As we see the church beginning to bend to the whims of our culture we struggle to ask how we, as the church, have let this happen on our watch? How did things in our society go so wrong, so fast? If the church is the light of the world and the salt of the earth, we have gone AWOL and abandoned our posts. And the reason is simple, we have a crisis of Godly leadership in the church, in our marriages, and in our families. Where did all our leaders go?
Part of this crisis is found in our assumptions about the church and the expectations of the Christian life. Consider the assumptions we, as men, constantly make regarding church and our responsibilities to lead our wives and children in the things of the Lord.
• There will always be a church on every street corner so I can freely church-shop without having to make a commitment to any in particular.
• There will always be paid staff to do ministry for me so I won't have to.
• Praise and worship will always be what I enjoy. And if not, "I'm outta here, bub!"
• There will always be a preacher/pastor/teacher, my personal hired holy man who will do the heavy lifting for me and my family so I can spend my time doing other things that I enjoy more.
• There will always be good study materials available for free so I won’t have to spend my money on learning the Bible but can spend it on what I want.
• Church will always be about me.
• I can come when I want, late or not, no matter.
• I can do what I want, no matter how it affects others.
• I can live the type of life I want, sin and all, and if someone has a problem with that I can always leave and go to another church of my choosing.
But these are all just assumptions. And church life is quite different on the front lines.
So, What Happened to All Our Leaders?
Great question. One of the most important questions you can ask yourself as you look in the mirror. How would you answer these questions:
Do you know enough about the Bible to spiritually lead your wife and children if you had to?
Are you personally growing in your faith in the Lord?
Can your wife and children see your growth?
And if not, why?
Do you judge your success as a man by your spiritual growth and knowledge of Christ?
Or are there other criteria you judge yourself by?
Does your wife feel confident with you to ask you a question she has about the Scripture?
Has she ever done that?
Could you give her the correct answer?
Or were you too busy with other stuff to be "diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, (how) rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)?
And now, the good news.
Would you like to know how to be proficient in “rightly dividing the word of truth?”
Would you like to acquire the skills necessary to understand the Word of God on your own, without having to have someone else explain it to you?
Would you like to have confidence in teaching and explaining His Word accurately and intimately?
If so, this message (and the ones to follow), will give you the tools you need to grow into the man of God you were meant to be.
The following message is Step One on How to Be a Small-Time Pastor.