There is a popular misconception among today’s Christians concerning their pastor’s popularity in the church and community. For some strange reason a pastor is supposed to be liked by everyone and have nobody at odds with him. This, however, could not be further from the truth! The very calling a pastor has from God and the office which he fills in the local assembly will indeed bring opposition.
Tip #1 – Keep On Preaching…
Many congregations have become so politically correct that they start biting fingernails when their pastor says anything that might offend. Rather than concern themselves with what God might think of their pastor’s ministry, they begin to remedy their “PROBLEM” by adopting situation ethics. When they begin traveling down this slippery slope, they actually form a wall of opposition to their pastor. What’s worse, many never intend to oppose their pastor… they were just saving face.
(2 Timothy 1:72 Timothy 1:7
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
WP-Bible plugin) “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (KJV)
Pastors can lead scared congregations through opposition, just like at other times, but they cannot allow themselves to adopt situation ethics even though others might do so. Pastors can do many things to keep things moving along in the midst of opposition. A study about “faith in God’s promises” would be a great topic for discussion in Sunday School classes and a series of messages on the subject, delivered from the pulpit, is not a bad idea either. At any rate, pastors have to preach and teach what God lays upon them no matter how someone might receive it.
Tip #2 – Keep On Loving…
Congregations can be like a bucking horse. They are hard to stay on top of at times. Your best members can be the greatest source of opposition… though often, they do not realize it. Thinking they are doing the right thing, they begin sharing “THEIR” thoughts about a situation. Before long, division has begun to spread and the unity of the church can be in jeopardy.
(2 Timothy 2:252 Timothy 2:25
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
WP-Bible plugin) “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;” (KJV)
Pastors can continue to effectively lead divided congregations by doing so with an extra dose of love. It is entirely possible for churches to weather these kind of storms by having pastors that love them enough to lead in meekness. In fact, love is the material meekness is made of. Moses led in meekness because he loved God’s people! Pastors in today’s society can do the same thing.
Tip#3 – Keep On Praying…
A quarrelsome congregation will do a lot of things to a pastor, but one positive thing it will do is keep him on his knees. The sad part of this matter is that praying is the one thing pastors spend very little time doing. Many studies have shown and many polls have been taken which say that virtually all pastors agree that meaningful prayer is the single most important activity in which they should participate. These studies also showed that these same pastors related that prayer was the one thing they spent the least amount of time involved in compared to other duties and responsibilities.
Make no mistake about it, pastors can lead a congregation through opposition by praying for it. History is littered with examples of congregations who were in dire circumstances and yet a praying pastor let them forth triumphantly. In many respects, Moses and his relationship to Israel serve to illustrate this. Moses, interceded for Israel time after time. It was his prayers that kept Israel from being destroyed on numerous occasions.
Pastor, I am not sure what you are facing at this very moment, but rest assured that God knows right where you are at. A pastor friend of mine has stated to me, more than one time, “When I cannot track HIM, I will still trust HIM!” Will you still endeavor to faithfully lead your congregation through opposition from within and without, even though you cannot see where your Lord is at? My prayer is that you will say, “YES!”
- Pastors Need To PREACH! (theworkingpastor.com)
- 6 Principles for Loyalty in the Ministry (ministry127.com)
- Questions For Pastors When Being Forced Out (ifbkjv.com)
Originally posted 2012-01-08 13:41:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter