“THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR IN THE LOCAL CHURCH“
A Course Of Study From
Blueprint For Revival Bible
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA
BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE
BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE
Dr. Ed J MacWilliams
COURSE: THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY
IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
PRINCIPLES OF STUDY
1. THE FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY FROM A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE LEAVES IT UP TO THE WORLD AND RELIGIOUS “EXPERTS” TO DEFINE WHAT THE CHURCH SHOULD EXPECT. GOD ALONE SHOULD BE THE ONE WHO SETS THE STANDARDS, SINCE HE CREATED THE CHURCH, AND HE ALONE WILL JUDGE US ALL AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST.
2. THE FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND THE CORRECT BIBLICAL ROLE OF A PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY WILL CAUSE THE CONGREGATION AND COMMUNITY TO HAVE EXPECTATIONS THAT ARE TOO HIGH OR TOO LOW. MANY PASTORS HAVE BROUGHT DOOM OR WEAKNESS UPON THEIR MINISTRIES BECAUSE THEY ALLOWED STANDARDS TO BE ESTABLISHED FOR THEIR CONDUCT, WORK, AND FOR THEIR FAMILIES WHICH WERE NOT BIBLICAL.
3. THE FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF A PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY FROM THE BIBLE’S TEACHING WILL OPEN THE DOOR TO THOSE WHO WANT TO HAVE NON-BIBLICAL INPUT. ANY NON-BIBLICAL STANDARD FOR A PASTOR CAN PROVE TO BE COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE TO THE WORK OF GOD, NO MATTER HOW SINCERELY IT COMES ABOUT.
THE NEED FOR PRIVACY
There are many different situations in which pastors and their families could find themselves once they arrive at the pastor’s new community. Every church presents a new and challenging opportunity to reveal the power of God through your life and through your family. When starting out, some pastors have characterized their lives and their families as living in a fishbowl. Everyone, it seemed, was watching each move and action they made.
Some congregations have been taught that the pastor should have no privacy and no life outside the church’s watchful eye. They allege that if he has nothing to hide, he should not be concerned that his congregation is watching his every step. But, as with all other issues of church life, it is the pastor who is called of God to teach his congregation what is correct. In one case, a neighbor of the pastor was assigned by the deacons to report to them about any loud noise, shouting, crying, or arguments which appeared to come from the pastor’s house. The deacons did not know that their newly appointed spy was going deaf, and that the reports he turned in of periodic shouting and crying were actually the noises made by the pastor’s roosters. It is difficult to have even part of your life that is not observed and critiqued by members of the congregation. A pastor must demand this necessity, anyway. A pastor’s personal battles, his bringing before God of sinful acts by members of his congregation, his presenting of weaknesses both of himself and those in the congregation, and many other areas of importance should be private matters, not to be shared with the congregation when they happen.
Even Jesus desired time for privacy in prayer. Matthew 14:23 “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone.”
There were other times that He would take a disciple aside and privately scolded him, or instructed him how to improve. There are times for public and there are times for private rebuttal, instruction, and personal guidance.
THE NEED TO DEAL WITH FAMILY ISSUES WITHOUT THE CONGREGATION’S INVOLVEMENT
The pastor, like others in the congregation, should have a confident degree of privacy in his life. He should be able to have his own Bible study time, his personal worship time, and his private prayer time uninterrupted and held sacred. He should not permit his discussions, disagreements, or discipline within the family to become a public matter.
In fact, in raising his family, if some matters become known outside the pastor’s home, they could end up hurting both him and those he is trying to help. There have been many cases where pastors failed to provide consistent discipline for their children because they knew that others would know about it and talk negatively about any aspect of chastening they would do.
A good pastor will not only reject the temptation to withhold loving, Godly discipline, but he will teach his congregation the importance of using it themselves. The Bible makes it clear that loving discipline—just as God disciplines us–is needed for all those who are growing up.
Proverbs 13:24 “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes”.
Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
Proverbs 23:13 “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”
Proverbs 23:14 “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”
Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.”
Hebrews 12:7 “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
One key to Godly discipline is the need to be consistent. If a child knows that he has a 50% chance of NOT being disciplined because his pastor-father is afraid that it will be heard or known, many children will take that gamble, and will do the wrong thing. Human nature—that nature to sin—will almost always push a child toward taking a chance at committing the sin if he feels he can do it without consequences. This sometimes leads some pastors—who are more concerned about their reputation for gentleness and kindness—to avoid Biblical discipline completely.
