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Articles

  1. Anatomy of a Church Split
  2. lyzudoxyzi.tk: D Pastor: Books
  3. Leading Adventist Pastors, Seminary Faculty ask for Credential Change Because of Vote on Ordination
  4. Related Books

If He called you to do something, He will provide for you when you are doing it. It will be interesting to see how they get on. Pastors in the UK who tried this recently were told it was prohibited by Policy. If someone voluntarily rejects his dignity, no policy can prevent it. For some people ordination means nothing, so is the policy. Ordaining women is NOT against policy. The Working Policy clearly states that there no restrictions on gender.

We have been saying this over and over that the Leaders in GC should resign. If they cannot put together the ship and they are discriminating women but supporting thieves in some of the divisions and unions, we strongly advise them to resign and we elect new leaders. Just today the GC President published a document about how he likes Mrs. Ellen White who was actually an Ordained Pastor but on the other hand he cannot ordain other women of her caliber this a contrast. Therefore we should not accept this kind of a leader who is not consistent in what he says and what he does.

I believe you are incorrect about Ellen bring ordained. That has been covered over and over again. Tim, yes in July the Session has approved wrong leaders and that is normal because they went around in Africa and Latin America sensitizing Unions and Divisions which had the same view on women discrimination. The GC Leaders have even created new Unions in those areas because they new that the Session was near and that those Unions were to support them in wrong doing. Therefore a propaganda like that cannot be blessed by the Lord of the Lords.

Those leaders are pretenders they are showing the wrong face to the SDA Believers and that is why we are requesting them to step aside. The Renaissance of the SDA Church has started and it will not end until it will have reached to its climax. We hope that the new Leaders will learn from this mistake which was committed by GC Leaders when they descriminated women.

If you feel that there are leaders in the church, at any level, that are not qualified enough, or sanctified enough, or doing what you think they should do, you should pray for their removal from office. God has many more ways to remove a person from a position than an election every 5 years. I have seen it work miraculously. I have prayed for the removal of leaders that I knew first hand to be corrupted, and in almost every one of those situations, the people were removed through a variety of circumstances within a few months. In one case, all of the top officers of a conference were defeated by the members at a constituency meeting to the surprise of the Union and Division leaders.

I guess with the others that were not removed, I may have been wrong. Or maybe God is saying not yet. God tolerated the evil kings in Israel and Judah for years. But our job is to pray for their removal or repentance, as Elijah did for Ahab. The first and presently 3rd voices speaking out in this thread are BS and ET. How appropriate that we hear from the far right and the far left.

BS hawking male headship. Hawking male headship in the church or on websites should preclude anyone from reading another word the proponents write. It appears that anyone who needs to use capital letters to write out words in their postings can safely be ignored. Erv, not sure what you mean by this? I used to be able to use italics or bold script, but that facility seems to be no longer available.

How can we do this otherwise? Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents more deserving. Any confusion comes from the NAD and their counterparts in Europe, Trust me God is pulling out his hand and soon you will here that there should embrues what has been going on. Please keep the church united, dont dived us. It is not so amazing that Elaine Nelson gets so much affirmation and a high level of credibility on a forum that professes to support the SDA church of which she is not a member.

This forum like Spectrum draws unbelievers like flies on cow pies and all are applauded as highly enlightened and spiritual. They tolerate me and a few others so they will have some people to point to as the trouble makers in the church. By the way, Dr. Or is he an A today icon beyond challenge? I suggest you challenge each other if you want to project a truly objective forum for discussion. Stand up and be a man and let the women fill the roll God created them to do. Love, nurture and stand by their man! How can you de-ordaine someone? While everyone is distracted arguing and fighting over WO, Jesus is going to come and catch you all unprepared.

I think not! Nobody has to fight over ordination. They should just let it go ahead by territory as they see fit. Today, what they call for continues to be refused, for decades now. Shame on all the pro-ordination voices who still cling to their precious ordination credentials. Do they fear loosing their salaries?? If the North American and European Divisions continue to hemorrhage members at the rate of today, the global church will experience a very strong shift in ideology.


  • Primary Sidebar.
  • Can Women Be Pastors, Elders, and Deacons? A Second Look at 1 Timothy 2:11-15.
  • TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)!

Onan The Magnificent got right at the beginning of the discussion. Our job is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Satan is winning. Onan might have got it right at the beginning, but at the end, …. The benefits of ordination are not being relinquished: 1. Ordained ministers can perform ministerial activities weddings, etc. This privilege will continue for ordained ministers regardless of the words on their ID card. Note: While preaching at an evangelism campaign in a country in Asia, I was asked by the conference leaders if I was ordained or not and when I said I was only a commissioned pastor, I was not allowed to participate in the baptisms of members who had attended… 2.

Ordained ministers are paid substantially more than commissioned ministers and I did not hear of anyone mentioned in this forum refusing to accept their salary or their expected retirement earnings. Regarding the IRS and the parsonage provision: The IRS accepts the statement of earnings from the conference designating the minister as being eligible or not and I did not hear of anyone mentioned in this forum asking the conference to inform the IRS of their ineligibility.

If the ordained clergy are sincere in desiring unity with their commissioned sisters, they should go further than just changing a word on an ID card. Different Divisions handle this differently. This was part of the thinking underlying the vote in Austin. The majority of the delegates voting, did not want to handle Ordained ministers on a Divisional basis. However, it came with certain restrictions prohibiting me from leading-out in a Communion service or conducting weddings.

Are you aware of any such restrictions today in any conferences in North America? William, I know you asked Jim, but in my experience as a commissioned pastor, my conference allowed me to do everything an ordained pastor was allowed to do except ordain others.

Anatomy of a Church Split

My only restriction was that I could not perform any of those activities outside of the conference without express permission. This whole thing about Commissioned ministers was created in response to US tax code, and has been a bit confused and inconsistent from its inception. In practice it tends to mean whatever a Division, Union or perhaps even Local conference wants it to mean. A majority of the delegates who voted in San Antonio voted against Ordination becoming heteropraxy. Another anonymous without the courage of their pathetic convictions. Beware lest the same fate befall thee that befell the father and grandfather of Ichabod.

I Samuel 4. Serge, I agree Satan will loose in the end. If he can keep us busy with arguing instead of spreading the gospel, he wins. Adventist churches have had women associate pastors for years, but did the leadership stop them at the outset? In fact, they encouraged it by putting them on the payroll. I can name over a half a dozen other creeping compromises this church has allowed that were at one time never practiced.

