Vol. 31, No. 10 October, 2007
IF THE TEAM ISN’T WINNING, FIRE THE QUARTERBACK
“Smite the Shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.”
By Pastor George Mills
The answer is, “just fire the Quarterback, find a new one, and we’re sure to start winning.” I suppose this must be the thinking of the owners of the Football team here in Jacksonville because before the first game of the new season, on August 31, the Coach announced that the starting Quarterback has been dismissed from the team.
“Just get rid of our Pastor, find a new one, and for sure the Church will start growing.” This is the thinking of many churches across America today.
Recently, I heard about a church that gave a similar situation to the Pastor. The gist was, “If this Church does not grow within a certain few months, then we must look for another Pastor.”
Many Pastors across the land are facing the same kind of situation. “Things must change. Other churches are growing and we are not. This has to be the Pastor’s fault.”
I am somewhat familiar with the above mentioned Church, and be it far from me to attempt to interfere in the affairs of
any local Church. No one has that right. I believe in the autonomy of the local New Testament Church. I believe that the said ultimatum came from some Church committee. To me, a committee dictating to the Pastor what he must and must not do is far from any Biblical method, but it is not uncommon. While this is not specifically directed to that Church, it is for any and every Pastor and local Church. This same scenario seems to be plaguing churches and Pastors throughout the land. I do understand that Church governments are different in various denominations, groups, etc. This is one of the reasons why I am an Independent Baptist.
1. CONSIDER. First, Let us consider our Quarterback, (Pastor, that is). A football quarterback must meet certain qualifications. The same is true of the Pastor. We have a “Play Book” called the Bible. It gives the rules to follow. Just to mention a few, let’s look at First Timothy 3:1-7; “This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a Bishop, (Elder, or Pastor, same office, different duties) he desireth a good work. A Bishop (Pastor) then must be blameless,
the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach. Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre, but patient, not a brawler, not covetous. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity. For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the House of God? Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without, lest he fall into reproach and snare of the devil.” “LIKEWISE MUST THE DEACONS.” So, there are some of the qualifications of our quarterback (Pastor) Since I am somewhat familiar with the above mentioned Church and it’s Pastor, let’s examine his qualifications for a few moments. I have in mind also hundreds of Qualified Pastors who are in the same situation…
BLAMELESS. Not sinless. No one can point an accusing finger.
HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE. He still has the one he started with,
VIGILANT. Watchful, prayerful.
OF GOOD BEHAVIOUR. His reputation is to be spotless.
GIVEN TO HOSPITALITY. His home is always open. (This does not mean that his wife has to cook for the congregation).
NOT GIVEN TO WINE. Does not consume alcohol.
NO STRIKER. Does not hit back.
NOT GREEDY OF FILTHY LUCRE. Not after money.
IN EVERY POINT MENTIONED IN THIS TEXT, THE PASTOR I AM MOST FAMILIAR WITH MORE THAN MEETS EVERY QUALIFICATION. Most of the Pastors I am familiar with are good Godly men who love Jesus and want to do a work for Him. (It is a shame to place a Pastor and his family in such trying situations)Let’s continue..
NOT A BRAWLER. These points are self descriptive.
HAS HIS HOUSE AND CHILDREN IN SUBJECTION. The Pastor I am most familiar with raised his children in that Church and children are now serving Christ.
NOT A NOVICE. One who knows the Bible well. One who “studies to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2Tim 2:15)
A GOOD REPORT OF THEM WHICH ARE WITHOUT. A good name in the community. The Pastor I have in mind has such a fine reputation that I have never heard the slightest hint of any bad report about him. Of course, the same can be true of most of the Pastors who are facing the same dilemma.
So, if there is not a MORAL issue.
If there is not a SCRIPTURAL issue.
If there is not a SOCIAL issue, what accusation can be brought against any Pastor?
I wonder, where in the Bible (KJV) does it even hint that it is the Pastor’s duty, or responsibility to build the Church? You can’t find that, no, not in the Bible, no, not with a flashlight and a crow bar
The Pastor is the under shepherd, and servant of Christ, and NOT servant of the Church, or ANY Church committee. “The Elders which are among you, I exhort, who am also an Elder (Pastor) and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the Glory that shall be revealed. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.(1Peter 5:1-3) “And He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some PASTORS and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ.” (Eph 4:11:12) These verses, and others, give no hint that it is the Pastor’s duty to build the Church. One person alone cannot do that. The Pastor is to “Feed the flock of God” and the flock of God is to leave the assembly and take the Gospel message to their homes, communities, jobs, etc. In Acts 6, the apostles were serving tables instead of studying the Word of God. They chose seven men of honest report and set them over the business of serving in order that the Apostles might “Give themselves continually to prayer, and the ministry of the Word.” The Pastor feeds the flock. The Pastor Prays for the flock. The Pastor carefully guards the flock. Satan is behind every bush just waiting for an opportunity to slip in with his doctrines. The idea that the Pastor is to build the Church cannot be found in that passage of Scripture
2. CHANGE. The call in many churches today is a call for CHANGE.
Change is not necessarily wrong. If any Pastor does not live up to the qualifications listed in the Bible, perhaps it is well that a Church call for a change. This is not true in most cases. “CHANGE” today usually means, “We want to be like other churches. We want some toe tappin’ MUSIC and some drums, and cymbals, you know, some things that appeal to our young people. We want some of this ‘contemporary stuff.’ We just want CHANGE in our worship services.” You know, like other churches.” Other churches have changed in many areas, and believe me, this change has not been for the better.
I believe that every Church should seek “The old paths” and stay there. With the winds of false doctrine blowing today, it is best that every Church examine the message from the pulpit. “Is it Biblical? Does our Pastor stay with the Bible?” If the answer is yes, Change is not necessary.
3. COMPROMISE. Usually, not in every case, but in most cases today, CHANGE leads to COMPROMISE. This is one of the reasons why these new ‘versions’ are replacing the Bible (KJV) So much is omitted, added, or substituted, anything goes. Just listen to the DOCTRINES preached today. Sound doctrine today is a thing of the past. My dear, God called Pastor Brother, Don’t change. Don’t ride the “compromise” bus.
4. CONFORMITY. “Be not conformed to this world.” I Challenge you to take a few minutes of channel surfing. Watch a Rock And Roll concert, and quickly turn to a ‘worship’ service. Same thing, no difference. Same dances, sounds, movements, dress, same fleshly appeal. Churches have called for CHANGE. Change led to COMPROMISE. Compromise led to CONFORMITY. Oh yes, ‘churches’ have been built. Crowds are assembled. Churches a half mile wide, and a quarter inch deep have been built.
5. CONSEQUENCES. Today, we are not reaping a harvest of souls, changed by the power of the Gospel of Christ. I wish that all of the change in churches over the last 25 years or so has been a movement of the Holy Spirit, but I’m afraid that if we examine these things by the Bible,(KJV) we will find this not to be true. All of this Change and Compromise has so confused the world of religion, the Antichrist will have very few problems in his rise to power.
Attention Churches. Good, Godly Pastors are getting harder to find. And you may not like what you find, when you find what you are looking for. And remember this great Biblical warning; Before you place your hands, or words, or actions, on your Pastor, make sure that God has His hands off him.
6. CORRECTION. How about a time of examination. You committee members, deacons, elders, or board members, etc.
That Pastor who you think needs to be replaced. Does he meet the Biblical qualifications? If he does, and the one Pastor I have in mind certainly does, as does other Pastors, have you helped your Pastor? How many times have you been on visitation with him? When is the last time you took some Bible tracts in hand and went out knocking on doors? When have you prayed with your Pastor? When and how have you tried to encourage him? And what about his family? Have you considered them? Church members, board members, it is YOUR responsibility to help build up the Church. What have you done to help?
There is so much more I would like to say on this subject, but I trust that these few things have sparked some real thinking in Churches all over the nation that are presently in this mind set. This Publication Ministry is in every one of the 50 States, and in August, we were also in 52 countries of the world. This represents many Churches. Some of these Churches have this CHANGE THE PASTOR FOR NO REASON MIND SET. I trust that the membership of every Church will…
LOVE YOUR PASTOR.
PRAY FOR YOUR PASTOR.
SUPPORT YOUR PASTOR
ENCOURAGE YOUR PASTOR. SATAN IS OUT TO DESTROY EVERY GODLY PASTOR THAT HE CAN DESTROY.
And, if your Church is in this CHANGE mood, copy this message and give it to the board members to read. Ask them about their visitation efforts, and helps rendered. It may surprise you to find out how long it has been since they have rendered any assistance.
These are trying times in the religious world. False doctrine abounds. It is not just a little here, and a little there, it is everywhere. If your Pastor opens the Bible and preaches, “thus saith the Lord,” and the Lord really said it, keep him.
GOD BLESS YOU BROTHER PASTOR.
MAY GOD SPEAK TO EVERY CHURCH THAT MAY BE IN THIS MIND SET. MAY THEY COUNT THE COST.
THINK ABOUT IT…Sometimes a Church, or Pastor sees the need for a Change. If the Holy Spirit is in that change, all will be at peace. There will be no confusion, or ill will. God is NOT the Author of confusion.
AND THINK ABOUT IT…It is much less expensive and much easier for an unsatisfied Church member to move his/her membership to a church more suitable, than it is for a Pastor to move his furniture to another location.
THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING
GOD (1Tim 3:15)
“Upon this Rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mt 16:18).
1. THE CHURCH DEFINED. The word “CHURCH” means ‘An assembly of called out ones’.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation a peculiar people that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who HATH CALLED YOU OUT of darkness into His marvelous light. (1Pet 2:9)
The Church is defined or revealed in 2 aspects…
(A) THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH. (Now, that should start some bells ringing) I hesitate to use the word “universal” because so many take that word in different directions. The Bible says, “Of whom the whole family in HEAVEN and EARTH is named.” (Eph 3:14-21). The whole family of God. Some of this family are already in Heaven. Our loved ones gone on, our forefathers, etc. Some of this family are still here on earth. I have heard and read about an “INVISIBLE CHURCH” There is no such thing.
All members of the Great Church of God have been Born again. They have received by faith the message of the Cross and the empty tomb. They have been baptized into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, (1Cor 12:13) This is NOT water baptism. Quite frequently I hear from people in various places throughout the world. Some places I have never heard of and will never see. Anyway, they tell me of their faith and trust in Christ as their Saviour. I have no other choice than to believe that they are part of the family of God on the earth.
Now, the great Universal Church does not have a Pastor. It does not send out Missionaries, etc. so it is broken down into
(B) LOCAL NEW TESTAMENT ASSEMBLIES. Local Churches as at Corinth, Ephesus, Colosse, Philippi.
Not all members of the local assembly are members of the Great Church of God. You can be a member of a local Church and still not be saved. Our Salvation is in receiving Christ.
The Local assembly has officers to fulfill it’s functions under Christ…
(a) PASTOR. (Eph 4:11-12), (1Pet 5:1-3)
(b) OFFICERS as needed, such as deacons, etc.
I am happy to be a part of a local Church, and of that Great “General Assembly, and Church of the firstborn.”(Heb 12:23)
2. THE CHURCH DIRECTED. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” (Mt 28:19-20) The Church is directed to take the Gospel of Christ to the world. The Church is not directed to get involved in the environmental issues, Social Reform, Housing programs, moral reformation, or many other programs of man. Now, when we take the Gospel to men and they get saved, one by one, the moral and social issues change. The Gospel starts on the inside. Man’s heart must first be changed.
3. THE CHURCH DYNAMIC. The Church forceful, the Church powerful. “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee, and Samaria, and were edified and walking in the fear of the lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, WERE MULTIPLIED.” (Acts 9:31) The churches were busy fulfilling the Great Commission. The Jewish unbelievers at Thessalonica, so opposed to the Resurrection of Christ, in their attempt to seize Paul assaulted the house of Jason, but did not find Paul and Silas. In their frustration, they made the statement, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.” (Acts 17:1-9) The Church Dynamic is the Church taking the Gospel of Christ to the world, making disciples, and multiplying. Wouldn’t it be great if men said about each of us, “They have turned their world upside down.”
