Pastors Have The Ability To Be Incorrect

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”

Ephesians 4:11-13


Pastors have a tough job, they have my full respect. Sometimes I think to myself, “Could I start my own church and be a pastor?” The Holy Spirit immediately corrects me each time, “No, you’re not ready for that. You don’t have the temperament.”

Understandable. And you know what? I’m fine with that. I get asked quite often, “What church do you preach at?” Or, “What times are your services?” I even get called “Pastor Matt,” and it makes me feel honored, but at the same time, I chuckle a little.

I’m not a pastor. I’m a regular person, just like 99% of the world’s Christian population. I’m a regular person who has developed a close relationship with Jesus by seeking Him out each day through His Word, Christian books, prayer, music, preaching, teaching, videos, movies, articles, blogs, TV shows, ANYTHING “JESUS”–I study. I’m simply a Jesus junkie. I can not get enough of Him.

What I’ve done is, I’ve taken that relationship with Jesus, and combined it with my God-given gift of communication, which has then supernaturally resulted in me walking out my destiny. And I gotta tell ya, it feels good.

Even when the world is crashing around me, I still have a peace in my heart that is unshakable, and it’s Christ in me.

All I’ve really done is become loving and respectful to Jesus through my words and actions because of what He did for me, for free. I had no clue the amount of people who would actually pay attention to what I had to say each day.

This is proof that God does more than we can ever imagine when His power is at work within us (see Ephesians 3:20).

And my destiny is simple: Bring attention to Jesus by allowing Him to live through me. 

I’m just like you. No better, no worse. We’re the same in the eyes of God. He does not have favorite kids. He does not love us more because of our good behavior, or less because of our bad behavior. This same love is applied to pastors as well, only, they are on a platform.

This is a huge responsibility. People are looking to them for life’s answers, so they better be sure to find their complete identity in Christ–not in themselves. 

As I’ve sat back over the years and watched pastors pastor, I’ve noticed a few things:

  1. People place so much of their faith into that single person, as if he (or she) is unable to be wrong. I’ve been guilty of this, and it took  me being blindsided by a trusted pastor to realize that just because you preach, that doesn’t mean you fully understand the love of Christ. Our identity must never be found in a pastor, but instead, it should be found in Christ alone.
  2. People want to be extremely close to pastors, sometimes even more than they do Jesus. This is not fair to the pastor. Yes, they want to help you, they want to be involved in your life, but please understand that they have a family life as well. Take it easy on them. For some people, they have placed the opinion of their pastor so high, that when they are rejected by the pastor (because the pastor is trying to establish some healthy boundaries) they get angry and act as if God Himself is rejecting them. Some, even give up on their faith altogether because of the rejection of a pastor. Don’t do that. If you do, the devil has won. LOVE your pastor, but know that he is just a man (or woman).
  3. Pastors get attacked more than the average Christian. Of course, the devil doesn’t like anyone making the lives of people better by pointing them to Jesus, let alone through teaching or leading them in a Christ-like way. So that dingle-berry from hell will come rushing in with gale-force winds to knock the pastor off his feet through the hate of non-believers, and through the uber-critical religious people. If the pastor is firmly planted in Christ, he’ll not budge. If he’s not, he’s toast.
  4. Some pastors teach too much fear, while others won’t come near “fear” teaching. Peter said that we are to be “well balanced” (see 1 Peter 5:8), this should apply to all aspects of our lives. For pastors, this should be applied to their teachings. If all you teach about is fulfilling your congregations’ dreams, you are selling your people short. And if all you teach about is how “backsliding” (which is not even a word in the Bible) will land you in the deepest part of hell, you’re wrong too. Keep the scales balanced. Teach truth and love, 50/50.

Yes, God wants to help us fulfill our dreams, but He is much more interested in molding our souls into Christ’s image through trusting Him, than He is is making sure we have a fancy car or a big house. But at the same time, God couldn’t care less if you have a fancy car and a big home if you are firmly planted in Christ’s love. Those things won’t send you to hell, or make you lose your salvation. They are simply details.

