Pastors Training Pack Three Important Things


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The Problem of a Lost Focus

Pastors and leaders have neglected their spiritual growth and replaced it with church growth. Worship has fallen from the gratitude and praise of God, where we are to surrender to His Lordship, and replaced it with entertainment.


The sermon has gone from the proclamation of God’s Holy Word, to the telling of jokes and stories, and shows with no word from our Lord and application to our lives.


There is nothing wrong with humor and stories, I use them a lot personally, but never to compromise the message, only to compliment it! The problem is, the entertainment has replaced the pronouncement of His Holy Word.


Just as it was in Jeremiah’s time, the church is in an awful and dysfunctional state. “I am with you and will save you, declares the LORD. Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished. This is what the LORD says: Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing. There is no one to plead your cause, no remedy for your sore, no healing for you.” (Jeremiah 30:11-13)


Can this be a prediction of the church in America too? I believe it may, but I also believe we can turn it around, by repenting from our self-motivated desires over to His call and purpose for His church.


The church may just be in such an awful state that we will receive judgment or we can be left to our own self, by which we are doing a great job of self-destruction. “`Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” (Jeremiah 33:6)


Through Christ we have hope, if we turn from our self-directed focus and ways back to His focus and ways. But if we keep relying on blind shepherds we will have so many blind sheep we will fall to our own destruction and ruin.


God will heal His church if we respond to Him with repentance and the expectancy of His grace. But will the strong-willed, self-powered so-called leaders and evangelists respond? Or are they too far into themselves and their self-seeking money-grabbing desires?


Will the church step up to the promise of His call, and yield to Christ’s supremacy, or will we go it alone? Read verses 13-14 and ask how you can respond? Pray for the deceivers so they too can seek the Scriptures and ask that question and in so doing realize their folly and repent! Intimate personal surrender to His holiness is the must for every Christian leader, and in response intimate care for His sheep with their eyes opened wide.


We cannot depend on blind shepherds, we must get involved and be the change makers that move people by the power of Christ beyond ourselves and into His direction and call. Individual Christians can make the difference, because we are the church.


God’s Word says He will provide the godly shepherds, and we must seek them out or be them if so called, and not respond to the false deceivers; leave them alone and they will go away. Let the Lord be in charge and not our selfish inclinations.


The Problem of being Out of Touch


Too many churches are out of touch with the society it is in, and it is arroganttoward the people it should be reaching. We as a church must revolutionize our corevalues of who we are.


We need to take a hard look at what the Scriptures really say for us to do, and not rely on our experience and what we have done in the past. What is going to happen on the Day of Judgment, will we hear “well done good and faithful servant” or will we hear “get away, I never knew you?” Harsh, you may say; no, I do not think so! “

(The United States is now the third largest mission field in the world. Only India and China have more non-believers.” (Mission America Monthly 1/98 page 1


Yes we can get turned around quite easily, and place our trust in the institution ofthe church, instead of the Savior of Christ, as Head of the church. There is no true perfect church, because we are in the process of growth and learning.


This is true for those of us who know theology, but to the non-Christian, and the non-discipled Christian, there is no distinction. Misplaced faith will disappoint greatly, so what are you going to do about it? The church is society's view of Christ. So we must strive to model it as if Christ is truly the Head.


The expectations are not unrealistic, but a command directly from Christ - Matthew 28! Disillusioned exceptions and frustrations are our failure as the representative body of Christ, and not the decline of society.


You see, we are the society, when we blame our own culture, we are in fact blaming ourselves! When we complain about the problems of culture, we are the culture since over 50% of Americans claim to attend a church; then the blame is mostly on us.


Conflict is Timeless


“Our churches are filled with conflict and strife; thus, people do not want another place of problems, when their world has so much conflict already.” The church for nearly 2,000 years has been an institution riddled with conflict and problems.


It is the duty of Christian leadership to define these problems, whether they come from our rules, policies, or even perceived principles. Then, as leaders, through prayer and Scripture, formulate the goals and objectives for dealing with these diseases.


We must have a plan in place to build a detector to determine the strife before it gets out of hand, and have a policy and methodology of treating it in an atmosphere of care and love.


The church must purge, erase, and get rid of any form of a "we've always done it this way" attitude, because when we have this mindset, it will disable us from having any serious insight into the problems and frustrations that the church deals with.