So instead of letting out your frustration on each other in here, direct that frustration at those who are accountable for it. They are the ones you pay handsomely to keep your church peculiar and separate from the world. And if nothing gets done, and your Spirit and the Word of God is telling you women ordination is wrong, then it is you who needs to make a decision to stay or go. Shalom Shabbat everyone! God wants us to stop gender discrimination, now! Measuring it comes a close second because what we measure communicates what we value.

1 Timothy 1: False Doctrine and Those Who Want to Teach

How we as Adventist Christians define and measure success gives form and direction to all aspects of our ministry. It shapes the culture that follows and ultimately determines our future. This is happening just before a great event: Joshua is taking on a new role, he is leading a great people, they are about to enter the Promised Land, they must face many enemies, they need success. It depends on the way we occupy that place. You are warring against God who ordained the order of government in the world, the home and in the church.

All you can do fight God and try to tell Him how to run His government and kingdom. In your post you lord over me. I spoke the truth and you tell me my truth is false. Are you telling me that the Spirit and the Word of God that is speaking to me is wrong? You are lording over me, Sammy? Jesus warns us about doing what the heathens do —that no one is to lord over us. Church organization, any organization is designed to lord over people be it management and subordinates or clergy and laity. As we see from your remarks, you want to lord over those who oppose you. Manipulation and coercion are all effects of church organization.

As I said in my previous post, you chose what is right in your heart and allow me the freedom to chose what is right in my heart. Like it or not, I must serve the Lord and keep my conscious clear. You must keep your conscious clear and therefore you must do what you have to do. Let us live peaceably, not condemning one another for their beliefs, but loving one another because of their beliefs —not in spite of them.

Whether you accept this or not, you can still learn from it. It may make you stronger and build a more peaceable character. Sammy, chose ye this day whom you will serve…. God or m. This view believes that the Pentateuch represents the conflation of four different sources rather than the work of primarily one author, traditionally Moses. I thought then—and I still do—that whether a person becomes an adventist is more important then whether he becomes an Adventist. The advent movement is important because people who are expecting an earthly kingdom will be more easily deceived by a false messiah.

Indeed, I think they are helpful. At the same time, however, failure to adequately emphasize salvation by grace alone, the primacy of scripture and the priesthood of all believers has created a significant barrier to promotion of the advent movement among protestants. Many of us have to make decisions that define who we are and what we believe in. Most often, the choices we face may seem insignificant.

However, it feels good to live and work with integrity, and when we become known for this highly valued trait, our lives and our careers can indeed be successful. It did seem odd at first to think of successes of the entire Body. We are glad that our Evangelical brothers were there; and shared the same Sound Doctrine. We also see the Mainline Protestants, that are loosing so many members, share the same worldly doctrine of these wishing their credentials changed. The difference between those taught to teach and those in the field doing the work; in cases. The difference is wisdom from HIM.

The Adventist church is NOT growing in the western world, but shrinking. Nearly all the denominations you mentioned have ordained women ministers, excepting the Southern Baptist. Actually even the Southern Baptists do; for specific roles no different than our current situation.

The Assembly of God has changed their policies in restrict and is now growing. Churches of Christ are independent and only a small list allow. Lutheran Missouri Synod and the American Presbyterian, absolutely not. Actually some have restricted their policies and grown rapidly. The American Presbyterian split in if I remember right for this very reason and has grown rapidly; while the Mainline is dying. Is that causal enough for you? In correlation; any failure as a Christian to serve GOD is failure.

This is absolute causation. Which Southern Hemisphere Adventist Division are you talking about? South America is growing and said no with the BRC release before the vote. South Pacific is growing, but still not back to the point a few years ago; before this fiasco began.

On the one hand, you seem to wish to identify with adventists. Are you acquainted with the considerable aversion among the pioneers of the advent movement to hierarchy and creedalism? What is the origin of the traditional view? Read this —.

Does your pastor know you talk to non-adventist this way? Your reply is enough to turn anyone away from Adventism. What are Adventist preachers teaching their followers these days? I can only pray that Andrian will do the right thing and apologize to you publicly for his remark. If this is the fruit that Andrian produces, then we know him by that fruit. This is a forum to discuss issues, not destroy souls to which Jesus died to save. On this web site we do not know who is strong or who is weak, who is lost or who is found.

Our highest respect for one another, no matter how strong the differences, must be continually maintained or we put at risk our eternal life. Everybody knows that I love to quote the Bible. Is there any problem with that? Have you find any distortion in this or something? Andrian, I found this statement to be offensive —rude, condescending and hurtful. It makes you look superior to Roger. And if Roger is not an Adventist, or is not a Christian nobody knows for sure but Roger and God , I do have the authority to protect the image of Christ, His Church and Christians all around the world.

This language is unbecoming a Christian no matter what denomination you belong. Well, if you think so, I trust you, and thank you for clarification. English is my second language, as you might notice that by counting my grammar mistakes, and it definitely can be improved.

lyzudoxyzi.tk: D Pastor: Books

So, dear Mr. Roger Metzger, I ask you to forgive me the shape in which I put my message. Once again, please take my apology. Jc4meandau, please note: Samuel is fine, Sam is OK, but Sammy is entering a zone that my late Mother was the only one to use. I prefer that most persons call me Sam. Duly noted. Lording over? It is to influence without imposing oneself, without being intrusive and without interfering. To act in a domineering or superior manner toward others. In other words, remain humble in all things. Hope this helps, Samuel. I completely agree. How often do you see someone turning the other cheek?

Or what about holding your tongue? It takes special effort to see the world from any perspective other than our own. This is not the character Jesus set out to build in us through His Spirit. And ironically, we need these things that Jesus taught us, turn the cheek, hold our tongue, be submissive, humble, etc. I appreciate your helpful response. The process involves asking for clarification, searching for common ground, exploring new ideas and perspectives, and bringing unexamined assumptions into the open.

No records exist within the church or the writings of EGW that reveals she was ever ordained as a pastor in our church by the laying on of hands. If she had been we would know where this happened, we would know the year it happened, the church where it happened, and the names of those church leaders that were they when it happened, just as we have records and know when and where every pastor in within the SDA was ordained.

These ordained pastors can ask that their credentials be changed because official records ave been kept that states they were ordained. How can they expect us to believe EGW was ordained when no records exist to prove their claim? Within over , plus pages of her writings there is no mention of the church ordaining her as a pastor, yet the WO supporters keep pushing the same false claim upon us as if it is truth.

When Miriam demanded she be elevated to the priesthood office ordained pastor Jesus turned her into a leper because he was against that happening. Both Aaron and Miriam were speaking against Moses. The issue was not the Priesthood, but rather the role of Moses as the primary spokesperson for God. You equate the Aaronic Priesthood with the modern role of an ordained minister. The official position of the SDA Church has never been that Ordination in any way signifies induction into a Priesthood.

