I want to apologize to the Body of Christ on behalf of some of my colleagues who are guilty of sheep stealing. There’s no better way to say it. When an individual is more concerned about padding their pews than growing disciples or teaching or spending meaningful time in preparation to minister to whom the Lord sends through the portals of the church – it’s not about you, it’s about them.
To build a church by offering positions to people instead of encouraging them to be discipled by the ministry is a sign that the individual you’re following is not a pastor but a promoter, a carnival barker and it’s ungodly.
There are some untrained, “self-made” pastors out there, who have no doctrinal position or hide cleverly their doctrinal stance, that are like midnight burglars – rather than to just preach and teach the gospel and reach out for the lost, they target members of other churches. It’s “safe fishing” when you fish out of another man’s boat.
Positions within the church are not up for sale and no pastor should be engaged in saying “come over here, I’ll make you a Deacon” or “I’ll make you an elder” or “I’ll put you over the money” when you’ve never allowed them to demonstrate any kind of spiritual walk before you and the people of God. And to take advantage of another pastor’s members like that is not the sign of a pastor,
but a cattle rustler – one who steals. To the people of God: BE VERY CAREFUL and consider this: Wouldn’t you feel strange if someone who doesn’t even know you offers you a high position in the Lord’s church?
To come after another pastor’s sheep intentionally is just wrong, period. If that member decides to leave and join your church and then you don’t even have the pastoral training to notify the former pastor that they’ve joined is not only wrong it’s a sign of a lack of training.
I came to Frankfort in 2009 and have never encouraged a person to leave their church. If they left, it was after they prayed about it and considered it, but never because I went to them or came to their house and said “I’ll put you over this” or “I’ll make you a that…” God has blessed me with baptismals, rededications, and yes, some by Christian experience – however, EVERY MONDAY MORNING the priority of staff is to send a letter to their former pastor and church home and let them know of the individual’s decision.
And I’ve never had to demean, denounce and demonize someone else’s preaching. I have my style of preaching, and there are different styles within our rank of Associate Ministers, I have a daughter in the ministry that’s pastoring – she has her style; I have a brother pastor in the city in the A.M.E. Church that is a preacher’s preacher (OMG); Up the road is one of the upcoming prophetic voices in Lawrenceburg; Up the road and to the right (smile) is one of the best preaching minds in Shelbyville; and there are some tremendous preachers in the Methodist, Presbyterian, and other denominations in our city of Frankfort.
Recently someone passed me a note by a pastor on Facebook who had issues with “whooping” – it was obviously directed at me and was suggested that whooping was all that I do – when this individual obviously never listened to a sermon of mine – had no idea that every sermon I preach is about 10-20 hours of preparation, prayer, re-writes, edits, manuscripted, doctrinal, practical and yes, applicable. The celebration isn’t the sermon – (duh…) – but if the sermon’s done right, you have something to celebrate!
Again, beware people of God and serve where God has planted you, until HE says otherwise.
I ran across this article on an emerging church in my hometown in Portland, Oregon. When I first was called to preach 34 years ago, Portland, Oregon was basically a Baptist/Presbyterian/Catholic/Methodist city. Since that time the area is seeing the birth of many emerging churches, especially charismatic churches that are ministering to the city’s residents – most of whom are un-churched. Imago Dei (Latin for the Image of God) is one of those churches and their pastor, Rick McKinley has a great quotation:
We stopped building the church and started being the church.
Awesome! Enjoy the video courtesy of TBN: