T H E S I S # 54
It is non-Biblical and unhealthy for one (or a few) to have excessive influence over many.
Back to the thirty reverends….
Congregations would be much healthier if the thirty reverends rotated churches every sunday so the people would have a variety of perspectives, rather than one.
The five giftings of Ephesians 4:11 – apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher – could be called preaching gifts because they all involve preaching (i.e., the evangelist wouldn’t be very effective if he didn’t preach). These preaching gifts are God’s way of ministering truth to His. The Lord Jesus shepherds His sheep, partly (primarily?), by the preaching of several.
And two or three rotating pastors in a large church isn’t very ‘several’.
Every one of us has strengths. And every one of us has kinks. We pass on both to others, not all others but some others. The effect we have depends on our influence. In the congregation none is more influential than the pastor.
The pastor should share the pulpit so the congregation is not ill affected by his spiritual quirks. (Quirks? Who me!?) An angry pastor, in time, produces angry christians, an arrogant pastor results in arrogant christians, a controller begets controllers. This harmful cookie-cutter effect would be minimized by a shared pulpit. Many voices is the Lord’s way.
Even better than the rotating thirty is a pulpit open to whoever is qualified – which would certainly include many pew people. But if the way it is allowed such a practice it would diminish its own power. So, no way, un-unh, ain’t gonna’ happen. The salaried must justify his salary, the titled his titles, the credentialed his credential.
Those regularly attending an evangelical assembly can offset any negative effect of one by inserting into their lives a variety of other voices. Today there are many quality voices on the internet (etcetera) surpassing those behind most pulpits. The Holy Spirit would eagerly direct the prayerful evangelical into quality preaching that would fit her particular need.
To choose even the best of the thirty as one’s shepherd is a serious mistake with ill and eternal consequences. Not one of the thirty is capable of leading a group of evangelicals into a meaningful, spiritually prosperous christianity, this evidenced by the fact they themselves have not attained a meaningful, spiritually prosperous christianity, this evidenced by their allegiance to non-Biblical ways.
Psalm 23:1: A psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd.
Let’s talk about David….
David, “son of Jesse”, was considered a great man, so much so that Bethlehem was called “the city of David”, “an angel of the Lord” addressed Joseph as “Joseph, son of David”, “the multitudes” called Jesus “the son of David”, Lord Jesus called Himself “the Root and Offspring of David”. David’s name is mentioned in the NT more than all other OT characters except Moses and Abraham.
So what is the secret of David’s greatness?
The answer is found in the first line of what is sometimes affectionately called, The Shepherd’s Psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd.”
David declared “The Lord is my shepherd” because the Lord was his Shepherd. It wasn’t just a cute and sugary thing to say; he meant it. David could say of his Shepherd, “He leads me” (“He leads me beside the still waters”) because he allowed himself to be led.
To be shepherded by Jesus means to be shepherded by Jesus – and not by self and not by another and not by others. We are led by Jesus through our days and weeks and months and years. He is the lord of our mondays and tuesdays, our januarys and februarys, our springs and summers. Where we can be found is where He has brought us. What we are doing is what He has told us to do. Only such a one can say, “The Lord is my shepherd.”
We must know thoroughly the greatness of David was an overflow of the Shepherd-sheep relationship. Most of us have read and said, “The Lord is my shepherd”, but didn’t mean it – not with the depth and sincerity David meant it. We assume He is though He isn’t though He wants to be.
God said of David, “a man after My own heart”. What a compliment! David’s great deeds, beginning with the slaying of “the lion and the bear” as a shepherd-boy, were accomplished through relationship, a Pastor-sheep relationship.
David’s kind of greatness will come to any person with David’s kind of commitment. The NT gives us many examples: John the baptist, John the apostle, Paul, Peter, Stephen, etcetera. And ensuing church history gives thousands more.
Our greatness (or lack of greatness) will be revealed before all at the judgment seat of Christ.