Thursday, February 19, 2015

Evangelism - Encouraging The Local Pastor

I wrote a post last week called My View of Evangelism. I appreciate all of the response. It lets me know that folks really are reading. I ended with talking about how much we really love what God has called us to do and that "I say, IF you love what you do then you never really work a day in your life."

We really do love it. I honestly want to be faithful in evangelism. There is no sense giving our lives to something and then NOT being effective now and in the long term. That brings me back to sharing my vision and approach to evangelism that I promised to elaborate on last week.

Our family has operated with three deliberate objectives. There are three things that we purpose to do in every revival, every camp meeting and every church where we minister in any capacity. These three things do not always happen in a particular order but when we leave a revival we sincerely want to see them accomplished. For the sake of time and brevity I will only mention one today and discuss the rest in later posts

1. In every revival we purpose to encourage the local Pastor.

Pastoring a church is hard work. It is a difficult and often thankless task. Even though the Pastor is often surrounded by people, his job can be very lonely. We see it as part of our duties as an evangelist to come along beside him and be an encouragement.

We need Pastors. I know some folks that do not believe they need a Pastor but they are wrong about that. God gave Pastors the responsibility to teach us His Word and to shepherd our souls. God gave some Pastors! If God gave them then I need them.

I would not be in the ministry and probably would not be saved if it were not for my faithful Pastor, Bro. Bennie Sutherland. Thank God that he preached the Word of God without fear or favor and poured in the right amount of law and grace when I needed it.

Also there would not be local churches for me to preach in and for us to sing in if it were not for God called Pastors that give their lives to reach souls and keep churches afloat. So it is fair and just to say that I would not have an a ministry as an evangelist if it were not for local Pastors all over the USA. Thank God for the local Pastors.

We have some hard and fast rules when it comes to conducting ourselves properly when it concerns Pastors of churches where we are preaching. You might say it is our ethical frame work.

The Pastor is the Pastor. I am not the Pastor. I follow the Pastor's lead. Although I have a great working relationship with Pastors and I am free to "obey God" in their churches, I purpose to work within the bounds of his authority and not mine own.

We do not usurp the Pastor's authority in the services or out of church. We are under his authority and I often communicate that to the church from the pulpit. I do not only say it, we model our genuine submission to his authority in front of his folks.

We do not disrespect the local Pastor. In fact we do our best to elevate him in the eyes of his people. We constantly affirm him and his leadership in the local church.

We do not slam the local Pastor while we are there or after we leave. There may be things that I think I would do differently if I were the Pastor but I am not the Pastor and my duty is to keep my big mouth shut.

Many Pastors are bi-vocational and are not available during the day but we spend time with the local Pastor when possible and befriend him and his family. Many of them desire and even need the friendship of an evangelist and we are determined to show ourselves friendly.

Encouraging the Pastor extends to being an encouragement to his wife and his children. People have been so kind to Odie and we intend to pay that kindness forward to the kids of Pastors in every church where we minister.

This is only one facet of my vision and approach to evangelism but it is a very important part of it. Pastors are not perfect and we all know that. But God gave them to us for our own good and encouraging them on purpose is a large part of what evangelists or at least this evangelist is called to do.

Thanks for reading.


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