Pray For Your Pastor

June 27, 2000

There is an urgent call to pastors today to lay down their crowns but we really need to give them some space here and enough time to be able to hear the Lord before we are too hard on them. Let me give you an example.

There is one pastor that I will not mention by name that is in the midst of a waning revival. The congregation still wants to hold onto the revival fire but the leadership has resisted the prophetic spirit among them to bring them into the unity of the five-fold. We should all know that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy but this particular denomination that they belong to was founded upon the gift of tongues being the initial evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Lord has overlooked past ignorance and used them in revival but it is time for restitution now and for us to come together in unity before the harvest. For them to give up this false doctrine exposed through the spirit of prophecy would force them to admit that they have been wrong all these years and introduced a divisive schism. Any church today has a choice, either bear witness to the spirit of prophecy and give up their divisiveness and traditions of men or hold onto their pride and refuse to admit that they were wrong. For unity to come about, the divisiveness and schismatic doctrines must give way to the truth. For this church to choose to hold onto false doctrine, they must do something to curb the prophets that are hearing the Lord and being obedient by speaking out. This pastor has abused his authority over his flock by having the final word over the spirit of prophecy and decided to curb the prophets. God is not allowed to speak through others whenever the Lord wills but only under strict control by the "leadership" and not until they go through a screening and training process. If this pastor truly loves the Lord and humbles himself before Him, he will start hearing the Lord as he sees things going wrong and truly decide to lay down his crown along with the control, manipulation and indoctrination involved in muzzling the prophets that speak the word of the Lord. If not, the last great revival that we are being prepared for will pass him and his church by. God is getting ready to pull down the strongholds of false authority and fleshly control in the church. The point that I am trying to make is that pastors such as this should be given space to repent and for no one to pass judgment ahead of God's timing. There is still more for us to do before they will be weeping between the porch and the altar.

We are certainly to be aware of false prophets among us as well as false teachers or apostles or whatever. But we must also realize that a prideful pastor, no matter how committed he is to his flock, by not submitting to others in the Lord through the true spirit of prophecy will deny growth to the flock. Among other things, it is in this abuse of authority that would make him false. The pastor must test the spirits, desire to bear witness by humbling himself, seek edification and order and allow the spirit of prophecy to be subject to the prophets, not to himself. The pastor is not to restrict prophecy, put controls or any constraints or legalistic rules on prophets in any way outside of what is stipulated in the Word or confusion and division follows.

The church does not qualify a prophet, or any other office, God does. Training for those that are truly called is good; we should never despise instruction and should take great strides that our giftings in the body are used wisely. Even so, we must still allow God total freedom to act spontaneously through us and to allow the gifts that He has given us to operate as He wills, not as the pastor of the church wills. It is our responsibility as obedient servants to show ourselves approved before God and man, not to lord it over the flock.

The responses that follow show a few of the different facets of pastors. First is a response from one that loves and praises her pastor. Certainly there has been many God sent pastors that have been filled with the spirit and deserve the praise. This pastor is retiring and presumably making way for a younger man. Since we do not know His intentions we cannot judge but if it were only a job like other jobs where you work and get paid for most of your life and then retire and your job is over, I would be suspicious. I just heard last night from a pastor who was asked when he will retire and his answer was "When I get to Heaven." A man truly committed to the Lord and not just a hireling will not stop serving Him just because he arrives at an age when worldly people stop working. If he was if fact spiritually led of God in the past, God will not stop leading him, not in these days, that's for sure.

Other responses here are critical and a couple of them even looked like they were comparing notes. We must give pastors some space and time to finally submit to the unity of the five-fold and the prophetic voice that God is sending out to us. Bishops, elders and deacons are also considered part of the five-fold as pastors. There are pastors who have written me that agree with the authority issue so we cannot see them all as bad examples. There are those good pastors like the one mentioned who deserve the praises and love from the sheep-fold. For others, these charges against them are unfortunately true. There has been an unrighteous spirit throughout history in the church that has caused pastors to elevate themselves over the flock instead of serving them and submitting to their collective authority. We do not need to separate from them as yet but we do need to pray for them.


i wanted you to know that you are right about pastors excepting prophecy from others in their flock and.......with women giving prophecy. I gave my pastor a prophecy about building a new church. when I turned around and walked away from him(maybe 2 steps) the spirit spoke to me and told me that he didn't receive the word. about 2 months ago, i had a chance to let him know that i knew he didn't receive me. he was telling me at the time that he was going to start to build the church and i told him that instead of hearing Gods voice through me, he had to hear it from God. This makes no sense when he tells us in church to respect each others office and he didn't respect mine. he also said that at one time, he didn't believe in women preaching or having a voice in the church(or something like that) so all this has come back to my mind and i'm wondering what to do.


I really loved your e-mail welcoming me aboard. But your writing and the issue that you brought up is a really sensitive one with me. Forgive me if I sound a little harsh, but I am writing as I am led to write. Yet, it is done in love - the utmost love that I have for Christ.

Pastors today no longer live "humbly" before the Lord. The mainstream message today is the prosperity message, with some even going so far as to say that Jesus and the disciples were rich - not in non material things, but in material things. Pastors no longer feel it necessary to know the congregation, or to spend time with them. There is only "first class" accommodations, the finest clothes, jewelry, streets and buildings named after them instead of edifying God, and all other kinds of blasphemy. These days remind me so much of the days spoken of in the Old Testament by the prophet, Amos. Amos lived during a very prosperous political and economic time in Israel and Judah. During this period, the Jews thought it "righteous" to be rich and that the poor were suffering due to some curse or sin upon their lives. They even, as Amos put it, went so far as to "sell their righteous for silver and the poor for a pair of shoes."

