Tested Relationships Part 2

“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!



Author: angelcasiano

An independent thinker with a profound call to see the orthodoxy of the church and passion for Christ manifesting together. Angel was born in Brooklyn, New York in April of 1968, he was raised on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico where he earned his B.S. degree in Sociology with a minor in Education from the Inter American University in San Germán in 1991. That same year he moved to Jacksonville, Florida. After working construction jobs for a year and learning the English language, his first job working with foster-care children in the capacity of youth care worker was with Jacksonville Youth Sanctuary in September of 1992. With JYS he was promoted several times as group home supervisor, legal caseworker, and program director. While in Jacksonville, Angel studied a couple of martial arts styles. After earning his black belt, he became the founder of Good Fight Ministries as he used martial arts as an instrument to preach the gospel. In 2004 Angel was selected Martial Arts Instructor of the Year for the State of Florida and in 2005 Angel was inducted in the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame where he also received the Christian Spirit Award. In July of 2005 Angel accepted his call to pastor a bilingual church in Winton, NC where he served for a couple of years. Five months later he lost his first wife to cancer in December of that same year. This initiated a deep valley of suffering in his life, a mountain of costly mistakes and the embracing of lifestyles of sin that are well documented through this blog. In August of 2012 Angel moved to Fairbanks Alaska with his wife Rayette Casiano and six children who are now adults. In Alaska, Angel continued his social work-related career and his ministry of preaching, teaching and writing. Angel is the author of two books, Hope for the divorcee: Forgiving and Moving Forward and 7 Banderas de Esperanza: La Bendición de Yokdzonot. In January 8th of 2020 Angel and his wife moved to Arizona.

3 thoughts on “Tested Relationships Part 2”

  1. You are fortunate to have such a pastor in your life. There are many pastors who listen to people bare their anguished souls, and then respond by either nodding their heads or asking, “Well, what do you think should be done?” Their sheep eventually leave feeling very frustrated and hopeless.


    1. I had many problems with my pastor. I needed to get to the point of applying that love-submission that you are talking about. I needed to give him a chance to be my pastor and today we enjoy a tested relationship where we can be real with each other without the fear of offending one another. I am so glad that God gave us the grace to endure each other’s humanity. I know mine was uuuuuuuuuglyyyyy!


  2. Tested relationships aren’t reserved just for pastors who can effectively speak into our life. In friendships, in families, in communities, in all the places where we honor the threads of connection and commit to engage the struggles and joys that come with them, the presence of wonder lurks, and the miracle of tested relationships lie in wait for us to notice. When we do notice, when we see the abundance present in our connections, it comes as a reminder of what we celebrate in this season of Advent: the birth of God-with-us, who, in the person of Jesus, came to tangle himself up with us in the messy miracle of this shared life. In these days, may we perceive the wonders at hand, be part of the miracles yet to come, and encounter unexpected delights along the way. Blessings to you.


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