Also, try to remember: More money means we can reach more people. It’s a good thing! It’s not money that is the root of evil, but the love of it, the replacing of Christ with it. 

I gotta tell ya something else that I’ve noticed. Some pastors are extremely self-righteous. So much so, that they find their complete identity in that position, in that title, in how they look, rather than in Christ.

Sure, they might know Jesus, but does Jesus fully engulf their souls? Or does doctrine? Or does their suit? Or, their refusal to wear a suit? Have they made themselves more holy than they really are by what they are doing?…

I can’t judge that. I can only ask the questions. I used to judge them in this way and God soon slapped that out of my mouth, gently, of course.

They should ask themselves this: “Has my position as pastor replaced the love of Jesus in my heart? Have I become cold? Is my identity found in my title, or is it found in my love for Jesus?” And lastly, “Am I showing others who Jesus really is, or am I showing them ME?”

Do they have an unconditional, grace-filled, Christ-like love? Or do they have a rewards system for their church members? They must choose wisely because one type heals lives, and the other, ruins them.

Some pastors even lie to their congregations, saying such things as, “If you’re not having any problems in your life, then you should be questioning your salvation.” This is terrible. This is called fear-mongering, and fear will not work. So if that’s you, stop it.

John said that “there is no fear in love, because fear has to do with punishment.” Once we place our faith in Jesus, we no longer have to worry about being eternally punished. He also said that “God is love,” and that “perfect love casts out all fear” (see 1 John 4).

God’s love for us in Christ is PERFECT. And we have access to this perfect love, by grace, through faith (simply believe that Jesus is the Savior of your sins {see Ephesians 2:8,9}).

God doesn’t want you to be afraid of Him. Yes, He wants you to be afraid of life and death without Him–those are healthy fears. But as far as flinching all day long? No way. STOP BEING AFRAID OF GOD. Love Him, and show Him the respect that He deserves, but know that He is your loving Father. He loves you.

A lot of people have been hurt by pastors tremendously, myself included. I’ve seen some put on one face in the pulpit, but in a one-on-one setting, they are a different person. I’ll not go into that, but if you pick up my book, True Purpose In Jesus Christ, I devote nearly an entire chapter to it.

But on the other hand, if it weren’t for the pastors who truly know the heart Christ, and them teaching me, leading me, and guiding me…I don’t think I’d be where I’m at today. The pastors who’ve encouraged me, telling me that God loves me infinitely despite my sin, yet, they told me that my sin had to go if I wanted to get the most out of my life–those are the pastors who have molded me into the man I am today. So thank you.

The more I think about pastors, overall, the more they have my sincere respect. Just the amount of relationship juggling is mind-boggling. Everybody wants to be a part of their pastor’s life, and that’s impossible. Yes, I’m sure he or she cares deeply for you, but there is no way that they can have a normal life, and be scrambling around a web of needy people 24/7–even though I’m sure they want to.

So give them a break. Don’t resent your pastor like the devil wants you to do. Think of them with love, no matter what.

So today, my friends, know this: Yes, your pastor does have the ability to be incorrect. Just like you do, and just like I do. None of us are perfect in word, thought, or deed, no matter our positions. But the great news is, on the inside of us is a perfect Savior! So let’s all do as Jesus said and make sure that everyone knows we are following His lead. How do we do that?…Simple. By our love (see John 13:35).

-Matt

A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, this morning I lift up all pastors to you, ALL OF THEM, all throughout the world. Nothing is too big for you, so I’m praying a world-wide prayer today. I ask that you bless each and every pastor with peace today. Help them to understand the love of Christ on the deepest level possible, and then help them teach it to their people. Lift them up if they are down, REJUVENATE THEM! And if they’ve placed themselves higher than Christ, knock them off their pedestal, but do it gently. Help every pastor today to be a blessing! They CAN change the world for the better! I ask that you instill in each and every pastor’s heart, Jesus, deeply, and on a whole new level! Thank you, Lord. Amen.

For more of my teachings, pick up one of my books!

How To Defend Yourself As A Christian
Jesus Destroys Bad Relationships
Categories: Devotionals

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