4. THE CHURCH DILUTED. As we read the Epistles, we clearly see that there are problems in the Churches. These letters were written to straighten out problems. Their Dynamite had been diluted…
(A) DILUTED BY DIVISIONS. As in the Corinthian Church. Paul writes, “For ye are yet carnal, for whereas there is among you ENVYING, and STRIFE, and DIVISIONS, are ye not carnal and walk as men?” (1Cor 3:1-11). How many local churches today have been so limited because of DIVISIONS. Paul wrote to the Romans to, “Mark them which cause DIVISIONS and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them.” (Ro 16:17). In Proverbs 6, the wise man listed six things the Lord hates, and he added the seventh thing, “He that soweth DISCORD among the brethren.” (Pr. 6:16-19). Just another word of caution here. Paul strongly doubted the salvation of some in the Churches (1Tim 1:20). Those who continually cause trouble and problems in the local Church, perhaps this day and time would be the right time for you to ask yourself, “AM I REALLY SAVED?” I do not believe that one who continually causes trouble, disturbs the Church, seeks headship, such as did Diotrephes, (3John9-11) is really saved. The Bible has strong language against such conduct. If this describes you, then get saved today. Receive Christ as your Saviour. Tell Him that you repent of all your wickedness, and that you believe in His finished work of Redemption.
(B) DILUTED BY DEFILEMENT. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness?” (1Cor 6:14). So many churches today have opened their doors to Jezebel (Rev 2:18-23). There is no longer a clear line of separation. DIVISIONS opened the door, and DEFILEMENT walked in. We cannot hold hands with the world, and with the Saviour.
(C) DILUTED BY DOCTRINES. DEFILEMENT BROUGHT WITH IT STRANGE DOCTRINES. As you read the Book of First Thessalonians, you will read about a Church DYNAMIC. “So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the Word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad, so we need not to speak anything.” This small band of believers were united and spreading the good news of the Gospel. Now, as you read Second Thessalonians, you will see quite a difference. The church began to believe that they were going through the great tribulation. It seems that someone wrote a letter to that affect and signed Paul’s name to it, and sent it to the Church, (2Thess 2:1-2). Since Paul’s day, many “letters” and versions have been signed as being “Officially from God.” Winds of doctrines blow today. A new doctrine arises almost daily. People are flocking to this new thing, and then to that new thing, to this doctrine, and to that. And so many have been DILUTED by DOCTRINES. Paul warned us again and again, (2Tim 4:1-4).
5. THE CHURCH DISCIPLINED. The Lord Jesus walked amidst His Churches in Revelation 1, He saw the problems and threatened to discipline the wrong He found. “Whom the Lord lovest He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.”(Heb 12:3-15). The candles (churches) of Rev. 1 have long since been extinguished. And the same is true today. Many churches, once aflame with the Gospel Message have been closed. Christ has had to sharply discipline some of His Churches. Oh, that His smile of favor would be upon this Church, your Church!
6. THE CHURCH DESTINED. “I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” We are on the winning side.
TODAY, any local Church can live in Revival. I do not believe the Bible teaches that in the last days there will be a great revival in the world. The opposite is true. Apostasy and false doctrine will abound in the last days. But as I said, any local Church can live in Revival. Let each of us have that time of seeking His face for revival. May it begin with me.
TOMORROW, The Church will live in Heaven. “For our conversation is in Heaven whence also, we look for the Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His Glorious Body…” (Phil 3:20-21).
Has God spoken to your heart about anything concerning your relationship with Him or His Church? Settle these things with Him today.
Once again, not everything that calls itself “church” is Church. Only that which honors the Word, KJV) and Loves the Saviour, our Lord Jesus qualifies. I’m glad that I’m part of The Church!
By Pastor George Mills
“Upon this Rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (My 16:18
Before the foundation of the earth was laid,
And before the awful stain of man’s sin,
Be plan of salvation was already made,
And Christ came, for His work to begin.
Christ came to redeem, not with silver or gold,
But by His own blood, the spotless Lamb,
The Lamb upon whom all sin was laid,
The incarnate, the Great i am.
I love the Church that Jesus bought,
With Blood from His wounded side,
To know that He came to earth and sought,
And He claims us for His bride.
Filled with the Spirit, armed with His Sword,
Washed and made white in His Blood,
All clothed in the armor of His Blessed Word
And will withstand the enemy’s flood.
The Church, born from His wounded side,
‘Though Satan may assail,
Secure in the Saviour’s hands we abide,
The Church will ever prevail.