19 October 2006

The reality that Jesus Christ is present to teach and lead people does two things for me as a pastor-teacher. It reminds me that I am not alone in this life of ministry God has called me to, and it reinforces the absolute reality that I am not in control of anything and that God is in control of everything.


First, the reality that Jesus Christ is present to teach and lead reminds me of the Truth that I'm not shepherding the flock at 2nd Street by myself. I'm partnered with elders, as well as paid and volunteer staff members -- but being completely convinced that Jesus Christ is actually teaching and leading me as 2nd Street's pastor-teacher, and that together He and I are yoked with others in teaching and leading the rest of the flock.

This perspective
only changes everything. It soothes me and builds me up. It gives me confidence and courage. It sharpens my discernment, and it subdues my proclivity to lead by ego instead of by the Holy Spirit. It only changes everything. I am not alone.


Second, the reality that Jesus Christ is present to teach and lead comforts me each week when I'm standing in front of the flock teaching through God's WORD verse-by-verse. And in that place of consolation I'm reminded that my job is to study , prepare and teach His WORD ... and that it is Jesus Christ's job to apply His WORD.

In seminary I was told by my homiletics professor (a Nazarene evangelist) that each sermon needed to methodically move toward making one main point, and that if I didn't pound home that one main point from several different directions, I wasn't fulfilling my calling as a pastor. But the problem with this methodology was that it assumed apathy on the part of those in the flock, and disengagement on the part of God, neither of which is all that great.

But what joy became mine when I started living into the Truth that
God loves to apply the Truth of His WORD more than I love to study, prepare and teach it. And so now I don't have to wait until the last 5-minutes each Sunday to "wrap things up" and "get everybody to think one more time about the 'one main point' I've been trying to focus on." Instead, I can teach God's WORD verse-by-verse and invite Jesus Christ, our present teacher to apply Truth along the way, to each person gathered, each at their exact point of need. I am not in control.

I am not alone and I am not in control. I need to learn and keep learning these two key lessons. And being reminded of the reality that Jesus Christ is present to teach and lead brings both of these lessons front and center. Godspeed.



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