There is a general assumption among Christians that a pastor’s life, or any person holding an office within the structural church, should be a life totally given over in body, soul and spirit to the service of God. I would agree, but truthfully, it should also be the same for every believer, even if they do not hold an office within the structural church.
A true believer, following after the examples set forth by Jesus Christ, and by God’s grace, should imitate Jesus by loving the lost, the helpless and the wounded. A believer’s love will be demonstrated by a word and deed ministry toward others. Our word will proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost and disciple others to know and live in the light of God’s grace, but what about our deeds? Our ministry is twofold; each complementing the other.
Every aspect of a believer’s life, our strengths, our provisions, our time and our gifts should be spent following the path that Jesus walked. So the question presents itself: “How did believers ever come to the conclusion that only those holding an office in the structural church should be the ones winning the lost, teaching other disciples and sacrificing all for the cause of Christ?” The answer: “We have allowed such a positional arrangement to occur.” Simply put, we have followed after the traditions of men and not after the examples given to us by way of the Scriptures.
It is so very easy for us to hire someone to do the work that we ourselves should be doing. We hire police forces and security guards to protect us, but they cannot be in every place at every moment. Every citizen has a responsibility to uphold the laws of the land. New York City has a concerned group of citizens called the Guardian Angels. They patrol the subways, the parks and other areas were robberies often occur. These Guardian Angels carry no weapons and they receive no salary for their efforts. We hire fire departments to risk their lives to save us and our property in the event of a fire. Would you stand idly by if your house was on fire and wait for the fire department to arrive at your location? Would you awaken a slumbering neighbor at night if you saw their home was on fire?
Lost people are dying and going to Hell. Christians are getting out of the race. Families are disintegrating and lives are being destroyed. The divorce rate among professing Christians is at the same level as those outside of the church. Are we standing off in the distance and solely depending on those holding an office within the structural church to remedy these things? Are we waiting on them because we think they have been hired to do a job? I would hope not. We must accept our responsible as so directed by the Scriptures.
Romans 15:1 says, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
Being a believer is a life of service. Consider the opening statement in the Book of Romans which says, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ…” We are to be servants of Jesus Christ. Not a hired servant, nor a voluntary attendant, nor a subordinate officer, nor a ministering disciple, but a servant that will sacrifice all for the cause of Christ. Believers are instructed to be “ambassadors for Christ,” being chosen, quantified, and delegated by Jesus Christ to represent Him not only in our in words, but also in our deeds.
How did we get so far away from our calling? Through our own actions and choices we have created generations of hirelings. We found it easier to hire someone to fulfill the responsibilities that belong to us. And when trouble comes, the hireling flees and we simply hire a replacement. In essence, we have followed after a worldly business model and made the structural church into a corporation. The structural church has allowed its office holders to become Chief Executive Officers and Chief Financial Officers and Board Members. Through our own behaviors we have allowed them to hold positions that are far removed from servanthood. We have hired mercenaries to take our places on the battlefield and mercenaries always expect, surely demand, remuneration for services rendered. Think not? Then why do you conduct business meetings to determine the salaries of those who hold an office within the structural church?
The church has become sorely lacking in servanthood. We sit in our seats and expect to be enlightened by theological exegesis, expository examination, and eschatological explorations of the Scriptures. We hold conferences, conventions, camp meetings and revivals. Collectively churches raise millions of dollars in support to send missionaries to foreign fields. To do what? To build more buildings, more structural churches; perpetuating our lack of servanthood. Oh, it makes us feel better about ourselves, but in word only and yet lacking in deed. So you go ahead and keep posting pictures of the churches you have helped to build in foreign countries. You keep listening to church leaders who tell you that you are part of a great work. You keep allowing them to massage your consciousness.
1,500,000 persons will die this year from tuberculosis; a disease that can be treated and cured. Another 9 million will die of hunger and hunger-related diseases. And we construct buildings? To what end? How can the dead hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Surely our priorities have gotten off the path that Jesus walked.