Church Discipline

CHURCH DISCIPLINE

Discipline In The Family of God

by Dr. Andrew Corbett

“In our day heaven and earth are on tiptoe waiting for the emergence of a Spirit-led, Spirit-intoxicated, Spirit-empowered people. All of creation watches expectantly for the springing up a disciplined, freely gathered, martyr people who know in this life the life and power of the kingdom of God. It has happened before. It can happen again.”
Dr. Richard Foster

It is a difficult subject for any pastor to teach, but not nearly as difficult as it is for a pastor to implement! Church Discipline. The New Testament prescribes for a local church to exercise its discipline appropriately and even lists its practice as one the essential requirements for its elders (Titus 1:9). Church discipline corrects, holds leaders accountable, and should teach people to think twice before acting foolishly (1Tim. 5:20). The Book of Proverbs has much to say about the role of discipline in shaping a person’s character which both families and churches need to help their members heed.

The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.
Proverbs 5:22-23

Church discipline should always redemptive. That is, it is designed to restore those it disciplines into both fellowship and, where appropriate, ministry. Done well, church discipline brings cohesion to its members just as parental discipline brings cohesion to a family. It helps to prevent people from hurting others and themselves. It serves to maintain unity within a church by keeping people accountable to the highest standards of cooperation.

He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.
Proverbs 10:17

Local, and to some extent, trans-local, church leadership is responsible for a church’s directiondevelopment, doctrine, and discipline.

THE PURPOSE OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE

1. To glorify God (Mtt. 18:15-19; Rom. 16:17; 1Cor. 5; 1Thess. 5:14; 2Thess. 3:6-15; 1Tim. 5:20; 6:3; Tit. 1:13; 2:15; 3:10; Rev. 2:2, 14, 15, 20)

2. To restore wayward saints (Mtt. 18:15; 1Cor. 5:5; Gal. 6:1) [This is the aim of God’s Word, not its promise!]

3. To maintain the purity of Christ’s Church (1Cor. 5:6-8; 11:27)

4. Shows respect for Christ and His teaching (2Cor. 2:9, 17)

5. To deter others from sinning (1Tim. 5:20)

6. To prevent giving cause for God to set Himself against a local church (Rev. 2:14-25)

This discipline should move through a progression of phases. 

  1. Instruction, then
  2. Exhorting, then
  3. Correction, then
  4. Reproving, then
  5. Rebuking, then
  6. Removal, then
  7. Repentance, then
  8. Restoration.

STEP 1 – INSTRUCTION

An integral part of Step 1 is introducing into a local church a culture that discipline is for the believer’s good. It is wise. It requires humility. It is maintained, and sometimes commenced, with the pulpit. The preaching of God’s Word is meant to shape, correct, and transform believers. This is where discipline begins. When the pastoral preacher models discipline in the spiritual life, family life, personal life, and professional life, their life becomes a cultural message to their congregation (Phil. 3:17; 1Tim. 4:12; 1Peter 5:3).

STEP 2 – EXHORTING

we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
First Thessalonians 2:12

Step 2 is very pastoral. It is exhorting. This is sometimes translated encouraging. The Greek word is parakaleho (παρακαλέω), which means to draw another along side. It shows another how to live in a Christ-like manner in how they work, relate to others, use their time, manage their money, witness, worship, and recreate. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy instructing him not just to preach information, to preach transformation by including exhorting in his preaching-

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
Second Timothy 4:2

STEP 3 – CORRECTION

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Second Timothy 2:24-26

This third step requires mild confrontation. It could be to correct a deficiency, such as if a trainee preacher needs to work on their delivery, pace, and focus. It could also be to correct an impropriety (misconduct). This should commence with fact-finding questions rather than accusations. Based on the principles given by Christ in Matthew 18:15-17, correction commences one on one. 

STEP 4 – REPROVE

The Greek word ἐλέγχω (“elegko”) is generally translated reprove.  Christ instructed that if the one on one correction is not received, then two people should confront the person committing misconduct. To reprove is to confront with a reprimand, an admonishment, a confutation. If this is still not received, then the matter should be brought before the whole church, which may lead to the person being removed from their fellowship (Step #6).

