Caffey: The Question:

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by PoimaeHopkins, May 21, 2007.

  1. PoimaeHopkins

    PoimaeHopkins New Member

    Dear Sister,

    I have been giving much thought and prayer over your question, "What do you do as a Pastor?" I take the question quite seriously. Here are some reflective thoughts:

    I receive much instruction from my Lord in the statement found in:

    Acts 6:4 "But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."

    This is a passage that has been traditionally looked upon as the genesis of the office of "Deacon." The context tells us there was a physical need that was not being met in the Jerusalem Church. I will not take time here to exegete the passage; suffice it to say, the Spirit of God lead the Apostles to deal with it in an appropriate manner. What is significant is the Holy Spirit did NOT have the Apostles,themselves, take care of this physical need. Seven other godly men were called upon to address it. The mind of the Apostles was clear as to what God would have them do:
    (1) "...devote ourselves to prayer..."
    (2) "...[devote ourselves] to the ministry of the Word."

    In the forty-one years of being in the Master's ministry, I have observed with great sadness a deplorable vacuity of men of prayer who fill the pulpits of our churches today. So much attention is given over to programs, events, conferences, etc. that pastors are left with little time to truly bathe such happenings with prayer. Is it any wonder that there is little to no lasting affect apart from the momentary 'emotion' of the moment?! And when it comes to the preaching and teaching of God's Holy Word: there is little power in it for there has been little prayer over it.
    C.H. Spurgeon once said, "The closet is the best study." Without the mining of the Holy Scriptures with the pick and shovel of prayer, little gold will ever be brought to the surface of our consciousness.
    John Bunyan wrote from prison, "You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed."
    Is it any wonder that so many of God's precious sheep are hurting, when what today's pastor provides is mere counseling, programs and activities?
    John Flavel declared, "That which begins not with prayer, seldom winds up with comfort."

    Too often is a spiritual need met with a physical remedy. It will not suffice. What makes pastors think that hours and hours of physical labor (in the form of whatever is described as "Christian ministry") when begun with a two minute prayer will accomplish much for the Kingdom of God? It is like pouring an ounce of water upon an oak tree and expecting it to grow to great height. It won't happen. This is why there is a continual generation of programs, sermon outlines, etc. by denominational headquarters across the world; the spiritual effect of such inventions seldom registers in the lives of God's people. Consequently, there must be more such ilk produced to keep the fires of emotion from being extinguished. It is like feeding a fire with a load of kindling, you will quickly get great heat and hot flame but inevitably it will die down and soon go out. Unless the hardwood of concentrated, consecrated, consistent, insistent, arduous prayer is placed upon the fire, the whole exercise will end in futility.

    There is much more to be said about prayer, but I am compelled to move on to the 2nd point.

    "[Devote ourselves]to the ministry of the Word."
    Again, it must be pointed out - PRAYER comes first! How many hours does the typical pastor give over to the planning, the promotion and the execution of his programs (ministries)? In contradistinction, how much real study of the Word of God is invested with the pastor's sweat?! In my own life, I have found that the greater portion of the hours of translating, researching and meditating on the Holy Writ was used by the Holy Spirit to prepare 'me!'- to make me 'fit' to deliver the overflow to God's precious people! Being filled with the Spirit of God is analogous to being filled with the Word of God! If I am just full, what good is that to the saint in the pew? It is only in the overflow from the Shepherd that the thirsty souls of the Sheep will be quenched.

    Let me close with this most sobering truth from the Word of God:

    Hebrews 13:17 "Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you."

    It is the phrase "...for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account." Pastors will be held accountable by God for how we keep watch over the souls of His people. Will it matter how many meals we have fed people, how many tracts we have placed, how many institutions we start, how many visits we make, and how many hours of counseling that are recorded? I think not! All of the above will weigh little on the scales of eternity if it is not both bathed in fervent prayer and found to be in alignment with God's Holy Word!

    I fear that too much of what passes for 'ministry' is but mere rubbish and religious stubble. A Pastor who has not been before the Face of God in fervent prayer should fear standing before the faces of God's people. His sheep deserve the best of feedings, not dried cornhusks.

    In the Master's service,

    Poimae
    [This Message was Edited on 05/21/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 05/21/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 05/21/2007]
  2. caffey

    caffey New Member

    I am sorry. I wasn't clear when I posted to you. The main thing I wanted to know was if it was ok to copy your poem for my use and to give to others. I am sorry for the misunderstanding.

    I am a woman. I hope you don't think I was attacking you. It was not my intention. I was just curious to meet another pastor. You are a pastor after my heart. I agree with you 100%. So many people think ministry from the pulpit or pastoring a church is easy. My partner and I keep telling people who feel this call on their lives that they don't know how many hours we have spent on the floor in tears, prayer and fasting to get to where we are today. It has not been an easy process but it is worth it. I refuse to do anything unless God says so and I hate anything religious and we have always done it this way attitude. I am looking forward to getting to know you and I am sure we will have some interesting discussions. Hold your ground and remain faithful to your calling. You are a breath of fresh air to this board and your poetry is such a a blessing that is why I would like to keep some and pass it along if it is ok. You are also a reminder to stay focused on Him. Thank you for that.
    Blessings.
    Cath
  3. PoimaeHopkins

    PoimaeHopkins New Member

    Cath,

    Your bio did not give me any indication as to your gender. I had no idea. Please forgive me for any hurt, my post may have caused you. It was NOT intentional.

    I am a Linguist and a Systematic Theologian by training, and I was simply writing from within the framework of the Holy Scriptures. In the Scriptures, we find the following:

    Shepherd (male)is found 59 times,
    Shepherds (male) is found 46 times,
    Shepherdess (female) is found 1 time,
    Pastor [the same Greek word for Shepherd] (male) is found 1 time.

    Shepherdess is found in Genesis 29:9
    (NAS) Genesis 29:9 "While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess."

    Pastor is found in the gifts given to The Church:
    NAS Ephesians 4:11 "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,"

    The Spiritual symbolism and imagery that God wrote in His Word is consistent throughout His Holy Word. Christ (Male)is the Bridegroom of His Church (Female)- the Bride. The same is reflected in the Institution of Marriage that God created: the Husband (Man) is Head of his Wife (Woman). It is also reflected in the imagery of the local church: Pastor (Male) is the Shepherd of God's Sheep - the Church (Female).

    To be true to God's Holy Word is to reflect His imagery. It is not man's invention, but God's divine creation.

    That being said, I do not doubt for a moment your sincerity, your love for the Lord or your love for God's people. If you wish to use the term Pastor to describe your service to Him, then that is between you and the Lord. He will judge our obedience to His Word.

    Cath, what you will always find with me is simply this: my love for my Lord and devotion to His Holy Word is TOTAL. I am bound by His Spirit to simply preach and teach exactly what He says - nothing more, nothing less. Consequently, I shall not always "fit" into the modern "notions" of our world. I may not be always "politically correct, but I do strive with all my heart to be Scripturally correct as to what it says in the original languages.

    Again, Cath, I did not know. Please forgive me. It was not intentional. My love for you, in Christ, is unconditional - regardless, what title you use.

    Your humble servant and brother,

    Poimae

  4. PoimaeHopkins

    PoimaeHopkins New Member

    Cath,

    I was so concerned that you understood my heart in this matter, that I forgot to answer your question.:)

    Of course, you may copy my poems and use them as the Lord would see fit. They are copyrighted, you have my permission.

    In the Master's service,


    Poimae