“It is time for leaders to get a little closer”
Our issues with the shallow relationships we have in our American churches must also be addressed from the top to bottom. This mentality that our leaders should be unapproachable is biblically wrong. Perhaps they like the accruements and so, want to be viewed by others as perfect people that can’t do wrong, however let’s look at First Thessalonians 5:12.
|“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you…”|
| The word “beseech” means, “I pray! Please! I beg you!” Paul is not making a light casual suggestion; this is important. The word “know” means, “To be acquainted with.” How can we become acquainted with pastors to whom the only time we see them is from the pulpit? Many, after they are done preaching, leave the building like arrogant rock stars with body guards on each side. If your church is too big, then you failed to raise up disciples to send out and continue the work of the ministry. It seems like we rather have members than to engage in true discipleship. It is impossible to raise disciples without going through the pain of establishing tested relationships.
I went through churches where I needed to go through a secretary to see the pastor. In critical points in my life, I was in great need to talk to the pastor, but there were no appointments open until the following month. I was surely not missed among so many members. I also had pastors who were more interested in my gift than in me as a person. They always told me what I wanted to hear. I was a part of their personal agendas for the benefit of their ministries. I later became a pastor myself and saw firsthand how many of my colleagues refused to fellowship with their sheep. They presumed to think that fellowshipping with their sheep was a way of asking for trouble and that it was best to keep the distance. I guess we find ourselves afraid that people may know that we are not as perfect as we look like from the beautiful wooden pulpit. What a comical perspective!
As I grow in the Lord and learn from my many mistakes, I also grow in my appreciation for my first and only pastor. I can sincerely say that I love and respect him more today than I did when I was younger. Why? Because this man have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in me and he still loves me. He tells me the truth; he confronts me in love and never leaves me without a word of encouragement. He is literally one phone call away. At the end of the day, in my difficult times, after the Lord, it is my pastor who can effectively speak into my life. It is time for leaders to get a little closer! It may be painful, but it will always be worth it!