STEP 5 – REBUKE

The Greek word ἐπιτιμάω (“epitimaoh“) is translated rebuke. It involves confronting and scolding. This scolding is not belittling, rather it is a presentation of the pain caused by them. The one being disciplined must not only be confronted with misconduct, they need to be confronted with the damage they have caused to others as well.

STEP 6 – REMOVAL

It is a sad moment when church discipline eventually leads to the removal of an unrepentant offender from its fellowship.

And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
First Corinthians 5:2

As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.
First Timothy 5:20

This is done for both the good of the fellowship and the offender. The matter is brought before the church and the congregation. In the early centuries of the Church, there were not multiple denominations and independent churches. In this context, being removed from the fellowship, was an extremely shameful thing and meant being cut off socially from the community of the believers. This stage of church discipline is described in First Corinthians 5. Between First and Second Corinthians we deduce that the particular offender Paul is describing did eventually repent (Step #7). Thus, in Second Corinthians, the Apostle Paul urges the Corinthians to restore (Step #8) the repentant offender back into their fellowship.

For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.
Second Corinthians 2:6-8

THE GOAL OF DISCIPLINE

The goal of discipline is to show love (2John 5, 6) and bring restoration (2Cor. 2:6-8). Not to punish or humiliate. As difficult as it is, and as reluctant as many church leaders may be to carry out, church discipline is needed for the good of congregations and individual believers. When Paul wrote to Timothy he instructed his protégé to make sure that the church was based on sound doctrine and orderly conduct, because it was the Church whom God has ordained to uphold the truth to the world. This is integral to the Church’s mission of evangelising the world. That is why church discipline, or the lack of it, is a major factor in our Great Commission effectiveness.

if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
First Timothy 3:15 NIV

Amen.

© 1999, 2017 Andrew Corbett, Legana, Tasmania, Australia

What the Bible Teaches About Divorce

What the Bible Teaches About Divorce

What the Bible teaches about divorce

Divorce is not only one of the most embarrassing, humiliating experiences any person can go through, it is also one of the most painful. Too many people divorce, and too many people divorce for the wrong reasons. Divorce is usually the result of one of, or all of, three reasons: infidelity, lack of preparation, communication breakdown. It is my informed opinion that if more couples approaching marriage could hear from more couples who have divorced, there would probably be fewer couples marrying – at least, not until they had had some marriage preparation coaching.

The ending of the legal union between two married people is called divorce. Throughout most ages and societies forms of divorce have existed. Divorce is an unnatural act. Christ made this clear when He responded to the Pharisees in Matthew 19:8-9 ~

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Wedding vows cartoonYet the reality of life is that divorce is not only common, but often necessary for people’s well-being. Even some Biblical men of God suffered the pain of divorce. These include Moses, who sent Zipporah away (Ex. 18:2), David- who apparently divorced Michael (2Sam. 6:23), and Hosea the prophet. In our modern era divorce is becoming so common among those in the professional ministry that denominations are scrambling to form policies governing ordination and remarriage.

The Bible recognises the prevalence of divorce. In the Old Testament it wasn’t instituted, but rather legislated. That is, it was an established practice, much like slavery was. Unlike the demeaning practice of divorce among pagans, God legislated for His people to regard marriage as a sacred institution, and for divorce not to be taken lightly (Deut. 24:1-4). Based on ancient writings, such as the eighteenth century BC “laws of Hammurabi” and the “laws of Eshunna”, we know that marriages were often arranged by parents; the marriage was meant to be lifelong; a husband expected fidelity from his wife and could exact the death penalty for adultery.  We assume that the ancient Hebrews would have been influenced by this cultural setting.

The Pentateuchal passage on divorce, Deuteronomy 24:1-4, recognises that divorce was a common social ill. Unlike the translation of the King James Version, this passage is not commanding a man to divorce his wife if there is some “uncleanness” in her, rather (like the more recent translations render it), it is accepting and legislating what was already taking place within their culture. This is set against the backdrop of Yahweh already having given commands for a man not to divorce his wife-

They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the girl’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives. 
Deuteronomy 22:19

He shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. 
Deuteronomy 22:19

Even these early references in the Old Testament to divorce show that God’s intention was that marriage was to be a life-long union between a man and a woman. Toward the end of the Old Testament era, just after Ezra and Nehemiah had instructed the Jewish men to divorce their foreign wives (Ezra 10:11), Malachi was inspired to write-

