Entering the center stage of many Christians’ lives are personalities that are gifted in promoting and presenting Biblical truths. As Believers seek direction and spiritual leadership there is an adoption of these spiritual instruments as mentors. The elevation of these individuals is brought to heights that are generally reserved for Saints. Spiritual fan clubs and “partnerships” are initiated. Bibles are endorsed and filled with notes highlighting some of their greatest teachings. Tapes and books fill the horizontal mail ways. Trinkets and souvenirs occupy many households. Special meetings are held throughout the country and are attended by the faithful followers, many traveling hundreds, if not thousands, of miles to hear the “voice” of God. There are great teachers and preachers today who have helped people grow from infancy to adolescents through their teaching and mentoring. Through the years I have learned so much from so many. But after being taught the basics, and how to use the Bible, I was granted, as were many others, a spiritual degree in discipleship and servitude. The Holy Spirit became my mentor and teacher. The Holy Spirit began to guide me into all truth. He did not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He heard He shared with me. (John 16:13) It might sound like I am anti-ministry gifts. They have their place, but it is not to create followers at the expense ($) of the Believers. Whenever a ministry gift (Eph. 4:11) becomes the substitution center of attention to the Christian, one is in danger of a misalignment of devotion. It should also be noted that no matter how good a teacher is, there will always be a humanistic understanding and promotion of their own self induced interpretation of Scripture.
Let the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers realize they are called to help perfect and edify the body of Christ, while the Pastors and Teachers are also to feed and nurture the followers of Christ. All of these ministries are to continue in their calling until there is a unity of the faith and the Believer has been matured and trained to resist temptation from the enemy. (Eph. 4:11-14) Throughout the years, there has been a self promotion of the ministry of the Apostle, Prophet, and Evangelist at the expense of the Pastor and Teacher. Some Pastors have even expanded their calling to include the title of Apostle and Prophet. This is to do a great injustice to their shepherding duties. The Evangelist is called to bring people into the Kingdom. The Apostle is called to expand and organize the Kingdom of God. The Prophet is called to make known the voice of God in particular situations. The Pastor and Teacher is to guide and lead the “sheep” in understanding the principles of God’s Word. When you intertwine these ministries, their uniqueness is lost as well as their effectiveness. Pastors who leave their flocks to elevate their own ministry are derelict in their calling. One does not leave one’s flock to elevate and promote one’s own reputation.
A Pastor’s positional authority seems to be minimized by other ministries as well as by Believers. “Traveling pastors” will use their drawing power to entice the faithful to help fill a rented stadium or convention center to hear their unique message. Little do people realize that God speaks through their Pastor who will be there long after the big three ministries have left the area. Let the ministry gifts learn to fulfill their calling, knowing they each play an important roll in ministering the Truth. Let us not elevate ministry gifts above our true mentor’s, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.