However, God called Amos to speak against these practices (among the many others) and to set the record straight. The role of the Pastor, if I am not mistaken, is to "feed" the sheep. However, in today's church, it does not appear that this is being done. I can't speak for what's happening in all churches, but I have yet to hear or see any Pastor go up against this direction of the church. God told Amos that the institutions that they had during those times (political, social, economical and historical) would not work because they were based on man's ideals - not God's. The same holds true for today. I believe the role of the Pastor should be to, "Let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." To preach God's word, and to teach it - not to distort it because it fits the times. Where does this place the role of the Pastor in the Five Fold Ministry?

With much love in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Peace.

Bill Caraway

"All those in spiritual authority during the first sounding of the trumpets must lay down their crowns or lose what they have. From what I see, this is happening right now and the Lord is speaking to many pastors and giving them the choices that they must face to be obedient to the unity of the spirit. Many will not submit."

Jay: what is a pastor? To me the Pastor FEEDS and TENDS the sheep of God..he is not THE Shepherd...Jesus alone can be our Shepherd. "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want...." Ps. 23. What has happened is many pastors, though an office in the body which bears a certain authority..(.anointing...job description..) assume too much in the flesh, either by personal choice or by demands of a man made hierarchy...pressure to have "numbers", pressure to produce money for the organization...All of these pervert what a pastor is. A pastor FEEDS and TENDS. Jesus told Peter...FEED MY SHEEP..not LEAD THEM. Only Jesus can LEAD. The food that the pastor gives the sheep must come from the Shepherd. Jesus provides the feed, and the pastor feeds. In that sense we are ALL pastors, if we are truly a body...mutually functioning together...I am to feed YOU and you are to feed ME...As a school teacher, my "pastorate" is my students and colleagues. I am to TEND them as unto the Lord. I did not CHOOSE this flock, the Lord gave them into my hand.

One day he gave me a simple 4 line poem which in essence said: Take care of those around you. Your family, your neighbors...those you spend you time being around...I am a pastor..Have the "credentials" to be one officially...but I am fulfilling the call of "Pastor" to those around me. When we flow in the calling the other gifts are "received"..when I move into prophetic or apostolic, the sheep I am around receive from me in that office. It is when one moves into most "organized" institutions, that the offices are clearly distinguished and not well received if it threatens another office.

Blessings all..Becky

I Like the story of David so much that I would like to make a comment on it. When David picked up the five stones I am sure it had many meanings and is symbolic of many things. You have to remember though that David did have four brothers whom opposed him. Truly, those four brothers were also opposed to David being king. Truly, God is also saying in that, that even if you have to fight against your own family and bring division, God's will will still be fulfilled.Certainly, David's brothers would have killed David the first chance they got. David had to kill his brothers in order to become king.

Andrew Simpson

The subject of pastors is an interesting and complicated one. Unfortunately, the title of Pastor still raises negative connotations in my mind from my time in the Lutheran church. I have certainly known good pastors, and intentional abuse of the system is probably pretty rare, but in my mind it is still the most dangerous of the five-fold ministries because of the misunderstandings which the devil has sown about this office. Satan was content to simply get rid of prophets, but he had a more sinister plan for the office of pastor, using it to reintroduce a priesthood into Christianity. This is compounded by the fact that it is somewhat hard to define exactly what a pastor is. The Bible has numerous examples of how prophets and apostles should act. Examples of teaching and evangelism are also illustrated, but pastors looking for specific instruction find themselves disappointed, particularly if they have the false understanding of the office that is all too common in modern Christianity. Ephesians 4:11 says that some are called to be shepherds, but the word shepherd does not appear as a noun anywhere else in the New Testament except referring to Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The verb form appears in a couple other places referring to Peter shepherding the Church (John 21:16) and elders shepherding the congregation (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter5:2).

In the end, the clearest indication of the role of a pastor is the titles attached to these offices: shepherd, overseer, servant, elder. These are appropriate titles for Christian leadership. Shepherd indicates that the role of a pastor is to travel with his sheep, leading them to follow in his path to green pastures. Overseer indicates someone who, as a fellow worker in the service of the Lord, admonishes and corrects the other workers so that the whole project proceeds in the right direction. Servant indicates someone who provides for the needs of the congregation. Elder indicates someone who is respected by the rest of the family and is entrusted with the important decisions. The primary mention of bishops and deacons is to say that they must be men of good character. From this, it can be gathered that good character is the most important aspect of these offices. Perhaps the reason that good character is emphasized is that this office carries such potential for abuse. Sheep love to be led, and history has shown that they will follow a thief just as easily as they follow the real shepherd. Even the title of shepherd can become a temptation to rival the Chief Shepherd. This is what is behind the Catholic doctrine of the priests being literal substitutes for Christ. Of course character is also important for the sake of example, both to the congregation and to outsiders.

The title of elder appears more commonly than either bishop or deacon, and is better defined in its duties. Elders are the representatives and leaders of the congregation, who act in concert with apostles. It is important that this title is used in the plural, and I believe that much of the extent of Nicolaitanism in the Church can be traced to the idea of one pastor leading worship and being the only one who speaks. Once this is in place, the pastor starts to become a priest, and the rest of the congregation falls asleep, content to passively receive his teaching. Of course there needs to be some control of teaching, or else heresy will flourish, but this can be accomplished without putting one pastor on a pedestal above the rest of the congregation. Certainly the most important thing for pastors to remember is that they are not priests, or rather that their priesthood is no different from that of the other believers. They are not here to worship for us or interpret the Bible for us. These are things to be shared as widely as possible throughout the body in a democratic spirit. It is when we are worshiping as the Body of Christ that offices and positions of authority should be superfluous. If there is any time that the Holy Spirit should lead, it is then.

His love to all,

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