“I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.
Malachi 2:16

Thus the Old Testament closes with God declaring that He hates divorce. Despite this, the Pharisaic element in Judaism had developed so legalistically that they had made divorce almost inevitable for women who dared defy the slightest whims of their husbands. Consequently, it wasn’t long before Jesus was shocking even His own disciples with His candid views on marriage being for life-

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” 
Matthew 19:3-6

Christ’s teaching on marriage reflected the heart of the Old Testament teaching. Provision was made under the Old Testament for a man to divorce his wife in a situation of marital unfaithfulness (Dt. 24:1-4). Christ simply reinforced this truth. His statements about fornication and adultery in Matthew 5:32 are plain. While some attempt to make a distinction between these two particular words used in the King James Version, often done to justify the grounds of divorce, Christ’s intent was clear: marriage is the lifelong union between two parties which is violated in no more serious a fashion than in sexual activity outside of that relationship.

The only other New Testament passage on divorce is Paul’s writings to the Corinthians in 1Corinthians 7. In this one chapter he commands against divorce on four separate occasions. In the Book of Hebrews, it reinforces the overall message of Scripture regarding marriage and grounds for divorce-

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
Hebrews 13:4

Taking to heart Paul’s teaching in First Corinthians 7, divorce is never an option for a Christian couple. It is an option however in a situation where one of the partners is violating the marriage covenant through sexual misconduct. Because of the rarity of wives being physically violent towards husbands, it is also an understandable step for a wife to take if she chooses to divorce a violent unrepentant husband. In cases like this, the wife is best advised not to seek to enter into another marriage. Thus the seriousness of the divorce implications can be taken too lightly by someone in this situation. Where a Christian has been involved in a divorce before coming to Christ, his/her past is washed away and they are free to get on with their life without the weight of condemnation. For a Christian leader to divorce is a shameful thing. It is shameful that it came to this point, and secondly that they proceeded with a divorce despite the clear teaching of Scripture.

Some justify their divorce by claiming that they married the wrong person. For Christians seeking a divorce this sounds like a reasonable justification. Two things can be said about this. Firstly, if you rushed into your marriage and married with grave reservations – you may very well have “married the wrong person”. This is a warning to the not-yet-married that marriage should not be entered into lightly, or involuntarily, or without due coaching preparation. 

I recently heard the sad story of a Baptist girl who was swept off her feet by a high school jock. In a night of alcohol and beachsand (which she knew was strictly against her parents standards) she was sexually taken advantage of by this “man”. Her misinformed conscience told her that she had marry the one she had sex with and was now pregnant to. In a few months she found herself married to someone she not only didn’t love – she didn’t even really know. Her dysfunctional understanding of what a Christian wife was led her to quickly have two more children. But her husband was becoming increasingly abusive. He joined the military. While he was away and there was peace in her house, she first began to learn of his infidelity. She found that two weeks before they were married he was having sex with other women. Since being married he had continued to philander. He even boasted to his buddies that his wife would never leave him because she was a stupid Christian wife who did everything he told her to do. On a home visit, he became intensively abusive to her physically. She wrote to her parents, “I know I will go to hell for what I am doing, but I cannot stay in this marriage anymore! I would rather endure hell for eternity than remain in this marriage! I go to church and get told that divorce is the unforgiveable sin and feel the condemnation of those who look down on me.” Fortunately though, this story does not end here. She found a church community that didn’t judge her – on the contrary – they loved her, accepted her, and supported her. She found that God did not regard divorce as the unforgiveable sin. She discovered that she had made a mistake to believe that she had to marry this man. God has been able to redeem her.

Secondly, you may have married “the wrong person” but God can redeem the situation. Where two people in a strained marriage are prepared to receive some coaching, they can rebuild their tattered marriage.

Before a couple divorces they should reconsider their marriage vows. In sickness and in health…For better or for worse…For richer or for poorer… These are sombre words being vowed. To divorce to end a toxic relationship may not necessarily be wrong – but to divorce because you’ve got a better offer is wrong and sin. Anyone divorcing so that they can marry someone else has no legitimate grounds for their divorce!