It is not unusual for a pastor’s children to recognize that certain people in the congregation (who do not understand or agree with Biblical discipline) will sympathize with them if it becomes known that they have been chastened. The Pastor, unwilling to have his members think badly about him, will sometimes reduce his discipline, or stop it all together.
The pastor may be tempted to defer any discipline except in the most serious situations, leaving almost all of the children’s lesser problems without Godly chastening teaching. In some cases, he will only discipline his children when he has been angered sufficiently. This is known as “The Pressure Pot Syndrome.” A parent will at first quietly hold within them the many instances in which their children disobey them. Then, when the pot (their emotions) cannot contain any more disobedience, it bursts open with anger and rage.
In those times, the pastor reacting through accumulated anger rather than in Godly love for the child, fails to teach the child a consistent pattern of right and wrong. In fact, he sets the example for violent behavior based upon bottled-up feelings. If the pastor will be consistent in discipline, he will find that those times of angry outbursts can be controlled and avoided.
Sadly, in many countries, many pastor’s children are known to be among the most undisciplined and disappointing children in the church. This is a result of a pastor who is more concerned about what his congregations thinks than he is in doing what God instructs him to do.
PASTORS AND THEIR WIVES
But, even more devastating is how some pastors refuse to provide proper resolution of problems with their wives for fear of what the congregation will think. It is natural for people to raise their voices when trying to make a point. When husbands and wives have differences of opinion, they sometimes get louder than their usual conversational tones. Fearing that a congregation will know that their “perfect and ideal” marriage may require some improvements, some pastors will run from their husbandly responsibilities, and not correct or teach their wives what is right. He should, even before their marriage, teach her the proper way to resolve any differences between them. Failure to do this can result in a greatly hindered work which God wanted to do.
Proverbs 25:24 “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.”
Since each congregation is different, a Godly helpmeet who happens to be a pastor’s wife, will find herself unable to prepare for every situation, trial, and temptation in advance. Probably the best she can do to prepare herself is by being as prayerful (especially in the listening aspect) as possible, and being as submissive to the Holy Spirit as she can be. But, there are always surprises which require guidance and direction from her husband. After all, she is supposed to be his “help-meet.”
This is when there are times that disagreements about the way to move ahead sometimes meet with a differences of opinion. Sometimes those disagreements can become quite vocal. It is better that they be discussed in quietness, but that is not always the case, and sometimes the congregation becomes aware of these differences. Of course, most times, the pastor’s wife will end up submitting to her husband’s decision. However, much damage can be done if the congregation only knows that there are differences.
Isaiah 32:17 “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”
The Bible tells us that the wife is to be in submission to her husband, as the Church (the Bride) is to be in submission to Christ. Ephesians 5:24 “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
The Pastor and his wife should be the closest example of the ideal marriage which the congregation will see. If the pastor only teaches the Truth, but does not live it, his flock will not take his teachings seriously. Therefore, his ability to teach his wife how to work together with him in achieving the purposes of the Lord is important to others. If he is known as a loud, argumentative, and brutal husband, he will not gain the cooperation of the wives in the congregation who need to help their husbands. So, his privacy in dealing with his own wife is important to the work of God within the local church.
MARRYING THE RIGHT PERSON
Some men are called by God after they have already married and some have even had children by the time they have come to pastor their first church. Others received this calling from God before they married.
We cannot possibly discuss all the special requirements which apply to each situation. However, let us examine the two major ones: Those relating to pastors called after they were married, and those related to pastors before they got married.
MARRIED BEFORE HIS CALL TO PREACH
First, let us examine the conditions for the man who is already married (sometimes with children) at the time he is called to be a pastor. Perhaps the man was not saved when he got married. Perhaps he was not dedicated to the Lord as he should have been. Yet, the amazing plan of God was to call him to salvation and to preach the Gospel after he had already married a wife. For some, that marriage would be an excuse to reject God’s calling, as in this passage.
Luke 14:20 “And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”
Obviously, his wife did not marry him with the idea that he would one day become a preacher. In many cases, if she had known that he would one day become a pastor, she would not have married him in the first place. There are also situations where the husband who was called to preach is married to a woman who is not even saved.