If any of you have not been interrogated by a fundamentalist Baptist, I suggest you get out and meet your neighbors! Having that experience may well teach you to avoid using those techniques. I think so. The verse CAN be used to encourage faith in God. Will coercion someday be employed in an effort to get seventh-day sabbath keepers to work on the sabbath day?

There is such a thing as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Metzger, sir, I think in your analysis you approach to the horse from the wrong side. Let me help you with some details that were missed. First of all, the vision of 14th Ch.

Should Churches Train Their Own Ministers, or Should They Be Sent to Seminary?

One event follows another one and is predecessor of the third one and so on. Which means, the second coming of Jesus Christ is described in verses We have proclamation of another judgment which was made by 1st Aangel! What kind of judgment is that? The second Angel proclaims the ending of the judgment and the Babilon is pronounced guilty and fallen.

Than we have a third warning — Do not serve the beast and Satan! Which means the kingdom of the beast and Satan is going to be established right before the second coming of Christ. So this is the plain picture of the nearest feature. And the SDA Church only can give you the answer on what the first judgment is. No one else can do it. This is investigative judgment, which defines who is going to meet Christ on clouds when He comes back with multitude of Angels. Just think of it. I understand that the beast requires the whole world to make his image as well as worship him. I find it interesting that the whole world is asked to make his image first and then worship him.

So the question is: do you get the mark by first making his image or making and worshiping him? Coincidentally, today we are living in what is called the digital age, where making images of everything in heaven, earth and the sea is never questioned —not even by stanch Christians —they have images of a man they call Jesus and use images of God and angels, as well as people, lambs, fish, etc. That said, it seems that the time would be ripe for such a beast to appear and no one would question his order to make his image because they make images of everything anyway.

Could this be why everyone is deceived? I mean 50 years ago, not many denominations would allow for images —not even a cross and when you look at history —all the way back to the 5th century, the issue of images was…. Jesus was the one who turned Miriam into a leper? I never knew Miriam was after the sanctuary priesthood. Moses was never a priest, others levites were appointed to the priesthood. Numbers 1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And the LORD heard it. Looks like in verse 2 Miriam wanted voice?

Looks like in verse 3 Moses was very meek and a little higher than a Priest? Hey Roger: many agree in essence. We are one Body; our brothers are cherished. I have no willingness to impugn upon others; motive or otherwise. We are commanded to speak, exhort and rebuke any breach in such or stumbling block with all authority; are we not suppose to do this?

Such creates hierarchy and self control by default. Just as Grace added extensively to the requirements of Law and the responsibilities associated in such. Our parents tried to teach my siblings and me to show respect for even those with whom we disagreed. My mother often used a phrase that I took to be an expression of the distinction between Christians and non-Christians.

I was, therefore, a member of the Sabbath School within a month of my birth. I considered Sabbath School membership to be a form of auxiliary membership. For more than half a century, I have advocated having high standards for voting membership, higher standards for certain KINDS of leadership AND no behavior standards for fellowship. Which is to say that I accept as truly Christian whoever makes a profession of faith in Jesus—the exception being anyone who denies he is a sinner. The only criterion for SS membership was regular attendance.

The fact that someone disagrees with me should not be taken as evidence that he is not, in his inmost soul, true and honest. When the apostles ordained others, was it an affirmation that the Lord had ALREADY bestowed directly on those individuals the spiritual authority and other gifts appropriate to the offices for which they were candidates?

Or was the ACT of ordination the means whereby that authority was received from the apostles? We are a Body; the inclusion and agreement acknowledge the affirmation; the vote in replacing judas acknowledged affirmation. Many are called, but few are chosen. Are we not absolute in sacramentalism; HIS sacrifice? In many cases I disagree, but without Guidance to raise my head.

But if we walk wisely in the Spirit; it will bring us into remembrance and teaches us all things. Does the question not change perspective then. Should it be how inclusive and exclusive of HIM are we in our votes? Do we look at the requirements in 1 Timothy 3 proven and much more difficult now in the environment we have created or do we exclude such and include those that believe like us?

Do we exclude what is best for the Church, to include individual beliefs? Do the ideologies not all return to the same question; do we include or exclude HIM? In all honesty, how high we rate with HIM is much more important than how high HE rates with us; but does this ideology not create a sad situation? If we interpret modern revelation by the Bible we are doing the exact opposite of what LDS Mormons do which is to interpret the Bible by modern revelation.

If you decide to interpret the Bible by modern revelation, what can you use as a basis for deciding which modern prophet to follow? I never did consider my salvation to depend on my denominational affiliation. Babylon is a huge topic only because it is not only a well recorded topic in the bible, but because in the last day the angel calls us out of Babylon.

First, I think Roger makes a good point and I tend to agree with him on the denomination affiliation. I do know —through my years in this church, that what they preached 30 years ago is not preached today. In other words, what was truth back then is not truth today. So was it false doctrine they taught? As for Babylon, I have a very different ideology on the subject. To me, Babylon rubs the second commandment the wrong way. Babylon is coined: The Gateway to the gods. Earlier I wrote to you about The Beast and his image and asked about when the whole world receives his mark. Do we get the mark when we make his image, or when we worship him, or both?

Again, making images fall right into the second commandment and with the beast, making the whole world make his image, and with Babylon being an image making nation of many gods, there seems to be some correlation with the second commandment. Pretty much the whole OT revolves around idolatry and it seems the best way for Satan to ensure we get his mark…..

I took a Bible doctrines class. That same year, a Week Of Prayer speaker tried to explain the doctrine that was discovered by Edson, Crosier and Hahn in the mids. It seemed to me that the WAY it was being taught contradicted basic Bible doctrines, especially salvation by grace alone through faith alone.

Some of my Campion classmates apparently had never been taught that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. After they graduated, they discovered that doctrine Ephesians 2; Romans 4 and, believing that the SdA denomination denies salvation by grace through faith, threw out the baby with the bathwater. Her parents not SdA attended. There were no women elders in that congregation.

There were no women elders in that congregation either. Sally was more vocal in her opposition than I was. Should Sally have continued to express her opposition to the ordination of women as local elders? To me, the true church consists of all true believers, regardless of our denominational affiliation. Roger, all I could get from your post is that for you, there is not much meaning or content in being a member of any church community. The fact there is no continuity in the SDA church today on any subject, simply means no one outside the church can possibly know what the church stands for, because the church itself does not know what it stands for.

We are down to two basic things, the Sabbath and state of the dead, and even these are on the bubble and not so clearly affirmed by more than a few, even in high positions of influence and authority. The basic doctrine of sin, atonement, and salvation are so obscure that anyone can teach and believe anything and be endorsed by the SDA church. Anyone with a reasonably clear understanding of sin and atonement can only shake their head and wonder if Adventism can possibly be useful in the future to define a clear biblical doctrine of sin and atonement.

And as many of us know, politics and church unity have taken the place of clear bible truth and truth must take a back seat. My religion is personal—not institutional. Always was. You raise good points. To be taught theology, or taught to teach others theology, does not a theologian make this issue and instant situation used as specific example. I would not trust the safety of my family in medical, transportation, construction, nor many things, especially Spiritual; without the wisdom of works and experience and trials , especially from HIM. My wife very vocal in opposition and in a Covenant marriage a long time ago.

She would not allow me to sit by and not support her or teach her otherwise; but I have nothing to offer in alternative. Otherwise; would we not consider our conviction stronger then theirs, even in support of? I pay laymen, other denominations, to be evangelists in small areas with no other Churches and ability of our presence; is that wrong? Would I deny others membership or the responsibility of vote in such; to anyone? My wife says she sees a lot of failure in the commanded callings of teaching in Titus 2 and testimony of 1 Peter 3; along with the failure in strength and conviction to note such.

Is she wrong? Would you like to explain to her how she is wrong I definitely know better and would not attempt to. She does not want these persons and their individual ideologies around any children. Would you like to explain where she is wrong there? The are multitudes out there like her. What now? Does the organized SDA Church belong to God or to those who have superior education, intelectual status and experience? The church of SDA does not belong to God. The UNIONS have authority of the Ministerial role ie: selecting, Ordination, and discharging of Pastors; Religious instruction, tithe collection, and general management of the churches in their Conferences.

By virtue of their theological training, they are equipped to help us avoid making certain kinds of mistakes—especially when it comes to theology—not in the form of imposing dogma on us but in the form of pointing out the disadvantages of specific WAYS of explaining our PERSONAL beliefs. A clergyman who understands his role in this way will think of himself as a resource person—not as a manager or a foreman—and he will not think of laity as unpaid employees of the conference officers.

I extrapolate this same principle to mean that local conference officers are servants of the pastors and the laity, union officers servants of the local conference officers, the pastors and the laity, etc. Think about it!!!! This is a terrible expense of redundancy???? Much more money would be saved by getting rid of Unions, the middle layer. The high-priced hierarchal layer is the Unions. Or, perhaps we could get rid of the Conferences, the lower-midlle layer, and let the Unions handle the details. Imagine the savings! They still had disagreements about who Jesus is.

In hindsight, however, I think it would have been preferable to make a list of doctrines SdAs may NOT teach if they are paid from tithe funds. That list might be longer than two-dozen doctrines but it would start with 1. Sunday sacredness, 2. The idea of an organized church as a means of grace is not faulty in and of itself. And so it is. Even if they are right, then they must at some point simply abandon the community, or should expect to be put out. The ridiculous idea that you can teach anything you want, even if you think it is true, in opposition to stated church doctrines is inane and stupid.

Freedom of religion is a civil right, not some mandate to allow you to teach anything you want in any given church community. Onyone with an once of intelligence should be able to see the faulty reasoning of such a claim. I teach that Jesus is one of three divine persons who constitute one God. There never was a time when God the Son was not. All things were made by him. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone—grace is the source and means of salvation; faith is the vehicle or conduit of salvation.

The Bible is not the only source of inspired council but it is the highest source in the sense that anything that is purported to be modern revelation should be evaluated and interpreted by older revelation. Every believer has a form of priesthood spiritual authority.

The church consists of believers; it may be organized; organization can be a valuable tool of the church but no organization is the church. The church has existed from before Jesus was born. The seventh-dag of the week is the day the Lord rested in creation AND in redemption; resting on the same day the Lord rested both honors him and is a symbol of entering into his rest. Yes, of course, if this is the confession of the church community. The confession of faith you have articulated may be good and OK in and of itself, but it is not definitive enough to state all the fundamental doctrines that define the church.

If a person has carefully studied it in light of the EGW presentation, and then decide it is wrong, they should simply abandon the SDA church. This is non-negotiable to be a SDA. You can believe in the Sabbath, state of the dead and other doctrines you agree with, but on this single point, if you disagree, you are not in harmony with the spirituality of the SDA church as explained by EGW and the bible. Seventh-day Adventism is a 3rd use of the law system of theology.

The original intent was to highlight human accountability to God and a judgment to determine who has accepted that accountability based on the law of God. This, of course, in light of the gospel. We accept Christ and His atonement as our legal right to heaven, we also willing subject ourselves to His authority as Lord and King.

Adventism was to be a very definitive and articulate teaching on all the principles of atonement and salvation. As many know, we are far more interested in unity than bible truth. We are far closer to joining the world wide eccumenical movement than many realize. Church members are woefully ignorant of what divides Protestants from Rome in their spirituality.

Modern Protestantism has already joined and we are a hair away from doing the same. We have no valid argument not to with our present spirituality. Most of the people who will be in heaven will have died or been translated while disagreeing with one or more of the doctrines I listed earlier today. We are not saved by our beliefs. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. Doctrines can help to encourage faith in God but we are not—and never will be—saved by doctrines.

On the other hand, if dedication to orthodoxy however it is defined prevents someone from thinking of other Christians as better than himself, that seems like a serious problem. This is so blatantly false, I could wonder that any rational bible student with give it a second thought. Apparently, at least some have never really considered the implications of such a statement. I wonder if there is one rational poster on this forum who will either agree with you, or, if not, admit the outlandish and inane idea that we are not saved by our beliefs?

If you are saved by your beliefs, Bill, it is a rational conclusion to draw that you are doomed to enjoy a very lonely eternity in your heaven. Not at all, Serge. Everyone in heaven will believe what I believe. Moses and all the prophets believe what I believe along with the apostles. We all believe the same thing. We are all Seventh-day Adventists. There will be no Sunday keepers in heaven. So you are sadly mistaken that heaven is full of people with diverse teaching and understanding of truth and their relationship to God and each other. We will all learn some details that were not known or understood in this life.

But the basic fundamental truths of law and gospel are not obscure now for any who want to know by way of scripture. If people are deceived, it is because they are willingly deceived and choose to remain so by their own free will. Matt Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. You wish to approach outside of Doctrine; then prove your point. Otherwise you only obligate others commanded to reproof, correct and instruct in righteousness.