Christians should regard divorce as an enemy. While more and more people are being seduced by this enemy, including Christians, we must practice the love and grace of God by accepting people despite their failures. Learning how to deal with society’s divorcees will be a positive step for the Church to take in reaching this dying generation. Marriage should not be entered into hastily, involuntarily, or unprepared. But the same can be said for divorce. Divorce should be avoided and the best way to ensure this is to marry well (appropriate courtship, pre-marital counselling). But divorce is not irredeemable nor is it the unforgiveable sin. 

Amen.

© 2000, Andrew Corbett, Legana, Tasmania, Australia

Why God Still Uses Preachers

God Still Uses Preaching

WHY GOD STILL USES PREACHING

Andrew Corbett teaching God's WordI once had someone tell me that preaching was no longer necessary in a church service. They reasoned that in the days of the early church there were no copies of the New Testament yet. Therefore, they needed preachers to inform them of what the New Testament taught. Added to this, most in the first few centuries A.D. were illiterate, and therefore preaching was essential then as well. Obviously today, neither of these circumstances are still the case, therefore, they reasoned, preaching is no longer needed.

Preaching might be distinguished from Christian teaching in a few ways. Teaching imparts knowledge, understanding, and brings clarity to how God expects us to live. It is essentially the exposition of God’s Word so that hearers are familiarised with Scripture, understand its context, and clearly see how to apply the Sacred Text. Preaching on the other hand quickly moves to the last of these teaching goals. It inspires its hearers and motivates them to obey the Gospel.

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
First Corinthians 1:21

Reading through the New Testament Epistles gives us a picture of God’s intention for the church gathering (“assembly”) to: worship in song, celebrate the Lord’s Table, exercise spiritual gifts, pray together, and receive the preaching of God’s Word. The Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians that some evil people had hindered them from preaching to the Gentiles and the result was that these Gentiles would not be saved (1Thess. 2:16). He told Timothy not to neglect the preaching of God’s Word (2Tim. 4:2). 

Therefore, if you are called to be a preacher, you have a high-calling from God. Charles Haddon Spurgeon famously told his students, “If God has called you to be a preacher, never stoop to be a king!” It is my hope that the articles and resources on this site will help you to grow as a preacher and perhaps enable you to pick up some things you can use to enhance your preaching ministry.

And when it comes to teaching on some of the most difficult subjects, such as End Times, discover why thousands of pastors from around world have found the eBook, THE MOST EMBARRASSING BOOK IN THE BIBLE so helpful for them to understand what the Church’s role in this world should be amidst the shrill of so many Bible-Prophecy ministries which forecast doom and gloom. Check it out and you’ll see why. PREVIEW

Andrew Corbett

Follow me on Twitter

Disagreeing Well

DISAGREEING WELL

Andrew Corbett teaching God's WordWhat do you call someone who chooses to be civil even with those they don’t agree with? An adultConversely, what do you call someone who will be only be friendly and civil with those who agree with them? Childish.

One of the facets of being an adult is learning how to get along with those you don’t always agree with. Many of my ministry friends have different perspectives on Scripture, politics, and church. For the most part, I have found that I do not need to ‘de-friend’ these colleagues over these sorts of issues. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have strong opinions about these matters – opinions which I am happy to share where appropriate, even with those who disagree.

The Book of Revelation explained

The Book of Revelation explained

One of the most common areas I find myself disagreeing with others about regards how Scripture should be interpretted – particularly Bible Prophecy. I recently heard a Bible teacher claim that the election of Donald Trump as President was prophesied in the Book of Daniel. I disagree. Strongly.

I get frustrated that believers could even entertain such poor hermeneutics (Bible interpretation). But alas, it seems that Biblical speculation, especially Bible Prophecy speculation, is highly prized by most Christians. [Sigh] Yet, even with my friends who cherish such speculation I have learned to be civil and remain friends.

The audio below is a recent radio program I did on this subject –

And when it comes to teaching on some of the most difficult subjects, such as End Times, discover why thousands of pastors from around world have found the eBook, THE MOST EMBARRASSING BOOK IN THE BIBLE so helpful for them to understand what the Church’s role in this world should be amidst the shrill of so many Bible-Prophecy ministries which forecast doom and gloom. Check it out and you’ll see why. PREVIEW

Follow me on Twitter

Growing As A Pastor

Growing As A Pastor

Growing As A Pastor

Follow me on Twitter

He’s considered to be one of the twenty greatest preachers of all time…

growing-as-a-pastor-02

growing-as-a-pastor-03Being a pastor is the highest privilege someone could ever receive because they have devoted  their life to fellowship with Christ, the Source of Life, their hearts to love God, the Source of Love, their minds to understand the Bible, the Source of Wisdom, and their efforts to preaching, the means of Grace for everlasting salvation of a soul. What a privilege!