While she may tolerate her husband’s activities for the Lord, and even appear to be happy with his commitments, she has no heart for them until she truly receives the Lord Jesus. She cannot support him in prayer because she does not know the Divine Intercessor, nor can she be a true helpmeet to assist him in the work of God because she does not have the Holy Spirit in her. At best, she can be a companion, a keeper of the home, a mother to his children, and possibly a supplemental income provider. But, she cannot fulfill his needs in regard to the Lord’s work. This establishes a primary goal of the preacher to bring his wife to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It will certainly be a necessity before he becomes an effective pastor, although he may still preach while she is moving toward her new birth experience.
2 Corinthians 6: 14-16 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
The wife of a pastor can either be his greatest earthly asset, or one of his most powerful adversaries. Therefore, the preacher should endeavor with all his prayers and efforts, to bring her to a genuine salvation experience. It is essential that the preacher recognize that his wife may want to ‘say’ that she is saved in order to please him. She may desire to give a profession of faith simply to stop him from continually presenting her need for Christ. The man of God must be very discerning about false measures which she may attempt, and this is difficult because he will desire to have her saved so much, he will be tempted to take any profession (sincere or insincere) to be real.
There are occasions where a church will call a man to be its pastor, not knowing that his wife is not truly born-again. They will make the assumption that if the husband is truly a man of God, that his wife will be at least saved and sympathetic toward the work of God. Since the man will not announce to the church that his wife is not a Christian, he will carry the burden of her lack of salvation by himself. This is a lonely and difficult task. During that time, he must keep his wife away from important ministries (she can’t do them without the Holy Spirit, anyway) and influential situations, and focus a great deal of his prayer emphasis upon her need for salvation. Of all the people at his new location who need to be saved, his wife’s salvation is most important.
It is still that genuine work of the Holy Spirit that changes a person’s life and gives them new, eternal life. Without the work of the Holy Spirit through his wife, she cannot assist him properly, and will ultimately provide many heartaches and discouragements. Since his congregation will most likely think of her as a spiritual person capable of helping out the work, the pastor will have a difficult task keeping her from providing influence to the people.
A man who is called by God to preach must consider the price of obedience, and set his heart so much in love and commitment to Christ that the behavior and attacks from his wife do not take him away from the path which God has chosen for him. He must overcome his own frustrations and his own disappointment, and faithfully be the Lord’s instrument in guiding the flock of God.
There is also a distinct possibility that his wife, either from her own decision, or because of pressures from others (family, friends), will deliver an ultimatum to her husband. It simply says, “Abandon your call from God, or you will lose me.” This has occurred in numerous cases. A man of God must place his highest loyalty to the God Who saved him. To back away or even defer his call, would be turning his back on Jesus.
Matthew 10: 36-38 “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”
Luke 18: 29-30 “And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”
Some men have made the mistake of divorcing their wives because they refused to be saved in the time period set by the man. According to God, it is wrong for the man of God to divorce his wife if she is not saved, so long as she still desires to live with him.
1 Corinthians 7:12 “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.”
CALLED TO PREACH FIRST, THEN MARRIED
Secondly, let us discuss the conditions for the man who is not married when he is called by God to preach, and is therefore able to choose his wife and make decisions regarding his living conditions before becoming a pastor.
BE SURE YOU MARRY A SAVED WOMAN
This God-called, obedient man will wisely choose a woman for his wife who is saved, Godly, and committed to the service of the Lord. This man’s path will usually be much easier than the former man. The Bible warns against being unequally yoked together with an unbelieving wife.
2 Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
The case of a God-called man choosing a worldly, or lost woman to be his wife will usually bring an end to his effectiveness for the Lord, and possible end his ministry. By doing so, we will have brought an enemy of Christ into his home. Although she may say that she sympathizes with his work, and will actually try to become active in some ways in forms of church work, the unsaved woman is still a major distraction and hindrance to the work of the Holy Spirit. How can she be a “helpmeet” to the man of God when to help HIM, such work requires the work of the Holy Spirit ? A lost woman does not have the Holy Spirit. How can there be spiritual communion between the man of God and a woman still in the bondage to Satan ? Their communion may be intellectual and physical, but it does not complete the true union of two people, which is in soul, spirit, and body.
But, not every Christian woman who is dedicated to the Lord will be a good pastor’s wife. Just because the woman is a soul-winner, has many good spiritual qualities, and knows the Bible, those things alone do not qualify her to be a pastor’s wife. She should recognize a special called to help YOU. She should see this as a calling from God, and be able to freely discuss with you ways in which she can help you in your calling.