Your approach serves no purpose of GOD and only forces others to do as commanded. We try to teach you, but you will not learn. You can read. We are pure in heart, merciful, hunger and thirst after righteousness. We Love and worry of others you mislead and your; we have to, that is Love. This does get old. Proverbs 26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. Willful ignorance is equal to full enlightenment that is simply rejected to defend ignorance itself. No one on this interesting thread has said that man saves himself.

Most would oppose that position because it is both unscriptural and anti-scriptural. Galatians is as strong as Romans in declaring that one is not saved by works of law, yet both of them are just as strong in declaring that baptism is essential to salvation. There is nothing that you can do. Someone should have been there to straighten Peter out. Jesus got it wrong as well. It is an important biblical emphasis within Christianity. My religion is personal, not institutional. At what point in time did the advent movement become institutional?

Whether a person thinks of the advent movement as including the Millerite movement or thinks of the advent movement as beginning after the great disappointment, the advent movement continued for some years before And it was a movement, not stagnant. At what point did it cease to be a movement become stagnant because it had become institutional or creedal or both? I submit that the advent movement is still a movement.

Only a real shepherd will be truly followed by his sheep. Because he is always with them, shares his life with them and will do anything for them, they know his voice and follow him. God is just such a shepherd and His son Jesus is just such a shepherd. And He wants every person who leads His church in His name to be just such a good shepherd.

You know the difference between a good and a bad shepherd. You have the greatest shepherd of all as your example. And in His name and strength you may be a pastor, a shepherd. The truth that applies to every other child of God applies to the pastor as well: the Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing! A church leader in Iraq told me that pastors in his country must often lead their flocks under very difficult circumstances. In Baghdad, they can hardly move through the city or beyond it for fear of shootings and kidnappings.

Yet they, too, wish to take care of their flocks. How can they be good shepherds? The second walk behind the flock. These shepherds see exactly what is going on among the sheep, they know them well and take good care of them. The church will be best cared for if it is served by two kinds of pastors: the visionary and the comforter. Anyone who has discovered what the task of a pastor involves will know it is something you can never do on your own initiative.

Moses did not decide to lead the people of Israel of his own accord, David did not anoint himself king, the prophets did not prophesy at their own discretion. Even the slightest awareness of the great responsibility of a pastor should be enough to discourage anyone from taking up the task on his own initiative. How could anyone speak for God and lead his church on their own initiative?

But how does God call a person, how do you recognise that He is the one directing you towards pastorship? The church affirms that every believer is called to be a witness of Jesus in this world. In that sense, everyone who knows Jesus has a calling to serve Him. In addition to that, we read in the Bible that God calls some people to a special assignment. These special tasks are all aimed at supporting the believers in their calling to serve God and to testify about Jesus. In the Bible we see that Jesus gives the gifts of the Spirit to the whole church.

The body of Christ is made up of the church as a whole and each member is gifted to serve the others and to build them up in their faith. In short, it is a special way of being touched or spoken to. God calls his servants in different ways, but the result of the call is always that the person being called is completely overcome by it. It becomes an inner compulsion pushing you towards becoming a pastor.

You may not necessarily feel happy or grateful right away; receiving a calling can also make you feel frightened or uncertain. This compulsion to serve as a pastor is not just a burden, but also a token of immense grace. It is a grave responsibility, but also a beautiful mission! A second characteristic of being called to be a pastor, besides that inner compulsion to serve God, is that you develop a great compassion for people. The realisation that all those people living and working around you are lost without Jesus pierces your heart. The founders of the project, Johan and Astrid Vos, by this time had spent over 10 years working among the poorest of the poor in this country.

As we worked and spent time together, we spoke a lot about the meaning of the work. The misery in a slum area is so overwhelming that it makes your efforts seem futile. What keeps them going from day to day is a desire to share Jesus with all those hopeless people, helping them with food, education and social support. Becoming a pastor, then, starts with a personal calling from God. A calling from God must definitely be answered by the pastor-to-be.

It must be followed by a deliberate choice to be obedient and to follow wherever God will lead. We can see this clearly in the lives of the disciples. Jesus calls them away from their daily activities to follow Him and to save people. But they have to leave their nets behind. Being called to become a pastor tears you away from your normal patterns. Serving Jesus is not something you can do on the side, it is a radically different way of living.

Jesus shows us the significance of this by the distinction He makes between the disciples and the crowd. If you were to summarise what the gospels tell us about the disciples and about the crowd, you could say that the members of the crowd listen to Jesus, witness His miracles and that many of them believe in Him. They are timeservers, not followers. Jesus touches them, but they do not leave their normal, day-to-day patterns of living. Becoming a real disciple calls for more, as Jesus explains in Luke In verse 26, he indicates that not everyone who follows Him is necessarily a disciple.

This statement is not meant to disparage family ties; it is about loving God above everything and everyone else. Your family, loved ones, friends and colleagues are all valuable, but if you wish to be a disciple and to join in the work of the Kingdom, your life — every aspect of it — must be governed by Jesus. Serving Jesus means letting go of everything that is more important to you than He is, everything that might distract you from serving Him. No longer are you governed by people around you, or by your own will, Jesus governs your life, both present and future.

I consider them garbage. If you wish to work side by side with Jesus, everything that until now gave you a sense of security and stability, everything you were proud of, must be removed. In this context, your relationships also hold second place. Every disciple who desires to follow and serve the Saviour, including a pastor with a calling, must break with anything that might hinder his service. It is a step of obedience that can only be taken on the basis of the love of Jesus. Anyone who knows His love will desire nothing more than to live nearer to Him.

To such a person, pursuing Him is not a sacrifice but a deep desire. Directly after Jesus has spoken about the obedience required of a disciple, remarkably, he goes on to emphasise that discipleship also means you will have to suffer with Him. Not His cross, for He carried that Himself, but your own cross. Even Paul said he proclaimed the gospel of the cross in fear and trembling, because it was a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles 1 Corinthians 1 and 2.

Carrying the cross in the footsteps of Jesus is characterised by being rejected, excluded, by becoming a stranger on earth. Does this mean the pastor is some sort of misfit? Only then will you be united with Him in His suffering and thereby also partake of His glory Philippians , Being called to be a pastor, then, is a far-reaching destiny, a process of hearing and obeying. It is about discovering step by step the path God has for you and how you can obey, using your gifts.

Often it is a long process, in which knowing God and getting to know yourself better and better, are of vital importance. This enables you to make sure the calling is genuine and that you will respond to it in the right manner and at the right time. A church leader in Pakistan once told me that in his country, where pastors face tremendous pressure, a man who indicates that he wishes to become a pastor is not immediately sent to a theological seminary. First he is prepared for a number of years, sometimes as many as ten.