 

But every pastor faces the following frustrations.

1. People (conflict, apathy, failure, ineptitude, immaturity)

2. Lack of money  (both privately and as a church)

3. People’s expectations

While having to deal with these frustrations, a pastor’s high level of responsibility is further understood in the types of metaphors used to described their role. 

* A farmer (2Tim. 2:6)

* A shepherd (1Peter 5:2)

* A father (1Cor. 4:15)

* A doctor (Matt. 25:44)

* A teacher (Col. 1:28)

Each of these metaphors reveal the focus, responsibility, importance, gravity, and professional commitment required of a pastor. 

 

WHO CAN BE A PASTOR?

Being a pastor is not merely a career choice. Candidates must be Biblically qualified, divinely called, and equipped through gifting and training. If someone is attempting to be a pastor who does meet these criteria, they continually be overcome with the frustrations mentioned above.

* Those who are Biblically qualified (First Timothy 3:1-7)

* Those who are Divinely Called (Ephesians 4:11)

* Those who are Equipped (Ephesians 4:16)

 

WHAT PASTORS DO

Pastors gladly endure adversity and trials, are subjected to criticism, willingly make sacrifices, all for the privilege of serving Christ & His people. This attitude is essential for not allowing the frustrations which afflict all pastors to overcome them and drive them to despair.

To best deal with these pastoral frustrations, pastors must do six things to shepherd those in their care – 

.

1. PREACH
Preaching is the most public aspect of pastoral work. Great preaching is always sweaty!  That is, it’s preparation and delivery is always hard work! Great preaching: informs, inspires, and incites (leads to a positive response)!  Note the contrast between average and great preachers.

Average Preachers:
(i) preach too long

(ii) don’t conclude well

Great Preachers:
(i) connect well 

(ii) state the problem clearly 

(iii) conclude with an achievable solution

Dr. F. W. Boreham, 1924

Dr. F. W. Boreham, 1924

Dr. F.W. Boreham is considered to be one of the 20 greatest preachers of all time. In 1924 he was widely considered to be one of the most influential preachers in the world. His sermons were listed to by thousands and read by millions. How F.W. Boreham became a great preacher:

(a) He developed his voice by learning to lower it to produce a more authoritative tone.

(b) He broadened his content through reading more widely to be more interesting.

(c) He learnt from great orators (criminal lawyers, actors, preachers) and felt that no other speaker in the public arena should be able to outdo the preacher.

 

2. ASKING
A pastor must continually be asking of people- their souls, their time, their money, their energies, their consideration, their service, their attendance. Good asking is visionary, passionate, credible, and demonstrated by the Asker. If you are a pastor and are not prepared to ask of people, you are in the wrong job!

 

3. STRATEGISING
Most problems are not solved by prayer. Prayer is often the means of gaining wisdom so that a strategy can be achieved to solve a problem. Strategy answers the “Yes, but how?” questions.  Leaders’ training, evangelising, spiritual passion, events, managing staff/volunteers – all require strategies! 

.

4. TRAINING 
The most effective pastors are the most effective trainers! Training by a pastor involves-

(i) showing  

(ii) releasing

(iii) reviewing

(iv) repeating

 

5. ORDERING
The most effective pastors are orderly because they manage their time well!  The most effective pastors have learned when to say-

 “No”,  

Yes, but not now”,

 and, “Of course now is a good time” 

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
Colossians 4:5

.

6. READING 
To be a better pastor you must be a better reader!  

When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.
Second Timothy 4:13

growing-as-a-pastor-100Good pastoral reading involves reading widely (especially biographies), & deeply. Some recommended reading for pastors would include –

How To Read A Book By Mortimer J. Adler

– Any F.W. Boreham Book

Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

While Evangelists intercept,
and while Prophets intercede,
and while Apostles interrupt,
Pastors interact.

