Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Threefold Ministry of Reliance

WHEN it comes to ministry for people for the Lord, it really is as simple as reliance.  Here is a prayer of reliance that looks at reliance three ways:
Help me to rely on You,
So others can rely on me,
So they will rely on You.
The Pastor’s Reliance On the Lord
If anyone is to be a past master of reliable submission, it’s to be the minister.  Their own example will determine whether they’re deemed trustworthy enough that the disciples in their care will rely on their pastoral leadership.  If a minister can show they’re surrendered, as an individual, they prove their humility, and they’re worthy of their parishioner’s trust.  It’s not enough that people tolerate their minister; they need to be examples of submission and humility — of essence, vulnerability.
It cannot be understated.  If a disciple of Christ cannot see reliance on the Lord via their pastor, they cannot grow in the same vein, and the Kingdom is defeated in that individual.
Others’ Reliance On Us – As Ministers for the Lord
This is where my default thinking is tested; some ministers ought never be relied upon.  Some ministers, as it works out when they’ve finally risen to their place in leadership, prove to be unhealthy.  Sometimes they don’t keep themselves healthy.  Some were never healthy to begin with.  Wise disciples are loath to trust an unhealthy pastor; they have an instinct for it.  But that doesn’t save the person who trusts their pastor and finds themselves abused.  And, of course, there are many more pastors who are trustworthy, and when they are trusted, and that trust is vindicated, the disciples in their care are able to grow in their own reliance on the Lord.
It should give a pastor much encouragement to know that people can rely on them.  Indeed, it’s central to the achievement of their role.
Others’ Reliance on the Lord
Because of a minister’s example, disciples in the minister’s care are able to witness their minister’s reliance on the Lord, how the minister may be relied upon themselves, all as impetus for their own reliance on the Lord.
There should be no better encouragement for a pastor than to see one of the disciples in their care willingly and joyously rely upon the Lord.  That’s a sign of humility and submission worthy of a great of the faith.  And where pastors see such reliance in one of the people they lead they’ll be very quick to heartily encourage such diligent obedience.
If people see their pastor relying on God, they’re able to rely on them, and their own reliance of trust on the Lord is blessed.
Reliance on the Lord three ways: a pastor’s own submission; a parishioner’s trust of their pastor; the parishioner’s reliance on God.

© 2016 Steve Wickham.

No comments: