There was an article in the Christian post the other day that causes some alarm. The topic of the article dealt with the issue of Pastors viewing porn
Forty-one percent of adult Christians believe pastors who view porn should be fired or asked to resign even though most believe it’s a prevalent problem among leaders and laity in the church, according to a new Barna study.
But we are not going to discuss the evils of porn or how watching it disqualifies a pastor from ministry. There are far too many people who do that already. What we are going to do here is talk about what the pastorate is all about. Far too many people misunderstand what comes with being a minister, a missionary or even a church leader. We had the same problem with some westerners who came to Korea.
They thought that teaching was just another job and they treated it as such. The students didn’t matter, the content and quality of their teaching didn’t matter, all that matter was the size of their bank account and how much money they were being paid. It was and is a disgrace as teaching is not just another job but a profession that comes with a large and serious responsibility.
The pastorate is greater than teaching and is not just a profession but a calling. It is a calling from the Most Holy God to select males who are then charged with taking care of God’s people. The professional ministry is not just another job which can be filled by just anyone as God has given specific rules on who can fill that position. In the OT it was only the sons of Aaron and in the NT there are two sets of qualifications which very clearly set out the characteristics and sex of the person who oversees God’s people.
These are not qualifications that can be altered, influenced or ignored by culture or modern popular movements. The position belongs to God, it is in his church and leads people to the correct way to live in his kingdom thus he gets to set the rules on whom can occupy that position of leadership. There is a serious responsibility that comes with accepting the position of pastor. The pastor is to lead people to God and his ways and this is not an easy task as the pastor will come under fire from evil in a variety of ways–even through his own people who misrepresent their church.
The pastor must be prepared for this assault because evil does not want him to be successful and if the pastor lets little things interfere with his work and fulfilling his duty to God then he has lost already. The pastor works for God and he needs to tell the church that is interviewing him if they are prepared to go where God wants them to go before accepting the position.
There is an old saying ‘as the pastor goes so goes the church’ and this means that the pastor must realize at least two things. One, he should realize that the church congregation are sheep in need of a shepherd, but the shepherd is not a dictator but a kind compassionate man who seeks the best for the flock. They do not seek their own personal ideologies but look to God to provide them the truth then in turn pass that truth on to the people with real love. The shepherd cares for the flock, leading them to good food and water, protecting them by standing up to real threats not imaginary ones and prepares the flock to face danger when it comes, not isolating them from the troubles of the world but helping them develop so they can be spiritually strong enough to face evil when it attacks them.
What this means is that the person who is sensing that God is calling them to be a pastor, etc., must make a choice. They must decide to between being real men of God or fulfilling their own lusts and desires.No man is a good leader if he participates in sinful activities and the man called to be a pastor,etc., must decide whom they want to serve and if it is God then they must take every step they can to defeat the sin that still tightly holds onto them. There is no room for men of sin in God’s leadership positions.
Just like the Korean students deserved real teachers and real content, so do the congregations of God deserve men of God who have defeated their sinful desires and stopped giving in to evil and its temptations. The congregations of God need the truth, not the personal interpretations of the pastor; they need good food not watered down rhetoric or pet doctrines; they need real leadership and that can only come when men called of God truly follow God and learn from him what they need to do for his people.
The pastorate is not just another job, it is a position with a special calling. This special calling is not a permission slip to do as we please, act as we want or say what we want. It is a responsibility meant for those who have strong shoulders to carry the weight of the office one is called to occupy and it is a serious calling. If just anyone could do this job then God would not have placed such restrictions on who could occupy that position. If church leadership was not important to God he would not have placed such restrictions and responsibilities upon those positions.
But they are important to God and not just anyone can do it. Many people already in ministry need to rethink their attitudes about their views on the pastorate and the people they oversee because so many fail God and mislead or mistreat his people..
One final word, this position does not mean that the pastor and his family are slaves or work for slave wages or for free. They are deserving of a living wage so that they will not be embarrassed, humiliated or seen as inferior by the unchurched world. Churches have the responsibility to treat their pastors and their families right. The biblical instructions of ‘do unto others…’ and other similar verses apply to the church in how they treat and view their leader. Pastors and their families are not exempt from biblical treatment.
We do not underpay nor do we overpay a pastor but make sure their needs will be met correctly because they are God’s anointed for that congregation and that is a view the church has ignored over the decades.Though this view does not ignore when a pastor goes bad and ignores God and the Bible. Correct biblical treatment includes reproving, correcting, and dismissing a pastor, (if need be), when they stop following God and stop leading God’s way.
The pastorate and Christianity are not games to be played by the ignorant, the foolhardy, the sinner. We need real men to fill the shoes of the pastorate who can handle the problems and burdens that come, who do not entertain or ignore the needs of his people for modern-day fads; we need real men who can handle the calling of God and truly lead his people to the right way for the congregations to go.