 

Apostles are there before the journey starts.

 Evangelists are there when the journey starts. 

Prophets come and go throughout the journey.

Only the Pastor walks the entire journey with you.

.

PASTORS MATTER, BECAUSE…

a2a-growing-as-a-pastor-70People  Are  Seeking  To  Obtain  Reassurance.

Pastors pastor by:  Preaching,  Asking, Strategising, Training, Ordering, Reading.

So that…

we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
Ephesians 4:13-14

Ten little church members came to worship all the time,
One fell out with the pastor, and then there were nine.
Nine little members stayed up late,
One overslept and then there were eight.
Eight little church members on their way to heaven.
One took the low road and now there are seven. 

Seven little church members all chirping like chicks.
One didn’t like the music, so now there are six.
Six little church members seemed very much alive.
But one got ‘travelitis’: this left five. 

Five little church members pulling for heaven’s shore.
One got tired and disgruntled, and this left four.
Four little church members, busy as can be:
But one got his feelings hurt, and now there are three.
Three little church members and the story’s almost done.
For two of them got weary and this left one. 

Now everybody knows that one much can’t do
But one brought a friend last month and then there were two.
Two little church members each won one more,
Now, don’t you see? 2 + 2 = 4. 

Four church members worked early and late.
Each one brought one and now there were eight.
Have you got the message, pointed and true?
Come on, folks, we’ve got a job to do. 

For you see, these eight church members, if they double as before,
In just seven weeks we would have 1,024!
In this little jingle there is a lesson true,
You belong to one or the other—
either the building or wrecking crew.

Pastors, let’s grow in our calling, craft, skill, and commitment to Christ’s people for Christ’s glory.

Amen.

 

© Andrew Corbett, 2016

Subscribe and receive regular updates and special offers

Where Have All The Pastors Gone?

WHERE HAVE ALL THE PASTORS GONE?

In a few months, I will be speaking at a national pastors conference. As I have been pondering the assigned topic, Growing As A Pastor, I have reflected on my own journey as a pastor. In a few weeks, I will celebrate 21 years as the pastor of Legana Christian Church. Prior to this I had two pastoral charges in Melbourne, Victoria over a span of 6 years. My 27 years as a professional pastor has afforded me some wonderful learning opportunities about how to more effectively care for and lead those whom God has placed in my charge. Added to this, I have just spent the last 7 years producing a documentary series about Dr. F. W. Boreham, who underwent an amazing pastoral pilgrimage, who despite achieving international acclaim as a world-class preacher, continued to see his primarily role as a pastor

One of my major responsibilities within my denomination (the Acts 2 Alliance) is to help train pastoral leaders and to especially recruit and train new ones. Presently, I am concerned for several vacant pastorates and several more soon-to-be-vacant pastorates (due to retirements). There is a dire shortage of pastoral leaders at the moment – just at a time when they are so urgently needed and, consequently, many secular functions have recently been developed to attempt to fill some of this spiritual void.

While there are some similarities between a chaplain and a pastor, they are not the same. The New Testament describes, defines, and depicts the role of a pastor. The same cannot be said of a chaplain. This is not to sledge the fine work that chaplains do, but it should remind us that the role of a pastor is presented in the Scriptures as a very important one. 

Pastors are responsible to preach the Gospel, teach God’s Word, act as an ambassador of Christ and His Word to a rebellious world, oversee the discipling of a church community, steward the human and physical resources entrusted to the congregation they oversee, and work at growing their knowledge of God’s Word and truth so that they can communicate it more clearly and creatively.

Where have all the pastors gone? It is my hope that over the coming years we’ll hear this question less and less. 

And when it comes to teaching on some of the most difficult subjects, such as End Times, discover why thousands of pastors from around world have found the eBook, THE MOST EMBARRASSING BOOK IN THE BIBLE so helpful for them to understand what the Church’s role in this world should be amidst the shrill of so many Bible-Prophecy ministries which forecast doom and gloom. Check it out and you’ll see why. PREVIEW

Follow me on Twitter

Subscribe To Our Finding Truth Matters (ftm) Perspectives eMail

Subscribe to receive the latest news, updates and discounted special offers.

Thank you for subscribing to the Finding Truth Matters PERSPECTIVES with Dr. Andrew Corbett regular eMail