Pastors challenged to embrace Gospel preaching, ministry
Nov 28, 2011
By CHRIS TURNER & DAVID ROACH
Special to Florida Baptist Witness

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2011 FBSC Annual Meeting
To preach that way, he said, pastors must effectively know the Word of God and challenged pastors to spend a significant amount of time in prayer and study. He said too many pastors today rely on on-line sermon services and resources developed by others instead of deeply digging into the Bible to “receive a Word from God.”

“Brothers, we must prepare with the intent to persuade people to Christ and encourage the saints in Christ.”  he said. “We are not negotiators. We are messengers. We have a message from God that must be heard and that must be heeded. As men of God we must decide how our ministries will be defined. Will we be men of God in the pulpit or just men in the pulpit?”

PRAYER After John Cross urged participants to hold each other up in prayer, Jeff Singletary holds his fist under Ken Whitten’s elbow during a prayer time. Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
Singletary said there is a distinction between being pastors who shepherd people in such a way that they are confronted with the Gospel of Christ, but to do that requires a willingness to tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Too many pastors are intent on being “life coaches,” he said.

“That doesn’t help people get out of their sin; it just makes people comfortable with their sin,” he said. “America today is on a respirator, and I believe we need to preach for transformation. As men of God we ought to Preach God’s Word until sinners are converted. We ought to preach God’s Word until the saints are encouraged. We ought to preach God’s Word until Heaven is satisfied. Preach God’s Word!”

BOB COY

Coy, pastor of Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale, challenged pastors to remember “it’s not your church, it is God’s church; they’re not your people, but God’s people,” and that their role as pastors has to be seen in the context of growing God’s Kingdom.

Preaching from Acts 2, 1 Corinthians 12, and 1 Peter, Coy said that too often pastors begin to take ownership of both the church and the people and forget their role is not to manage people’s lives or take ownership of the challenges they face, but to “help them to God.”

“You need to realize that the people who are coming to you may just be going through you to another destination to fulfill the will of God in their lives,” Coy said. “You are a spiritual facilitator. You are to help get them to their goal and if you stop helping them discovering their call then what are you doing? Are you a church member collector?”

BOB COY Pastor, Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
Coy said that too often when pastors begin to see people as “their people” they begin to take ownership of church members, and develop a “ball hog” mentality—as in basketball when one person on a team doesn’t work for the collective good of the team. Coy said that pastors need to understand they need to offer spiritual direction to anyone who needs it, church member or not, and should work to facilitate spiritual growth any way possible. In this way they are helping grow God’s Kingdom.

"Listen, one of the most liberating things in my life was when I understood I was a pastor to anyone who needed pastoring,” he said. “I wasn’t a pastor just to ‘my flock.’ I was so hung up on ‘do you go here?’ What happened to my heart? How did I get so divisive and how did I get so territorial over the church of God?”

Coy said that when people begin to see that the pastor is more interested in helping them grow in anyway possible they begin to sense they truly are God’s people. He said this allows people to realize what they are called to do, and that God has given them a vision to do it. And it may be through the local church where they do it. It is the pastor’s role to “release the church to be the church.”

Coy said that if pastors don’t release people it slows growth and maturity in the faith.

“I don’t want to just have a bunch of people coming to Calvary Chapel,” he said. “I want Christians coming to Calvary Chapel. I want to make disciples, man, and my job is to make as many disciples as I can possibly humanly make.”

Related Coverage:

2011 FBSC Annual Meeting

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