Once we purge the thinking that blocked our effectiveness of being God's child, then He can use us in a better and more profound way. Once this happens, then we can formulate the goals and objectives to further Christ's Kingdom.


Then we will be able to decide on the right decisions based on God's will, because we are reading the Scriptures, and are steeped in prayer. Then Christ can use us to take the necessary action to convince people of their wrong thinking, and evil scheming and plotting.


Yes, there will be growing pains and frustrations because most people do not like change, even the change that Christ calls them to, and this seems to cause us to rebel against God and against godly people the most.


We need to focus on the results, the results of a church filled with Christ's presence because we invited Him into “our place” with love, care and worship, a place where evil is rooted out and the purpose of the church unfolds. Then we become the body of Christ fully effective and able to be used by Him to further His Kingdom.


What really complicates things is that most people are not even aware of the problems they bring, or the conflict that is caused by their attitudes and actions. They may have learned how to live with it in acceptance, or they may not admit to it at all.


What comes out of these struggles and conflicts are the barriers to further God’s kingdom. Psychologists tell us that people cannot always verbalize their pain and feelings. They may not be willing to seek out the help they need. If you do any kind of marriage counseling, you know this very well.


The results of the unmentioned strife, is the person leaving the church because we have failed to meet the deeper needs of the family and individual. We failed to notice or just chose not to, resulting in our ignoring the person’s problem. We fail to see the person as Christ does. Thus ministry does not happen as it should.


What we are to do is rise to the occasion as a unified force of bettering our behaviors and bettering the way we engage society. A lot of the magazine articles and books on this subject are focused on the change of paradigms.


We need to change the vision and ways that we “do church,” and the methods of worship and outreach. Well, I do agree with this, as long it does not compromise the Word of the Lord and mission of the church. But the bigger problem is not the music choice or color of the carpet.


It’s not about whether we call the front part of the church a narthex, foyer, lobby or entrée way: It’s about us as human beings created by God, saved by Christ. We trade in our evil ways of social interaction with the gratitude of what Christ has done, so that we reciprocate with our actions and deeds to each other and the world around us, mirroring the person and work of Christ!


“ I’d join the movement if there was one I could believe in I’d take bread and wine if there was a church I could receive in.” (U2 Acrobat).


Our job as the church is not just its defense; but its reform. Just as Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the Whittenberg Door, as a wake-up call to the wrong path the church was on.


So must we take up the challenge to wake ourselves up from the menagerie, the fake storefront we have made for ourselves, and calling it the Lord's church. All we are doing is fooling ourselves and hurting our Lord by our misdirected actions.


We should not be viewed as a reckless and arrogant force in society, but as the feet of good news. We must, as the body of Christ, get out of our little cliques, so we can allow the Holy Spirit to transform our thinking, so we become real to the people around us.


So that we genuinely care for other people as Christ cared for them. We no longer see people as obstacles, contradictions, and as being in the way, rather we see them as Christ would see them.


When we become real, we fully realize our human nature and the emotions and concerns that plague us. Then we can grow beyond our hidden agenda, and allow Christ into our hearts and minds. This will enable us to go beyond our experiences, and go beyond our own hurts, and see what life is really about.


Then we will realize from Scripture and the spiritual disciplines that life is about relationships, with Christ, with other Christians, and with other people around us. So we don't need to climb the highest mountain in Tibet, and ask the Dalai Lama the meaning of life when God has revealed it to us so clearly in His Word.


Then, because of that transformation, we're serving Christ out of our love and desire to do so, not just out of obligation and contempt. But we're serving Christ because of the joy that is over flowing from us, and is going to those around us. We're now demonstrating Christ and faith in everyday life.


We are Christians because of what Christ has done for us, in turn reflecting our integrity that is based on who we are in Christ, so that our morals and our values are pure, and are all expressing Christ’s nature. All these diseases will become eradicated, as the tent of Christ's purity smokes them out like termites.


Unity in the church is something that is not easily achieved. You can ask yourself the question, is your church characterized by controversy or unity? So often churches are characterized by the first premise, as we allow trivial matters to disrupt our worship and outreach, which is our primary call for the church.


We must see the errors of our ways when we spend so much time arguing about carpet that irreversible damage is done to the community. Statistics tell us a very few percentage of churches actually split over doctrinal issues, but rather over trivial matters!

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