OBSERVE THE FRUITS
Matthew 7:20 “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
He must give serious attention to the spiritual condition of his wife before and after the marriage. Before getting married, he must be assured by her works that she is truly committed to Jesus Christ by faith. The fruits of the Spirit of God should be manifested clearly. Many God-called men have married lost women because they lusted after them so much, they re-defined the definition of “fruits” to justify the marriage.
The God-called man should not be satisfied with the mere fact that she attends church and can talk about the Bible with familiarity. The devil can do both. He must not conclude that because she was raised in a Christian home, and knows the “Christian” vocabulary, that her heart is fully committed to Christ. Those things are not true fruits. Anyone can do them. He must be certain to see her faithfulness to the Lord under times of pressure, and note her Christian commitment even in the most difficult of times. He should observe whether she is satisfied with just being known as a professing Christian, of whether she has a God-given burden for souls that actively reaches out and helps others. This must be done before a marriage is even considered.
The God-called man will be used by God to develop the spiritual interests and gifts of his wife. If she is incapable of seeking the Lord on her own, he will find her worthless when the time comes that he is discouraged and she must be an encourager to him. So, helping her to learn how to depend on the Lord, how to hear from the Lord, and knowing what God expects of her are all things which not only benefit her, but will bless God and her husband.
There is a built-in combination stumbling block/blessing that goes along with the position of ‘pastor’s wife.’ It is the automatic respect and expectation which people in a congregation have for her. In some churches, she is treated as a queen. She is the role model for all the younger girls and other women. Especially when she first comes to a church with her husband, all eyes are upon her, and will copy what she does, how she dresses, and will listen carefully to what she says.
However, the down-side to this is that once they are married, his wife will become a target for attack by the devil just as much as he will be, and sometimes, even more so. The devil knows that, as the weaker vessel, the pastor’s wife is often more vulnerable to temptations and can greatly influence her husband to say and do things that would hurt the Lord’s work.
1 Peter 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
It is imperative that the Pastor spends time with her, checking up on her spiritual condition, and helping her to keep growing in the Lord. While many pastors place a significant amount of their time into some ‘special person’ in the congregation that they would like to see grow in Christ, investing time to care of the spiritual needs of his wife can be far more profitable in the long run.
He should also clearly show her ways in which she can help him achieve what the Lord wants done. Don’t expect the pastor’s wife to know all the areas where she can assist him without being told. Some, she will know intuitively, while others, she will hear from the Lord directly, but there will always be a few things which would be helpful to the pastor in accomplishing his tasks for Christ of which she must be informed.
THE PASTOR’S FAMILY
1. THE PASTOR’S FAMILY
*SOME CHURCHES PLACE A VERY HIGH EMPHASIS ON THE TESTIMONY AND WITNESS OF THE PASTOR’S FAMILY, WHILE OTHER CHURCHES DO NOT. Whether they have high expectations, or low ones, God has expectations of you and your family which set you before your flock as examples of the Believing family.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT IT ? THE BIBLE TIES THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF THE PASTOR TO THE OVERALL TESTIMONY OF HIS WORK. WHAT HIS FAMILY DOES, OR DOES NOT DO, WILL HAVE A LARGE IMPACT ON HIS EFFECTIVENESS IN THE CHURCH AND IN THE COMMUNITY.
This testimony does not begin and end with you. Much of your own testimony can be destroyed by a child that is left to himself and goes into the ways of the world.
A. GOD ESTABLISHES AN IDEAL FOR THE BELIEVER—THE PASTOR’S FAMILY SHOULD BE AN EXAMPLE OF THAT IDEAL.
- THE IDEAL: GOD’S INTENDED BLESSINGS ON THE FAMILIES OF THOSE WHO SEEK HIM—SONS, DAUGHTERS, AND OLD MEN ARE ALL PART OF THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Acts 2:17 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:”
Philip’s daughters are an example of what a Godly home produces. Acts 21: 8-9 “And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.” That is not to suggest that all children in a Godly home will be prophets, but that they will be following the Lord and utilizing their talents and gifts for the glory of God.
- THE PASTOR’S FAMILY SHOULD BE AN EXAMPLE OF BIBLICAL RELATIONSHIPS. 1 Timothy 3:4-5 “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
If the pastor himself is not seen clearly as the spiritual leader in the home, others will have a hard time trying to fulfill this God-given requirement in their homes. Ephesians 5:23 “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and he is the saviour of the body.”
