Churches — release your preachers!

 

As a Bible College Lecturer I am often asked by students, “What is the “job” description of a preacher/pastor/minister?” In the first instance I tell the enquirer that no preacher has a “job”. Preaching is supposed to be their life. In the second instance I refer them to the example of the apostles’ dedication as recorded in Acts 6. I also point out that preachers are suppose to minister “to” the Lord, not “for” the Lord, Acts 13:2; Matthew 25:31-45.

 

Acts 6:2-4, “So the twelve (apostles) convened the multitude of the disciples and said, It is not seemly or desirable or right that we should have to give up or neglect [preaching] the Word of God in order to attend to serving at tables and superintending the distribution of food. 3. Therefore select out from among yourselves, brethren, seven men of good and attested character and repute, full of the (Holy) Spirit and wisdom, whom we may assign to look after this business and duty. 4. But we will continue to devote ourselves steadfastly to prayer and the ministry of the Word. {Amplified Version}

 

Why do I refer students and church leaders to Acts 6:2-4? Well many churches are misinformed about what preacher or, as some call them, pastors, ministers, priests and vicars, are supposed to be doing. It would appear from the Book of Acts that preachers, as we define them today, didn’t exist in the first century. There were those who preached at gatherings and in the streets, but they appear to have come from among those appointed or called of the Lord to evangelize, console, edify, comfort and educate the Body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:11-16). They were not employed as “clergy” as we see in most charismatic and non-charismatic denominations today. And unfortunately these “clergorized” preachers/pastors/ministers etc, are not encouraged to be solely dedicated to prayer and the study of God’s Word so as to thoroughly divide it among disciples and proclaim it to non-believers.

 

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:12 that his belief in Christ was the catalyst for his preaching. It was not income, prestige or a successful career choice in a mega or small church that drove him to preach. His ministry testimony of 2 Corinthians 11 negates such carnality. Only convinced, convicted disciples truly preach, knowing full well that they could suffer and die for their faith just as Paul did? Carnal preachers merely orate. Where are such convinced, convicted preachers in Western Christendom today? There aren’t too many I’m afraid but they sure are needed in these, darkening days of demonic assault against God’s Kingdom.

 

It would appear from early church history that preachers sought to be filled with the Holy Spirit continually and preached day and night after emerging from dedicated prayer and study of the Word of God. While others, such as elders and deacons, were continually filled with the Holy Spirit and charismatically gifted so as to administrated the affairs of the Body of Christ in their location, (Romans 12:3-8; 1Corinthians 12:28-30). This is seldom the case today.

 

What we see today is business structured churches with “spiritual” CEOs and numerous staff fulfilling job descriptions instituted by programme orientated church board members, not the Holy Spirit as was the case in Acts 13:2-4. In smaller gatherings we have clergy who are expected to do everything and usually prayer and study of the Word of God is not included among the board approved, activities for “working hours”. No wonder the kingdom of God is not gaining ground in this lost, sinful world – God’s preachers are not allowed time to pray and study the Word of God more often than any other activity they engage in.

 

Churches – it is time the disciples among you worked together as the real Kingdom of God upon the earth and began to pitch in and fulfilled your God appointed roles in Christ’s Body and release the preachers among you from all those unnecessary, worldly activities you expect of them so that they can pray, study the Word of God, minister to the Lord and preach day in and day out to a lost world. They don’t need to be occupied fulfilling manmade “job descriptions” formulated by church business committees, church boards or groups of business or academic professionals in the congregation. Rather, they need to be hearing from the Lord while praying and studying His Word. Then they will know when to preach, what to preach, and when and how to minister to the Body of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Evangelism of the lost and the equipping of the saints is the life call of preachers/pastors/ministers; anything more than that is not their call. And until preachers preach, pastors (elders) pastor, evangelists evangelize, teachers teach, apostles go forth, and prophets prophecy etc, the world will never recognize the kingdom of God and will continue to be deluded into thinking the “clergorized church”, as witnessed by the world for the last 1700 years, is what Christianity is all about.

 

Charismatic and non-charismatic denominations must abandon the satanic bondage of the seventeen hundred year old “clergy” system they have embraced and release their preachers to hear the Holy Spirit’s leading when they pray and study and then they will be empowered to evangelize their towns, cities, nations and effectively exhort, edify and console the disciples they make.

 

Blessings

Bob Chapman MA

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2 Responses to “Churches — release your preachers!”

  1. Clark Says:

    Would you agree that it is the call of all Christians to do the work of evangelists? The preacher should study the Word and submit to the Spirit in order to lead his congregation and deliver the sermon in the pulpit. It is not the preachers job to visit each sick church member, knock on every door in the neighborhood, care for the widow and fatherless, all on his own. The pastor trains and equips his congregation to share the gospel with the people they contact in their lives. What do you think?

  2. extremelives Says:

    Clark, I would agree that all disciples should be making disciples. It would indeed make a great difference to the state of the world if we did.
    Bob Chapman

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