Do you ever have those times in life and ministry where you are restless?  As I write this the introduction to John Ortberg’s book “The Life You’ve Always Wanted” comes to mind.  He mentions that if you feel “discontent with your spiritual life, then this is the book for you.”  I am very discontent with my level of devotion to Christ.  I have found that prayer is not easy.  Well, it is when I have no other options.  I am always thinking of how I can fix my own problem or how someone else can fix my problem.  It is really easy to criticize Jacob’s self-sufficiency demonstrated in Genesis.  The truth is that I am probably worse than him.  When you read about his life he knew what God would deliver and yet he was always seeking to deliver those things himself.
I am frustrated with the local church.  It seems as though we are more caught up in the way that ministry has been done historically (1900-1970) than what the Bible outlines.  The role of the pastor has been altered to resemble more of a “butler” or “nursemaid” than to be a preacher, teacher, and equipper.  This has greatly crippled the church because it has weakened the body, as a result of the believers not ministering.  The body is weak because only one part of it (the pastor[s]) is actually caring for the whole body.  Anyone who has a casual familiarity with the N.T. will know that each member of the body is called to care for the rest of the body.  The pastor(s) are called to oversee the body, teach, and equip the rest of the body to serve the body.  I am very restless and discouraged that the wrong mentality of pastoral ministry is continuing today.  I truly believe that some of this problem is laziness on the part of members of the body.  On the other hand, a large part of the problem is that members of the body have not been taught what the roles of the pastor and congregation are.  The blame for this lack of knowledge falls on pastors who out of fear or out of desire to be needed have failed to present the biblical model of ministry to the church.
My greatest desire is to see the local church function biblically by God’s grace.  I would love to see pastors preaching, teaching, and training the church to do the ministry of evangelism and discipleship.  The church needs to care for itself.  Maybe then will we see Christians displaying more spiritual fruit to the glory of God.


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