By MINISTER KEITH EVANS
What has 21st century ministry evolved into? We have moved on so far from where the Church once was during the Apostolic era with Paul, Peter, James and John. It is imperative that we return back to the discarded values of the past, and quickly!
We have created and invented superstar preachers and superstar performers within the churches. Everyone wants to be a star, thus diverting the focus from Jesus towards mortal men. And at the same time they pilfering God’s glory. Sounds like Hophni and Phinehas, sons of Eli.
Who has the biggest church? Who draws the biggest crowd? Who gets the most invitations to minister God’s word, whether preaching or singing? Who has the most likes on Facebook? Who makes the most money? It seems that Facebook has become a factory for prophets and apostles proclaiming judgement around the hurricane season, strangely enough.
It is very disconcerting and distasteful when all we have are a people with ulterior motives behind the podium, or computers. The foundation of the Church is Jesus Christ. He alone should be the lone superstar of the Church of God.
The fact is that we have a nation that professes to be a Christian nation, but their works say different. The Bahamas is a Christian nation culturally, but not spiritually. Sin is dominating our nation. Transgenderism, homosexuality and other darkness is prevalent in the 242.
We need to exalt God, and God alone! Not the pastors, not the pastor prophets, or chief apostles. Can somebody please e-mail me explaining to me what exactly a ‘master prophet’ is? We’ve made celebrities out of preachers here in the Bahamas, following in the footsteps of the US with its mega churches.
You may think ‘OK, Keith, what is your scripture premise? Glad you asked. Isaiah 42:8 says: “I am the Lord: that is My name: and My Glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.” Also, Exodus 20:3-4: “Thou shalt have no other God’s before Me. Thou shalt not make to thee any graven image.”
How is it that we as a people continue to put mere men on pedestals? Pastors with armour-bearers, assistants to wipe their faces, carry their briefcases, chauffeurs to drive them around. You can’t even question some of these mere mortal men if there is a discrepancy in the way they do things.
Paul the Apostle detailed with lucidity the purpose of what we call the Fivefold Ministry within the Church. Ephesians 4:11-13 says: “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.”
This isn’t a new philosophical ideology that I’m trying to tell you about. The modus operandi of the Fivefold Ministry is to edify the Body of Christ according to the Scriptures; not to grow fat living an opulent lifestyle. It is reprehensible and criminal for pastors to be buying $200,000 Lamborghini while their members struggling to put food on the table. How is it that you wives can make up a big fruit basket for your pastor but neglect to prepare breakfast for your own husbands? How is it brother that you can be a bodyguard for your pastor, but don’t have a prayer life?
I have no horse in this race when it comes to honouring the pastors. My concern is that we overdo it, bordering on idolatry, which God hates and is jealous of. I have to be presumptuous in writing this, but I do it out of humility and a wish to present God’s word. There are too many ulterior motives behind the pulpits in God’s house. We’ve been frolicking in church too long. It’s time to make the name of Jesus bigger, not our flesh.
It is very disenchanting to observe what’s going on with the leaders of the Body of Christ. To the pastors, prophets, apostles, and bishops: Stop upstaging Jesus! Only Jesus can save. Only Jesus can heal. Only Jesus can take you into Heaven or keep you out of Hell. Only Jesus! It’s not about how big your ministry is. It’s not about how many speaking engagements you’re getting. I want you to know that without the Holy Spirit you’re absolutely nothing.
Let us all humble ourselves before God. Matthew 18:1-4: “At the same time came the disciples to Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child to Him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say to you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
A pastor living in a mansion while his members are living in a one bedroom shack isn’t exactly humility. Why are we so enamoured with materialism? Materialism is going to cause a lot of us to miss God, and sadly, even Heaven. Everything we see the televangelists on TV do, we mimic. I want to know holiness, sanctification, redemption, and other doctrines of true biblical Christianity. What we have here today is becoming a sham or red herring.
I have nothing against pastors living good as long as it’s not on the backs of their members. And as long as the members have a roof over their heads and food to eat, it’s OK. The good Shepherd always puts his flock first. Remember, you’re a servant, not the served. Take off your garment and wash the disciples’ feet. Jesus was never given a pastoral anniversary, but an old rugged cross. The tomb He was laid in was borrowed from Joseph of Arimathea. He never owned a house, nor a donkey. He wasn’t given a vacation to Rome with a bag full of money, but a spear that ruptured His heart on the cross. Maybe our perspectives are wrong place.
Honour your pastor, but don’t worship him. Worship God only and stop upstaging Jesus. Everyone wants the crown, but no one wants to carry the cross.
• Send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Minister Keith Evans is the host of the Wake Up Everybody Show.