A Word to Pastors


Nancy Arant Williams


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Pastors are a venerable lot and deserve great honor. But God also requires more of pastors. (To whom much is given much is required.) If you know and serve the Lord there are certain qualities that should characterize you and your ministry.

 These include: loving God with passion--with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and putting Him first in all you do and say—in other words, not living for yourself. Your life must be an example of how to live, wise as a serpent yet harmless as a dove in this present, evil world. You must be passionate about the gospel message of God’s incredible love for mankind, and take seriously the awful truth that those without Christ will die and spend eternity suffering in hell forever. Ask yourself this question: Do I love Jesus with a passion that is visible in everything I do and say? Would I die rather than give up my salvation? If not, what kind of example am I?

 As a pastor you must know God’s Word and rightly divide the Word of Truth, training your people how to take God at His word and believe Him for answers. When the Word says nothing is too hard for God, you must believe it. When it says to pray for the sick to be healed, you must do it in faith without wavering. If you don’t, who will? You are God’s representative on earth, the point of contact for those who need to see God move. If you’re not seeing signs, wonders, deliverances, miracles and healings, perhaps it’s because you’ve grown cold and the Holy Spirit has written ichabod over the church door and gone elsewhere, because you didn’t welcome Him there. If that’s the case you will have to answer for it before God.

 The sad truth is, pastors who see no move of God are those who are moving in their own strength relying on their flesh. And they are the ones desrc
ibed in Matthew 7. “Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

 On another note: It’s easy to start out well, passionately loving God, but it’s also easy to get so distracted with church activities and programs that you neglect intimate time with God. It’s easy to get priorities out of order and begin to let the church and its programs consume time and attention that should be on God and your family. So examine yourself to see how you measure up. If your wife and children are regularly upset with you because you’re never home, or if you’re home but always preoccupied, that should be a big red flag. If you haven’t cracked open your Bible except to study for a sermon, and you haven’t spent time in worship, as well as in concerted prayer and bowing before the Lord, you’re off track, and in danger of judgment.

 If instead of feeling love and concern you feel annoyance when people have needs that demand your attention, you’re off track. If you’re on target you’ll show compassion enough to say, “Well, let me pray with you about that. I’m in this with you.” That’s what Jesus did.

As believers we are to be Jesus with skin on. So if we aren’t believing God and moving to touch people’s lives with love and prayer, we are out of order and God will hold us accountable.

This is not a game, and ministry is not merely a secular occupation where you put in your time for a paycheck. To succeed as a pastor you must be called of God, because in the flesh it will be too hard to stay the course until the end without an anointed call. And whether you believe it or not, if you’re a pastor you’ve made yourself a target of the enemy, who will do everything in his power to take you out--to destroy you, your testimony, your family and your church. Pastors, in fact, are falling away at an alarming rate, getting caught in sin, and most are taken by surprise that it could happen, because most feel they are immune to such things.

Jesus is coming soon. There’s no time to waste doing your own thing believing it’s a popularity contest or merely a windfall profit with which to line your pockets. In fact, we as believers all need to be constantly on our faces before God, repenting and examining our motives to be sure they are pure.

Jeremiah 23:1 says this, “‘Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!’ declares the Lord… ‘You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,’ declares the Lord. ‘Then I myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and shall bring them back to their pasture; and they will be fruitful and multiply. I shall also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them, and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing.’”

On another note: if you think you are above being seduced or tempted to fall into sin, think again, because it’s happening to Christian pastors everywhere in record numbers. The devil has just unleashed his last, greatest assault on pastors and Christian marriages, knowing his time is short, and he’s looking to devour you as well. So humble yourself and ask for discernment and wisdom, and maintain a teachable attitude, putting on the armor of God, so you do not fall.

    The time is now to address these questions and repent, turning around and being accountable as a shepherd. Your eternity depends on it. What have you, as a pastor, done with Jesus? How have you cared for your flock? Will Jesus say to you, “Well done” or “go away”?




Copyright© 2012, Nancy Arant Williams  |