He is given a support role in a church organisation and is encouraged to acquire the language and other skills he will need later at seminary. In the workplace, he learns what it means to be a Christian in daily practice. He is familiarised with what it means to be in the service of God. Only after a time, if he has genuinely received a calling from God, is he considered ready to go to seminary and become a pastor. In view of the great responsibility every pastor carries, I believe this is a lesson from the Suffering Church that we must take seriously.

We should prepare aspiring pastors for working in a church by first giving them a position that does not involve huge responsibilities. Meanwhile, help them hone their skills, their character and their spiritual life and only then send them off to seminary. In Acts, the Biblical route followed for the calling of pastors is that the congregation gathers together in prayer and that the Spirit then appoints individuals who are to be ordained as pastors by the church.

There is a calling from above and a calling from below and the two cannot be separated. The pastor is a servant of God, called by the Spirit, and his calling is confirmed and implemented by the church. You can be confident that you have been called by the Spirit by the fact that He empowers your life and ministry.

Every believer receives the Holy Spirit, but again and again we read about people in the Bible who received a special assignment from God and a special anointing of the Spirit to go with it. The most obvious example is Jesus, who at the beginning of His ministry was baptised in the river Jordan by John the Baptist. When He came up out of the water, He received a beautiful confirmation of His calling. Something similar happened to the disciples on the first day of Pentecost.

To receive this anointing, you do have to consciously open your heart and fully focus on the direction of the Spirit. How do you open yourself to the anointing of the Spirit upon your life as a pastor? The Bible only gives one answer to that question. The key to opening your heart to the special guidance of the Spirit is prayer.

Jesus was praying when He received the Spirit at His baptism in the Jordan. The confirmation of your calling by the anointing of the Spirit, therefore, comes through prayer. We have seen that your calling must be confirmed by God through the anointing of His Spirit. That is the first and most important confirmation. But again and again in the Bible this calling is also confirmed by the church of Christ. From Acts and 3 see above it is clear that the Spirit calls, whereas the church sends off those who are called by blessing them through the laying on of hands.

Your ordination as a pastor should be done in and by the congregation. In that way your calling is confirmed not only by God, but also by His church. The church thus recognises your calling and gifts, your faith and your suitability. You will need this recognition to be accepted as a pastor. You will need this recognition to provide spiritual leadership and to be respected and revered by the congregation.

A calling by God to be a pastor starts as an inner compulsion, is followed by the anointing of the Spirit for the task at hand, and is confirmed through the ordination, or sending off, by the church of Christ. Being a pastor is a way of life. A pastor is not just someone who points the way to living a life that honours God, he sets an example, too. The credibility of what a pastor says depends on the life he lives. A congregation watches its pastor to see how he puts into practice what he teaches them about walking with Jesus. And rightly so. Paul repeatedly sets himself as an example. Being an example like this can be paralysing if it makes you feel that as a pastor you have to be some sort of perfect Christian.

Thankfully, this is not the case; if it was, who could be a pastor? It does mean that in every aspect of your life you deliberately seek to serve God, to follow Jesus and to be led by the Holy Spirit. The only way you can be an example for your congregation is by consciously living in close communion with God.

A spiritual leader cannot survive without caring for his own soul. Be aware as a pastor that each new day you must first receive from God before you can give out in His name! The question is: how do we nourish ourselves spiritually, how do we lead a spiritual life? Let me mention three aspects of spiritual life that a pastor, keeping watch over his own soul, must take into account.

There are other issues as well, but throughout Christian tradition these three have been considered the three most important aspects of spiritual life. A pastor who observes these three points will grow in Christ and therefore also in his ministry in the church. The first thing about the spiritual life of a pastor is that he must lead a prayerful life. Although this is such a vital issue for every pastor, it is often the first thing to be forgotten or neglected under the pressure of all the work. Prayer is a form of hidden communion with God, it is what nourishes your relationship with the heavenly Father.

If you prayerfully share your whole life with Him, your sins and your wounds, your joys and your sorrows, He will give you comfort and strength. Spending time in prayer with your Sender will place all your labouring and your concerns in a very different light. Staying tuned to God through prayer will take the worst pressure off your shoulders.

Instead of you leading your life, He will lead it. Instead of you leading the church, He will lead it. Only he who daily practices the presence of God will persevere and continue to grow and to blossom spiritually. The best example of a praying pastor is Jesus Himself. Again and again we read that He was praying, that He withdrew to be alone with His Father. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles.

In addition to personal prayer, every pastor is also charged to pray continually for the members of his congregation. This is what Jesus did in His prayers, too. I am not praying for the world. He is one of you. He serves Christ Jesus. He is always praying hard for you. He prays that you will stand firm in holding to all that God has in mind for us. You pleads for them with God, praying that they will stand firm and grow in faith, hope and love. You prayerfully fight alongside them, like Moses did when the people of Israel fought against the Amalekites Exodus As long as he kept praying for them, they were winning, but every time he lowered his hands, they began to lose.

But how do you put this into practice as a pastor? People often ask their pastor to pray for them personally. One way of dealing with this is to pray for that man or woman on the spot, while he or she is with you. Another approach is to take time out at the end of each day to intercede for everyone you have met that day.

That way you will be praying for the whole congregation and not just for those in need. These are ways of taking them to God in prayer, pleading for them with their heavenly Father, representing them to their Lord. They may be too restless that day to pray themselves, but you will be taking time out to speak to God for them and on their behalf. Satan has asked to sift you disciples like wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon. In almost every letter he writes, Paul tells the churches he writes how he prays for them.

It encourages people and gives them hope and expectation. At the same time, it offers them an example of a prayerful life. As church members experience how uplifting it is to hear that someone is praying for them, they will pray for others more consciously. You are a human being, living and moving consciously and compassionately among other human beings.

Those others, too, will benefit from your prayerful attention. Church leaders facing persecution emphasise in every conversation about their pastors and churches that they continuously pray for their country. We pray zealously for a revival and we are prepared to pay the price if the Kingdom of God can be advanced in our country. Egypt is our mother. So our hearts cry and we beg God that revival will come soon, that Jesus will draw the hearts of the Egyptian people to Himself.

The compassion of these pastors for their countries, with all the fiercely anti-Christian forces at work there, is a tremendous example to us all. Finally, living a prayerful life involves the dual movement of deliberately consecrating time and space for prayer on the one hand, while staying tuned to God throughout the day on the other. In the first instance, prayer is entering into communion with God in the inner room Matthew What matters most in the inner room is not so much everything we want to tell God, but our worshiping Him. It is an inner attuning to His presence, a quiet delight in who He is.

