just doesn’t.  Love between brethren is one thing…but being best friends is something altogether different.  Please allow your pastor to choose his own personal friends as he continues to be genuinely friendly with as many people as he can be.
  1. Your pastor cannot tell you every decision to make. He has had to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling…through his own tears, doubts, disappointments, poor decisions and good choices, etc. He has failed and succeeded on his own. Now you have to do the same for yourself.  He will be there to give you general counsel, and to pray for you and support you, but you have to pray and make your own decisions.  Spiritual growth is costly, and there are no shortcuts.  Pay the price.
  1. Your pastor cannot be blamed for your lack of spiritual progress. He encourages you to be all that you can be, that is true…but maybe he sees that you don’t have the calling to be the next Billy Graham, and so he gently suggests that your strengths lie elsewhere.  I have heard men say that they are called to be (fill in the blank), but for the last twenty years, their pastor has held them back.  If God has called you to something, no one can hold you back…but there is wisdom in the multitude of counselors.  If none of your friends are affirming you in an area, maybe your strengths lie elsewhere.  Don’t blame your pastor. He can’t hold you back if God has called you…he doesn’t have that kind of power…but maybe God hasn’t called you.
  1. Your pastor cannot be expected to choose you to be his confidante. It’s great that you care about your pastor, and want to be there for him, but please allow him to choose his own confidantes and counselors. Instead, if you sense that your pastor isn’t looking for another confidante, pray for him instead. He needs it. Let him choose his own confidantes.
  1. Your pastor cannot set the trajectory of your life for you. He cannot decide what you are going to be. He cannot be expected to tell you what your life purposes are in any kind of detailed sense.  Every Christian is here to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever”, but the details of how that works out is between you and God.

Alistair Begg says, “The best of men, are men at best”.  Most pastors I know wouldn’t even consider themselves the best of men.  Martyn Lloyd Jones, the great British preacher said, “I wouldn’t walk across the street to hear myself preach”. Most of my pastoral friends would say the same thing.

Dear Christian…your pastor can’t do a lot of things for you, but he can do some things very well. Receive him for what he is, a pastor.  If God makes it to be anything more, that’s great.

Ephesians 4:11-12 (NKJV) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12  for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…

Nov

12

Let God Fix It

By pastorbillwalden

Some thoughts for fellow followers of Jesus…  

The ten second sound bite version of what I am writing is this: If you blew it, and have a mess on your hands, let God fix it.  You thought you could be in control and do things your own way, and now you have a mess. In your flesh, you made a mess.  What makes you think that in your flesh, you can fix it?  Better to walk in the Spirit like you should have to begin with.  Walk in the Spirit, and let God fix it.

The longer version of the same story line is as follows…
Sin is a nasty thing.  It promises much, and delivers little.  The consequences are always bigger than the gratification.  It never seems as bad as it really is…until later.

We get used to sinning.  We minimize it.  We get de-sensitized to it.  We agree in our heads that something is wrong, but we do it anyway, intending to stop.

There are sins of commission: we do things that we know are wrong.
There are sins of omission: we don’t do things we know that we should.

The sin in a Christian’s life can run the gamut of not reading your Bible (dumb…you need God’s Word, heart, and direction) to something much more obvious, like substance abuse or sexual immorality.  We can be committing little sins, like being disagreeable, or we can be committing bigger sins, such as being violent and a striker.  A sin of omission might be that you don’t think that church attendance is important, and eventually find yourself isolated, alone, unchallenged, un-encouraged, etc.  There are numerous examples of sins of commission and omission.

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Jan

23

How We View Others

By pastorbillwalden

God’s evaluation of a man is altogether different than man’s evaluation of man.  Religious people habitually look upon the appearance of a man and determine his degree of holiness.  They listen to his words and decide if he meets their standard of godliness.  We easily and often evaluate another’s standing with God based upon a standard of godliness that we ourselves have invented.

Such was the case with the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.  They had taken the commandments of God and misinterpreted them to such a degree that they exalted their own traditions, while in actuality, they broke God’s Law.

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Oct

20

The Danger Of Presumption

By pastorbillwalden

How Some View The Issue

How Some View The Issue

Editor’s note- If you accidentally found this blog site, please read the full article and don’t “size me up” by just glancing at the title and image.  Thanks.

“Presumption” is defined as follows:

“An assumption, often not fully established, that is taken for granted in some piece of reasoning; unwarrantable, unbecoming, or impertinent boldness.” (according to Dictionary.com)

Presumption leads to making conclusions that may or may not be true. I was reminded of that first hand this last Saturday.

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