I always intend to write here, I really do, but somehow some way I find other things to occupy my time. Today I HAD to write, something is stirring my spirit and I cannot put it aside. I guess it even relates to some of the blogs I have posted in the past but this one is more than anything directed to all of us as who labor as Pastors.
This verse has been really birthing repentance in my heart for the last few days as I have thought on it, meditated on it and have sought to be intentional about living in light of it.
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.
I attended the C3 Pastors Conference last week and was really shaken by every single message that was preached. Some were delivered by ministry legends like Ed Young Sr., others by pastors I had oftenly judged with scepticism like TD Jakes and Ed Young Jr and others by pastors whose name I had never heard like David Hughes, Leon Fontaine, Dr. John Cross, Samuel Chand, Dino Rizzo and others. All that to say, I am different because these guys listened to God’s Spirit and shared from the depths of their soul what God had spoken to them.
It got me thinking, especially in light of all of the publicized attacks on Ed Young Jr, Pastor of Fellowship Church in the last few months, why do we as pastors seem to ” eat our own” so to speak. It is obvious that Ed is anointed and gifted by God to be a voice to help those without Christ see their desperate need for them. So in his time of attack, why are we blogging about him, slandering him, speaking out against him when I am sure most of us only know of him personally what the media has told us is truth.
What does it gain for us or the kingdom for us to be the cheerleading bloggers that are adding to the fire of those who are questioning his motives? It sickens me that sometimes I feel it gives us some kind of joy when we see one of the “big dogs” in Church leadership fail because then we can pat ourselves on the back and feel better about our shortcomings as leaders. All of us who pastor know how difficult being a pastor is, the behind the scenes stuff that can steal our joy and exhaust us if we do not stay intune with God himself for filling, contentment and power. Many of us know the pain of slander that has been aimed at us or our family. So why are we the ones sitting behind our comuter screens firing darts of accusation at one of our fellow co-laborers for Christ?
Don’t we believe that Ed needs prayer from us right now? If the pastors aren’t willing to stand with their own who will? Whether we agree with his actions, his theology, his method of ministry, he is still one of us. One of us who is impacting lives all over the globe for the kingdom. Rather than perpetuate the slander, lets unite to pray!
I was also convicted by my quickness to judge or be skeptical of the motives of pastors that I really knew little about. I will tell you I felt pretty foolish that I had long been skeptical of TD Jakes when I heard him preach God’s Word Friday. This man allowed God to work through him in a way I have seen few others do. He spoke with power, he spoke biblically, but most of all he allowed the Spirit to use him as a vessel. His message ate my lunch, gave me hope, pointed me toward Christ and helped trim away some dead branches in my life.
I guess in all of this the principal I learned is we can spend a lot of time slandering other leaders, jumping on our blogs and facebooks when another leader “fails” legitmately or by our standards or we can be a people who stand with one another, pray with and for one another.
Does the world know we are followers of Christ by the way we love each other or conversely do they see people who are quick to cast a stone at easy targets. God is telling me to put my rock down, that unless I have not failed as a leader then my stone belongs as an ornament of the dust rather than a weapon of accusation. Honestly I think this is a universal principle, who needs more prayer than our government leaders right now? Who needs to know the Lord more than the celebrities and atheletes that we see fall into moral failure?
We can continue to comment on our opinions of peoples failures or we can become serious about standing in prayer before God as broken people praying for other broken people, I know the road of change God is leading me down. I have no voice nationally, no one knows who I am in the Christian world but my prayer is that the things God has convicted me of will affect and resonate with Christian leaders around the globe
Praying, Loving and Standing with other broken leaders,