B. THE FAMILY OF THE PASTOR MUST BE AN EFFECTIVE MODEL FOR THE OTHER FAMILIES WITHIN THE CHURCH.
- THE PASTOR MUST BE WILLING TO WORK AT A SECULAR JOB IF NECESSARY AT LEAST FOR A TEMPORARY TIME TO ACCOMPLISH GOD’S MISSION OF MINISTRY. 1 Timothy 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
Paul made tents to supply the physical needs when necessary. Acts 18:3 “And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.” 1 Corinthians 4:12 “And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:” 1 Thessalonians 2:9 “For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.”
- THE PASTOR’S WIFE MUST LEARN THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING CONFIDENCES. 1 Timothy 5:13 “And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.”
- THE PASTORS WIFE MUST GUIDE THE HOUSE, AND NOT GIVE THE ENEMY OPPORTUNITY TO DEFAME HER CHARACTER. 1 Timothy 5:14 “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
- THE PASTOR’S FAMILY CAN BE A BLESSING OR A BAD EXAMPLE. BOTH NOAH AND LOT HAD CHILDREN. NOAH AND LOT WERE PROTOTYPES OF BELIEVERS LIVING IN THE DAYS BEFORE JUDGMENT. (Luke 17:26-28). THEY BOTH HAD DISTINCTIVELY DIFFERENT FAMILIES. THE ATTITUDE WHICH EACH MAN HAD REGARDING THEIR WIVES AND CHILDREN MOLDED AND SHAPED THEIR FUTURE.
- NOAH’S CHILDREN OBEYED HIM AND HELPED HIM IN THE WORK OF GOD. THERE IS NO RECORD OF THEM BEING REBELLIOUS AT THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THEIR FATHER. Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
- LOT’S CHILDREN WERE A GRIEVANCE TO HIM, AND THEY SOUGHT THE WAYS OF THE WORLD RATHER THAN THE WAYS OF GOD. THEY WERE DISOBEDIENT AND REBELLIOUS AGAINST THE THINGS OF GOD. Genesis 19:16 “And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.” Genesis 19:30 “And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.” Genesis 19:36 “Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.”
C. THE PASTOR’S FAMILY IS ALWAYS A TARGET OF THE ENEMY.
A pastor has to teach his family about the armor of God and what to expect early on. They must be equipped to handle the deliberate discouragements and attacks. Ephesians 6:16 “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
- WHO DOESN’T CARE ABOUT FINDING OUT THE RIGHT WAY TO DO THINGS ? THOSE WHO ARE REBELLIOUS AGAINST THE BIBLICAL WAY OF DOING THEM. Sometimes by seeing the attitudes and prejudice against them by certain people in a congregation, a pastor’s children—and even wife—can turn against the people of God, assuming that most church people are like that and it isn’t worth putting up with. Many drop out of church completely. The cause—people who do not understand—or refuse to accept—what the Bible teaches about a pastor’s family.
- SOME WILL TRY TO OPENLY SUBVERT THE PASTOR’S HOUSE BY TRYING TO GET THE PEOPLE IN THE HOUSEHOLD TO FALL.
- SOME WILL MAKE UP STORIES ABOUT THOSE IN THE PASTOR’S HOUSEHOLD.
- SOME WILL TRY SUBTLE WAYS TO SAY THAT THOSE IN THE PASTOR’S HOUSEHOLD ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO SERVE.
- SOME ARE JEALOUS OF A FOCUSED FAMILY. SO THEY ALLEGE THAT THE PASTOR’S FAMILY SHOULDN’T ALL BE DOING THINGS IN THE CHURCH. BUT—AS SOON AS THE PASTOR’S FAMILY STOPS DOING WHAT THEY ARE CALLED TO DO, AND OTHERS WHO ARE NOT CALLED TRY TO DO THEM, THE CHURCHFALLS.
*CASE IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA, AREA. PASTOR’S FAMILY WAS UNDER ATTACK BY ONE FAMILY IN THE CHURCH THAT RAILED AND MADE UP RUMORS ABOUT THEM AND GOT A LOT OF PEOPLE ONTO THEIR SIDE BY TELLING THEM THAT EVERYTHING WAS BEING RUN BY THE PREACHER’S FAMILY (WHICH WAS NOT TRUE, BUT THEY MADE IT APPEAR THAT WAY). WHEN THE PASTOR’S FAMILY LEFT, THE MINISTRIES WHICH THE PASTOR’S FAMILY WERE INVOLVED WITH WERE LEFT TO PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT CALLED TO THEM—EVEN THOUGH THEY THOUGHT THEY COULD DO A BETTER JOB—AND THE MINISTRIES, ONE BY ONE, FAILED. SOON PEOPLE LEFT THE CHURCH TOTALLY DISCOURAGED, AND THE CHURCH WAS ABOUT TO FOLD UP COMPLETELY.
D. A PASTOR’S FAMILY MUST STAND TRUE TO ITS CALLING FROM GOD.
IT IS TRUE THAT THEY MIGHT NOT BE A TALENTED AS SOMEONE ELSE. BUT, IT IS THE CALLING OF GOD THAT MAKES THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE.
**CONSIDER THIS ILLUSTRATION. IN ONE CHURCH, THEY HAD A VERY YOUNG BUS DIRECTOR (WHO WAS 18 AT THE TIME) WHO WAS TRULY CALLED OF GOD, AND AN OUTSTANDING JOB OF BRINGING IN THE KIDS. THE CHURCH HAD A FLEET OF BUSES, AND EACH WEEK WAS BRINGING IN ABOUT 800 KIDS. THE BUS DIRECTOR JUST HAPPENED TO BE THE PASTOR’S SON. WELL, SOME PEOPLE DIDN’T LIKE THAT FACT, SO THEY BEGAN TO DROP SUBTLE HINTS TO PEOPLE—YOU KNOW, INVITE THEM OVER FOR DINNER, OR TALK TO THEM PRIVATELY, AND SUGGESTED THAT THERE WAS SOMEONE MORE QUALIFIED TO TAKE HIS PLACE. In fact, one of the church members was an administrator with the city school district, and his area of authority dealt with the buses. So, after making it clear that the pastor’s son wasn’t as qualified as this man, they thoroughly discouraged the pastor’s son, and he quit. The other member took over. However, he tried to implement all the policies and programs which applied to the city school buses. With 6 months, most of the bus drivers had quit, and he was bringing in an average of only just over 100 students each week. WAS HE MORE QUALIFIED ? IN MAN’S EYES, YES. IN GOD’S EYES, NO.
1 Corinthians 1:26 “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:” THE CALLING OF GOD HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH “WHO IS BETTER.” IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HOW GOD WANTS THINGS DONE, THROUGH A YIELDEDNESS TO HIS HOLY SPIRIT AND WORD.
PHILIP, THE EVANGELIST, AND DEACON—Acts 21:9 “And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.”
THE HOUSEHOLD OF STEPHANAS—1 Corinthians 16:15 “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)”
***THE CONCLUSION IS THAT A PASTORS FAMILY, IDEALLY SHOULD BE OBEDIENT TO THE LORD AND THEIR FATHER WHILE LIVING IN THAT HOUSE, AND SHOULD BE EXAMPLES OF GODLY BEHAVIOR BEFORE ALL. IF THEY HAVE BEEN RAISED AND TAUGHT EFFECTIVELY, THEY WILL HAVE GREATER KNOWLEDGE AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH FAITH, AND SHOULD HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO LEAD OTHERS IN THE RIGHT WAY.
2. THE PASTOR’S CHILDREN
This would include all children who are under his roof. Those no longer living under his roof are no longer under his authority as the head of that house, although they may seek his guidance and direction voluntarily. The Bible deals with children still under his authority. When they leave home—as we would pray all our children would do—they will follow what they have been taught. But, the issue relevant to the Bible is what is done while they are still in the house.
A. THEY SHOULD BE AN EXAMPLE TO ALL OTHER CHILDREN OF OBEDIENCE TO PARENTS AND YIELDEDNESS TO GOD.
THIS DOES NOT GIVE THEM SPECIAL PRIVILEGES TO BREAK RULES OR TO ACT IN WAYS THAT OTHERS SHOULD NOT. (This should apply to ALL Christian families).
1 Timothy 3:4 “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;”
Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”
1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
B. THEY SHOULD HAVE THE ADVANTAGES WHICH ALLOW THEM TO BE SPIRITUALLY MATURE SOONER THAN OTHERS.
Acts 2:17 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:”
C. THEY SHOULD HAVE A RESPECT FOR, AND DEPENDENCE UPON THE WORD OF GOD.
THEY SHOULD KNOW HOW TO CARE FOR THEIR BIBLES, KEEP THEM READY FOR USE, AND REGULARLY USE THEM.
2 Timothy 3:15 “And that from a child thou hast known the Holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (NOTE ‘HOLY’)
D. THEY WILL SEE THE NEED FOR KEEPING IT CLOSE TO THEM. NOT MAN’S IDEAS, BUT GOD’S WORD.
Amos 8:11-12 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.”