On the other hand, a prayerful life also means staying tuned to God throughout the day, walking by the Spirit: not just in those consecrated moments, but throughout your whole existence. The life of a pastor is one big prayer. Daniel was in charge of the greatest empire of his day and we read about him that it was his custom to pray three times a day facing Jerusalem Daniel ,11, Prayer was his source of strength and he would not be robbed of it by anyone or anything — even if he had to pay for it with his life.

Pastors, especially, are too busy not to pray. A church leader from Bhutan told me how a lack of education and resources drives pastors in Bhutan to draw their strength from prayer. Prayer is their top priority. Before making any decisions or taking any action, they pray. Most pastors, he said, spend every morning in prayer. Often they find that God provides guidance during these prayer times, making His will clear to them — which sometimes means they have to change their plans after praying.

On Sunday morning, the whole church fasts to prepare for the church service and for fellowship. The pastor fasts and prays first, then makes decisions. Meditation is the second pillar of a healthy spiritual life for pastors. Prayer is our answer, our response to what God has said to us. There is an ongoing interaction between praying and reading the Bible. Without prayer, the Bible will not come to life for you, and without the Bible your prayer life will soon languish. A pastor who wishes to lead a spiritual life and to breathe prayer cannot survive without regularly and attentively listening to what God says to him in His Word.

The Psalms, in particular, celebrate the great wealth and eternal value of the Word. The Word is a source of assurance, comfort and strength. The Word shows you the way, keeps you close to God. Psalm is one big hymn to the value of the Word. The Pakistani church leader whom I mentioned earlier told me that in an environment in which the Quran is considered sacred and the Bible blasphemous, the value of the Bible to Christians is unrelinquishable.

We can only get to know God through the Bible. He has promised to guide us through His Word. Of all people, a pastor living and working in the service of God cannot do without daily immersion in the Word of God. Paul asserts this, too, in his instructions to Timothy on what really matters in leading the church of Christ. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. So, again, a pastor cannot do without daily interaction with the Word.

Meditating on it must be part and parcel of the spiritual life of every pastor. Meditating on the Word is something that, in the first place, you do for your own good. The great danger for every pastor is to view the Bible merely as a vast store of sermon texts. You scour it for suitable material for sermons, pastoral care or Bible studies.

But we can only pass on a message to others with any real authority, if we have ourselves read and lived through the Scripture passage in question. You must listen before you speak. In several Bible passages, meditation is compared with eating. Then you want more, so you start chewing, which releases more of its flavour.

Finally you swallow it, so that it can nourish your body. Take a few verses, or read a short passage, and reread it several times, slowly and attentively. Read it out loud once, so that you can actually hear the words. This will give you a first impression, helping you to get familiar with it and to internalise it. The best way is to memorise the words of the text, so that you can take them with you into the day or week.

Now try digging a little deeper, by trying to bring the words and images of the text to life. What do you see as you read them, what do you hear, feel, think? What is happening in the text? Next, allow the words and their effect on you to penetrate you deeply. Do they make you happy or sad, grateful or angry?

Can you wholeheartedly embrace them or do they provoke resistance? Do these words call for a change in your life? Do they affect your view of God, the world around you, or yourself? Questions like these will help you digest the text. Conclude your meditation by praying that the Spirit will renew your life through this Word. Surrender to Him. Then you can rest in His presence. Finally, thank God for who He is and for the Word of grace and truth, which you have just received.

You will understand that meditating on the Word, like prayer, requires you to consciously set apart time and space. Make sure you really take time. But the more you search, the more beautiful the treasure will often be. Essentially, that is what you are as a pastor, both on Sundays and during the week: a servant of the Word.

You live with this Word and work with it. People do not believe a pastor because of what he has to say, but because of what God has to say through him. Your authority is given you as a servant of the Word, as one who opens, explains and applies the Word to the believers. It is good to remind ourselves of this again and again. Admittedly, there are other ways in which God makes Himself known. Being allowed and empowered to speak genuinely on behalf of God calls for the discipline of daily meditation. The third aspect of spiritual life mentioned by Luther is struggle.

This aspect is less a matter of spiritual exercise than prayer and meditation are. Rather, the spiritual battle is the situation in which every Christian — and therefore every pastor — finds himself. It is of vital importance for your spiritual life that you realise you are in a battle zone. This explains why whenever we pray, meditate, preach and provide spiritual leadership, there is always a tension, a sense of being in a struggle. Sometimes we feel pressure from within, sometimes from without. The Bible tells us that these experiences are trials we must face. Such trials can appear in your life in many different ways.

You may pass through a spiritual desert, a period in which your fellowship with God seems all but barren. These are times in which it seems as if God has turned His back on you. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger. Another trial you might face as a pastor is when you are criticised by members of your congregation. Everyone holding a leadership position in a group, including those in the church of Christ, will experience this.

What matters most when it happens is that on the one hand you take your critics seriously, honestly asking yourself whether they are right, while on the other hand you make sure that your identity as a pastor is not anchored in the favour of the people, but in the calling and commission you have received from God. When out in the wilderness the devil threatened His ministry and His very life Matthew 4 , He did not start arguing with Satan, but consistently responded with a word of God. This teaches us that we should always search the Scriptures for situations similar to ours, so that we will learn to react to our trials with the wisdom of God.

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Take a look at the three attacks he launches on Jesus in Matthew 4. Every honest pastor knows these temptations. Know that they do not come from God, but from within. Every pastor, then, is tossed around and tested by trials from within and temptations from without. Trials and temptations are part of the spiritual battle you are in.

A pastor, in particular, operates on the front line. It would be more alarming if you never found yourself under attack. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

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Living and working in the service of God as a pastor calls for a spiritual lifestyle. Your life with God is not limited to the inner room, but expresses itself in the practical realities of everyday existence. What people see and hear of you shows them what matters most to you deep down inside. And you can be sure that church members keep an eye on the life of their pastor.

Particularly in his letters to Timothy, Pauls talks about being an example to your congregation as a pastor. When that happens, people will see it and long for it themselves. By your sacramental living, you will be passing on to the congregation the salvation you received from Jesus, even as you walk and talk with them from day to day. The first thing Paul mentions is that as a pastor you set an example by the way you speak.

