I have been concerned over the years that what is often looked at as pastoring is not always true pastoring. A pastor is a shepherd, who watches over and bring nurture to the life of the sheep. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, so He certainly is the greatest model of pastoring.
I am not sure Jesus would pastor people in the way modern pastors are being pushed to. Today’s culture seems to look at pastoring as something that actually looks more like pacifying.
“Meet my needs, keep me happy, scratch my itch, don’t tell me anything I don’t want to hear.”
Because churches have to run budgets and keep finances in order, making decisions is more affected by finances than principle. In addition, I am concerned we have created a codependent culture, where the pastor has to jump at every demand, every need and every complaint.
Because of this, pacifying people becomes more of a driving force than truly feeding the sheep with what God is saying. Certainly there are many pastors that misuse their authority, but are the people of God ready to be nurtured into being overcomers, or are we just wanting to be pacified?
I think Paul nailed it when he warned his spiritual son Timothy:
“For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears“ (2 Tim. 4:3, MEV).
So, are you positioned to be pastored into your destiny or are you just seeking to be pacified? The following are seven signs you want to be pacified more than truly shepherded.
1. They do not have an enduring spirit. If you notice, sound doctrine needs to be endured. Why? It’s because the solid truth of God often hurts at first. It challenges us and makes us uncomfortable. Not in an accusing way, but in a manner that calls awakening to a higher level. Those who want to be pacified don’t have endurance. Once the church life gets a little challenging or they have to deal with relational conflict, they often bail—blaming the church for everything.
Those that want to be pacified will make big statements, but have no follow through, because they have not learned to count the cost and build an endurance to plow through seasons of resistance. Tough times always cause them to bail.
2. They do not like truth that makes them uncomfortable. This is probably the biggest sign, because all truth requires us to change. But most people do not want to change. Those that are pacified have no interest in changing, but you don’t always see it up front. It takes a time where truth requires a response. Their inactivity becomes manifest at times where the Word of God demands a response.
Pacifiers want to blame their circumstances. They do not want to address the things within themselves that are a part of the problem, because that would mean taking responsibility. The pacified want the binky or the bottle, but not the strong meat that requires them to make a change.
When God’s truth comes to us, a good shepherd will loving equip the saints to deal with their personal issues, offenses and brokenness.
But if we are not willing to deal with them, how can a pastor truly fulfill his calling in our midst?
3. They see compassionate challenges as unloving. The moment a pastor stops validating the woundedness and makes a call to step out of brokenness, resistance rises up. Now the pastor we once thought was so loving and caring is now the meanest person on the planet. I have watched so many friends in ministry get blasted by people in the body who claimed the pastor was being so mean and unloving, when all they were doing was bringing to the table a call to step out of victim-land and into victory.
Yes, there is a time to weep, grieve and address brokenness. But do we resist the new chapter where God is saying, “Rise up and walk!”
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SOURCE: Charisma News
Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles, including, teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, pastoring, leading and mentoring. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many communication mediums, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and his wife, Melissa, founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a church and ministry dedicated to inside out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for Mark’s teachings, writing and broadcasts, that is designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation.