I want to ask a question that has a pretty sensitive answer.
Is your pastor REALLY your pastor or is he just your preacher?
Is he the guy who preaches to you at church, or is he the person you’ve submitted to in order to prepare you, mature you and release God’s purpose in your life? I’ll share with you one indicator. A lot of people have NO problem submitting to their pastor until he has a reason to bring spiritual discipline (the dreaded D word). Everyone is cool with pastor as long as he’s preaching solid messages, hugging babies, answering questions, making people laugh, being a great guy and encouraging everyone. But the moment he steps in and has to speak correction into your life is also the moment where you decide if he’s your preacher or if you’ve really submitted to him as your pastor.
You ready to hear this? Well here goes anyway. If at the moment he brings correction–you bail on him, he’s not your pastor, he’s just your preacher. Boom. The difference is this: A preacher is someone you allow to speak God’s Word into your life. A Pastor is someone you submit to for both instruction from God’s Word AND spiritual preparation, correction AND discipline.
You might ask “Josh, what gives you the right to say this?” I’ll tell you. I’m submitted to my pastor. My dad, who is also my pastor, has brought spiritual discipline into my life and has the open door to continue speaking into my spiritual life for both positive and corrective reasons. I’m submitted to him. I trust him. I’ve been through it, the good, the bad and the ugly.
- It wasn’t easy.
- It required change.
- It required me to stretch.
- It required me to self evaluate.
- It required me to trust my pastor.
- It required me to repent.
- It required me to keep my attitude correct.
- It required me to get in God’s presence.
What would our lives look like now if we didn’t have a parent (or family) who loved us, corrected us and disciplined us whenever we blew it huge (intentional or not). If you believe your pastor loves you (and he does), and you trust your pastor (and you should), then receive the necessary spiritual discipline and allow God to use it to bring maturity and growth to your life. If you want your pastor to really be your pastor, then allow him to speak into your life no matter what.
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. – 2 Timothy 4:2