A pastor spends a lot of time talking, as a counsellor, during meetings and in the pulpit. The way you speak says a lot about what lives in your heart. With words you can both damage and restore people. The second area in which as a pastor you are called to set the example is your conduct, or lifestyle. In other words, he must be monogamous in his thoughts and actions. This was an important instruction to pastors who were formerly unbelievers living a very different lifestyle: they were now called to reflect the love and faithfulness of Jesus in how they lived with their wife.

This meant in those days: do not beat your wife, do not take more than one wife It is also an important instruction to pastors who regularly interact with women or conduct intensive counselling sessions with women. There is always the risk of — often unconsciously — stretching the boundaries. If you are pastorally engaged with a member of the other sex intensively and for a long time, it is advisable to avoid meeting her alone, but rather to involve another female counsellor or your own wife.

But Jesus Himself constantly warns against riches and the power of money, the unrighteous Mammon. It is a serious risk, especially for pastors. They often work hard for little money, while many church members around them are better off than they are. You may experience fierce temptations in this area, an inner desire for more, bigger, better. Keep reminding yourself of this. Another temptation you may face as a pastor is to use your position and spiritual authority in the church for financial gain. It can be easy to abuse that trust.

A pastor must be inwardly independent of money and possessions. An Egyptian church leader told me that the pastors in Egypt are all poor. They know from the moment they start their theological training that their future will be one of poverty. There are several reasons for this. One is that the church assumes God will take care of His servants, which means pastors are underpaid. On the other hand, the families of Egyptian pastors have to endure a lot of tensions because of their economic position. What we can learn from this is that a sober lifestyle will enable you to connect with everyone in your congregation, including those with the lowest incomes.

A pastor should never belong to the elite, but rather should be free to interact with everyone. A third characteristic of the exemplary conduct of a church leader is that he must be respectable, hospitable and above reproach. These qualities all have to do with avoiding self-centredness and instead placing the interests of others above your own, thus practicing genuine love for your fellow man.

This is not some artificial, sentimental or professional niceness, but real, authentic interest in others. A pastor does not only love God, he also genuinely loves people. And people notice. He has a large heart. Deeply loved by God, he finds within himself the space to love others, to truly see them, hear them, and receive them.

This means you will often have to efface yourself and forgo your own plans. Your family, too, will often have to make sacrifices for the sake of letting others go first. In Bhutan, for instance, Christians are often evicted from their homes, along with their families, as a result of their outspokenly Christian lifestyle. Often, it takes weeks for the family to find a new home. However moving this example may be, a measure of balance in these issues does seem appropriate to me. Your very first and highest calling is not the church, but your marriage and family.

The congregation really does come second. Most pastors tend to give the church and the needs of church members first place, at the expense of spending time with their own family. This is not honouring to God. In the long run it will not strengthen the church either, as it may result in an overworked pastor with a disappointed or even embittered family.

This last characteristic mentioned by Paul in 1 Timothy 3 is quite remarkable: a pastor must be a competent educator. Both in teaching the church and in managing his family and children, he is an example to the congregation. You are attuned to the needs of others, which also means you lovingly provide clear boundaries and direction.

These are very practical guidelines offered us by Paul for the conduct a pastor should exhibit in his daily life. A third area Paul touches on in 1 Timothy is love. A pastor loves his church and will vouch for her. This love does not develop automatically; in your own strength, you cannot love so many different people with so many different characters. However, the Bible speaks of an inner attitude from which this love springs up like water from a well. Once you realise this, once you realise Who you belong to and what riches you have already received in Christ, you will find room in your heart and life to consider others rather than living only for yourself.

It will enlarge your heart, making it big enough for many church members, and you will serve them a loving heart. How this serving love operates in practice within the church is summarised by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 — a passage that applies to all believers, but that according to 1 Timothy requires a special example from pastors. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Again, there is a strong emphasis on not sticking up for yourself, being patient with others, bearing one another.

If you want to be a servant leader, patience, forbearance and perseverance in relationships are indispensable. Every pastor runs out of patience now and again, and feels a powerful urge to give that brother or sister — maybe even the whole congregation — an earful. Those are the moments in which it is important for you as a pastor to read the words of 1 Corinthians 13, to meditate on them and to draw on your relationship with Jesus to put them into practice once again — not as some impossible assignment, but as the natural result of having the mindset of Christ.

Whoever reaches out for it will receive it. The fourth area of Christian living in which as a pastor you are to set the example for the church is faith. What Paul means here is that a pastor must be firmly rooted in his faith in God. You can only be a guide if you have made the journey yourself. That would be impossible; God leads each of His children on a different and unique path. But it does mean that you know God well enough and are sufficiently familiar with His words and His ways to be able to help others understand what is happening in their lives with God.

The last area in which Paul appeals to young pastor Timothy to set an example is purity. Here, Paul, is talking about self-control in general. It has to do with living purposefully. Then you will no longer be worried about earthly treasures, and the temporal, transitory things of this world will lose their hold on you. You will be in control of your natural impulses and desires, and equipped to serve God with your whole life.

It means you put into practice what you believe. If you say Jesus is everything to you, than your life shows that everything else takes second or third place. The best of me for the Most High! Timothy, and with him every pastor, is given five very practical instructions on how to live a life that will be an example to his church.

But how can you set an example as a pastor if you still have to learn and discover it all yourself? The amazing thing is that as a pastor you, too, have an example you can follow. If you want to know how to live with God as a believer and how to set an example to your church, fix your eyes on Jesus.

And he gave us His Spirit to teach us. Almost every pastor is busy. You have to be available for people all day and you can be called on in many ways. Regardless of the size of your congregation, perhaps the toughest part of being a pastor is the fact that church members have so many different expectations. Every congregation is a colourful blend of unique individuals, often with totally different wishes. And each one expects the pastor to be there for him or her in good times and in bad — especially if there is a strong bond. They assume you will have time for them, think along with them, pray with them.

They expect you to understand their desires and disappointments, including those related to church life. On top of all this, you need quiet time as a pastor to pray, study and meditate, personally, and as a part of your sermon or Bible study preparation. So although a pastor can only pass on what he has first received in his quiet time with God, he is often so busy that real quiet time is hard to come by. Most pastors realise this, but in many cases they have been stuck in certain working and living patterns within the church for a long time and do not know how to break out.

Martha is the woman who had to take care of the temporary house church of Jesus and His disciples — and got pretty frustrated in the doing. Her story is recounted in Luke Jesus is passing through with His disciples, and probably quite a few others. On arrival in Bethany, Martha graciously welcomes them into her home and sets about making arrangements for this unexpected gathering.

While Jesus speaks, the disciples listen. But what about Martha? Martha strongly resembles a busy pastor who, like her, is totally absorbed in serving Jesus and ministering to His church. Somebody has to do it, right?