E. THEY SHOULD NOT BE HINDERED FROM SERVICE TO GOD SIMPLY BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE DON’T LIKE THE IDEA OF TOO MANY PEOPLE FROM A FAMILY BEING INVOLVED IN MINISTRY.
—WOULDN’T GOD WANT EVERYONE IN EACH CHRISTIAN’S FAMILY TO BE SERVING HIM ?
*IT’S ALL IN THE WAY SOME PEOPLE LOOK AT THINGS. BIBLICALLY, A CHRISTIAN HOUSEHOLD SHOULD HAVE ALL SAVED PEOPLE IN IT WORKING FOR THE LORD. BUT CRITICS AND THOSE WHO ARE REBELLIOUS AGAINST THE RIGHT WAYS TAUGHT IN THE BIBLE FAIL TO SEE THAT THE TROUBLE LIES IN THE FAMILIES OF THOSE WHOSE SAVED MEMBERS ARE NOT WORKING FOR THE LORD !
3. THE PASTOR’S WIFE
A. IF ANY IN THE CHURCH SHOULD BE ABLE TO TEACH THE YOUNGER WOMAN, IT SHOULD BE THE PASTOR’S WIFE.
Titus 2:4 “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”
- IS SHE SEEN AS A SERVANT OF THE LORD ? THEN SHE SHOULD BE TEACHING IN THE CONTEXT WHICH GOD AUTHORIZES: AT HOME, AND AMONG THOSE WHO ARE NOT MEN. 2 Timothy 2:24 “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,”
- SHE SHOULD BE AN EXAMPLE OF THE CHRISTIAN HOUSEHOLD ADMINISTRATOR. 1 Timothy 5:14 “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
- SHE SHOULD BE A HELP-MEET TO HER HUSBAND’S MINISTRY. THIS INVOLVES HELPING IN WHATEVER WAY SHE CAN ASSIST HER HUSBAND FULFILL HIS CALLING. Genesis 2:18 “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
- SHE IS NOT TO BE A SOCIALLY ACTIVE GOSSIP. THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN AS A KEEPER AT HOME—HER HOME—NOT SOMEONE ELSE’S Titus 2:5 “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
- SHE SHOULD ACTIVELY TEACH THE CHILDREN HOW TO BEHAVE IN CHURCH. HOW TO TREAT THE WORD OF GOD. HAVE THEIR BIBLES WITH THEM. IF THEY DON’T HAVE A PERSONAL FAITH—KNOWING WHERE SCRIPTURE IS—THEY WILL SAY THAT THEIR FAITH IS THEIR PARENT’S FAITH, AND NOT THEIR OWN LATER ON.
- SHE SHOULD TEACH HER CHILDREN RESPECT FOR THE HOUSE OF GOD. EVEN OTHERS SHOULD BE TEACHING THEIR CHILDREN THIS. ESPECIALLY CHILDREN OF CHURCH-MEMBERS SHOULD BE EXAMPLES TO NEW KIDS. WHEN CHURCH MEMBERS WHO ARE PARENTS REFUSE TO HOLD THEIR CHILDREN TO THE HIGHEST IDEALS, THEY WILL ONLY ATTRACT THE LOWER TYPE OF BEHAVIOR FROM NEW KIDS. THEN THEY WILL COMPLAIN ABOUT IT BEING SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT.
- SHE SHOULD TEACH HER CHILDREN TO RESPECT THEIR ELDERS.
- SHE SHOULD LEARN FROM HER HUSBAND. 1 Peter 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” “ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE…” i.e., ACCORDING TO WHAT YOU KNOW FROM THE BIBLE. THAT IS THE BASIS FOR A HUSBAND DEALING WITH HIS WIFE. ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE.
WHAT THE WEAKER VESSEL PASSAGE REALLY MEANS.
1 Corinthians 14:35 “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” WHY ?
1 Timothy 2:12 “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”
- COMMON GROUND SHOULD EXIST. IF NOT THERE BEFORE MARRIAGE, PEOPLE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO GET IT THERE AFTERWARD. It is not unusual for people to get married, and one person gets saved before the other. In some cases, one person gets active serving God before the other, even when they were already saved. The closest one to the Lord has a duty to help the other realize their purpose and goal.
- COMMON LOVE FOR THE LORD JESUS. 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
- COMMON FAITH. Minor issues should not develop into major ones.
- COMMON COMMITMENT ON PURPOSE. Each should discover the other person’s gifts and abilities, and encourage them to use them in the way God established. Many women have in addition to their purpose in being a helpmeet to their husbands, a special gift of “helps.” This should not be limited to within the four walls of the church, but also in homes. 1 Corinthians 12:28 “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
- COMMON COMMUNICATION AND AGREEMENT.
- REGARDING GOD’S ROLE IN EACH LIFE PERSONALLY.
- REGARDING GOD’S WILL IN REGARD TO THE FAMILY:
- GOD’S WILL FOR EACH OF THEM, EVEN ON MINOR THINGS..
- THE ROLE OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND IN-LAWS.
- SHE SHOULD HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS.
- OF HER HUSBAND. **Even though she thinks he is a knight in shining armor BEFORE they married, she soon finds that she needs glasses, because that wasn’t armor at all, but mere aluminum foil.
- OF THE CHURCH AND OTHER CHRISTIANS. Few things will disappoint you and discourage you like imagining that other Christians are without sin. We must be focusing our lives on the Lord, and we will never be discouraged. BUT THIS REQUIRES A CONSCIOUS EFFORT. Psalms 62:5 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.”
- DON’T BE A DREAMER. GOD DOES NOT DEMAND THINGS OF YOU THAT YOU DON’T HAVE. SO, DON’T BE LAMENTING THE THINGS YOU THINK YOU SHOULD HAVE, BUT DON’T. 2 Corinthians 8:12 “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”
- SHE SHOULD NOT STRIVE FOR ACCEPTANCE IN THE WRONG PLACES. **American educator and comedian, Dr. Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the formula of success. But I know the formula for failure is to try to be accepted by everyone.” SHE SHOULD SEEK TO BE ACCEPTED ONLY BY A FEW, NOT ALL:
- SHE SHOULD STRIVE TO CONSTANTLY BE ACCEPTED OF THE LORD IN HIS FELLOWSHIP. 2 Corinthians 5:9 “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.”
- SHE SHOULD CONSTANTLY STRIVE TO BE ACCEPTED BY HER HUSBAND. Titus 2:4-5 “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
4. THE PASTOR
A. HIS DECISIONS MUST BE BATHED IN PRAYER. THIS IS A MAJOR PORTION OF HIS MINISTRY.
Acts 6:4 “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word.”
B. HIS DECISIONS SHOULD COME AS HE SEES THE CALLING OF GOD, AND WHAT IS BEST FOR THE LORD’S WORK
NOT NECESSARILY WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR THING TO DO. HIS DECISIONS FOR PEOPLE IN MINISTRY SHOULD BE WITNESSED BY OTHERS WHO ARE MATURE CHRISTIANS, BUT MIGHT NOT GET THE AGREEMENT OF EVERYONE IN THE CHURCH. (NOT EVERYONE IN THE CHURCH HAS MATURED TO THE POINT WHERE THEY CAN SEE THE POTENTIALS AND USEFULNESS AND VISION FROM GOD). EVEN MATURE CHRISTIANS CAN DISAGREE FROM TIME TO TIME. BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THE PASTOR HIMSELF IS THE ONE WHO HAS TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF DECISIONS AND NOT OTHERS.
C. HIS DECISIONS SHOULD BE RESPECTED, SINCE HE IS THE ONE WHO MUST GIVE ACCOUNT FOR THEM BEFORE GOD.
IF SOMEONE ELSE MAKES THE DECISIONS, HOW CAN HE BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE ?
Hebrews 13:17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
D. HIS AUTHORITY SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED FROM A BIBLICAL STANDPOINT, NOT JUST BECAUSE HE SAYS SO.
Titus 2:15 “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”
E. HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO ACT UPON WHAT GOD TELLS HIM TO DO, AND NOT BE HINDERED BY THOSE WHO HAVE SELFISH INTERESTS AT HEART.
HE SHOULD HAVE LIBERTY TO PRESENT, TEACH, AND ENFORCE THE WORD.
1 Timothy 5:20 “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.”
2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
Titus 1:13 “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;”
Titus 2:15 “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”
1 Thessalonians 5:12 “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;” [ADMONISH=“WARN, EXHORT”]
F. THE PASTOR MUST REWARD FAITHFULNESS BY GIVING THE FAITHFUL MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE GOD. HE SHOULD NOT REWARD THOSE WHO MERELY CLAIM THEY CAN DO THINGS BETTER.
2 Timothy 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”