The Gift of Pastors
Your Job & Mine
Back in the dark ages of the early 1980's, I was enjoying the college life and looking forward to teaching history and coaching basketball as a career. I was on the right track - meeting the right people, given the right opportunities, and even doing summer camps for 10 weeks to gain the right experience.
And then it happened . . .
I met a man by the name of Dr. Hopewell. He spoke to a traveling basketball team I was with on the topic of influence. He said that the people of influence were leaving the local church and investing their lives in other areas. They were going into business, administration, missions and education, but very few were going to serve in the local church.
Dr. Hopewell asked this question which, when I answered it for myself, changed the trajectory of my life:
He asked, "Who has made the greatest impact on your life?"
My youth pastor
My youth leaders
My Sunday School teachers
Wow!!! Other than my parents, it was the people in the local church who had made the most profound impact on my life. Yes, the local church was instrumental in who I was and who I was to become.
My life changed. I believe God used that little talk with Dr. Hopewell to move me toward serving in the local church as a pastor - first as a youth pastor for 13 years, and now a lead pastor for the past 21. I love the local church and have given my life to serve there.
In Ephesians 4:7-16, we see that Christ loves the local church and gave gifts to the church to help in its effectiveness.
This Sunday, March 4, we will be looking closely at Ephesians 4:11-16, where we see that Christ gave - "He Himself gave" (v.11) - pastors to the local church to fulfill three very specific responsibilities. He gave pastors to Equip, Edify (build up), and Educate. We will be looking at the pastor and his responsibility to the local church in doing these three things.
We will also look at the church's responsibility to (and here's another "E" for you . . .) Engage in the building up of the church.
I see it like this: I equip, edify, and educate; you engage, get involved, plugged in. And then the body of Christ - the CHURCH - is what Christ intends for it to be.
Ephesians 4:16 says that when "everybody does their part, it causes the growth of the church for the building up of itself in love." The "itself" is telling us that the church ("itself") must be engaged in the building up of the church.
I have my responsibilities: equip, edify, educate.
You have your responsibility: engage.
And the body of Christ - the church - will be what God intended us to be.
See you Sunday. Come ready to get "engaged".