Many people don’t really understand what the church is all about. Because they don’t have a clear understanding as to the purpose of the church, they usually have no idea why a personal pastor is so important to spiritual health. This is the number one reason why so many believers are unhealthy today.
Don’t confuse these two things. “Pastor” doesn’t mean “preacher.” Preaching is a skill that can be developed. Pastoring is a gift and a calling that comes from God. There are good pastors who don’t preach very well. There are good preachers who are not good pastors.
Media nowadays has significantly complicated this. Television and internet have made it possible to be entertained by the most gifted preachers on the planet. The tragedy is that some folks are only familiar with mega-church pastors. These massive congregations have thousands of people, so the belief is that the preaching must be good and the church is spectacularly blessed.
But the size of the crowd does not necessarily mean God has His special blessing on the church. Historically, the crowd has often been wrong. Just think how many were in agreement to crucify Jesus!
A pastor has a spiritual gift and a calling. He or she has accepted a mantle that says, “I will be responsible for each person in a certain congregation.” Real pastors submit to Christ and “watch for their souls.” That is seen by their attitude and behaviour. Their heart’s cry is, “I will lead these people. l carry them on my heart. I will feed, protect, care for them and discipline them as my spiritual family.”
There is no room for dictatorial pastors in kingdom work. A pastor is not a CEO. He/she is a servant of God representing the values of God, the mind of God, the will of and purpose of God to the people. A real pastor will be lovingly and firmly honest with you.
God calls pastors to ministry. He expects us as believers to recognize a human pastor as our pastor. In larger churches, the lead pastor is represented in spirit and action by the pastoral staff.
As a believer, you choose to submit to the leadership and authority of a pastor as you would submit to Christ. When you cease to submit, you really no longer have a pastor. You can watch the internet and enjoy multiple “preachers”- but they are not pastoring you. Without a pastor and local church that your life is entwined with, you have no spiritual covering. That covering comes only through submission to spiritual authority. Even when the pastor makes mistakes, it’s a principle that still works.
This submissive spirit is not stupidity on your part. It is not ignorance of human failings. It is intelligent recognition of a man or woman of God as your pastor. Something supernatural happens when you submit. You come under the protection of the Holy Spirit. I’ve been a pastor for almost 50 years; I’ve been in the church my whole life. I’ve observed that submissive believers have the least troubles in life.
If you are not a part of a local church, find one today. It is for your own good and your prosperity. The first voice you listen to, after the Holy Spirit, is your shepherd, your pastor. All others are secondary. This one thing alone will change your life and bring you to peace and order.