Leadership and Unity

To you bishops, to us pastors, to you evangelists, to you teachers, to you deacons, and to every believer who is a priest in the Royal Priesthood, every one of us is on the hook to strive for unity in the body. 

To my fellow workers in Christ,

The Lord has called us part of the leadership group placed in the church today.  Even though I am a simple pastor of a smaller church body, I am part of this group and hear from and led by the same Spirit as the pastor in the largest congregation on earth.  The following scripture leads me to the thought I have today. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.(Eph 4:4-6 NKJV)   

Here is the situation I feel we must humbly and honestly investigate and determine if we are fulfilling our Lord’s will or part of a problem of division within the body of Christ.  As leaders, bishops, pastors, evangelists, deacons, teachers, and priests in a Royal Priesthood, every believer who places God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and Lord and Savior of our life has been called and commanded to strive for unity within His Body.

Here in the United States and around the world, do the lost and non-believers see us one? They do when they choose to persecute Christians physically or verbally.  They feel comfortable attacking any person that claims the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  The world does not care about denominations or the many differences denominations have in doctrines; they see all of us as fair game to go after. 

Why don’t we who are saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ, and now called the children of God, servants of the Master, and soldiers of God to share the truth to those living behind the gates of the devil and set them free from deception, see each other as one and act as one?  We seem more drawn to what divides us than what unites us.  The lost to often see this disunity in local assemblies to the national body of believers.

To you bishops, to us pastors, to you evangelists, to you teachers, to you deacons, and to every believer who is a priest in the Royal Priesthood, every one of us is on the hook to strive for unity in the body.  We need to ask ourselves if we are part of the solution and following His Spirit or the problem of disunity by following our flesh and deceptions of Satan.

As a wise man once asked me, “Are you simply going to complain and be part of the problem, or are you going to do something and be part of the solution?” I choose the latter by:

  • I choose not to listen to any gossip or dirty laundry about other church fellowships.  If they preach Jesus Christ as Lord who paid my sin’s price, I have not problem supporting them in the conversation.  I may disagree with what is occurring but instead of listening and nodding my head, and God forbid, maybe feeling good about a challenge to the competition, I will support them as family and as quickly as possible, lead the conversation to prayer for the situation.
  • I choose not to get into conversations that can quickly turn into an argument regarding secondary beliefs and doctrines.  Topics such as;  the end times, rapture and tribulations, prophecy, Pentecost and gifts of the Spirit, are just a few landmines in discussions.  I will share my opinion and thoughts if asked, and if my view is different, I will ask them to “consider” the way I view it.  I must fight arrogance that leads to a religious spirit and seek wisdom and learning that only comes from being humble in the extent of my knowledge. 
  • I will attempt to show up to activities other fellowships have invited me to and interact with them.  Who am I to judge if they are worthy of my time when I can only see what is on the outside of a person and not what is in their heart. 
  • As a pastor, I will talk and act to match what I say and preach.  I will seek to be transparent to those around me.
  • I will not try to homogenize (when all must have the same views) other’s beliefs but allow each saint to be the person the Lord has developed in them.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ, His death, His burial and resurrection, His Ascension and His Kingship are good enough for me in what we must agree on.

What are your thoughts on how we can advance unity in the body of Christ without compromising the Gospel? 

  • In your church family?
  • In your town?
  • In your state?
  • In this country?

God Bless you for taking the time to read this, and feel free to add your thoughts.  John

Are they fooling themselves?

Ok, I will come right out and say it! 

Many that go to church each weekend, most weekends, and some weekends are fooling themselves if they think they are Christians. Image result for Raising hands in church pictures

Why would I say this?  Christians are followers of Jesus Christ.  Christians are disciples of Jesus Christ.  Christians are active members of His Body that are led by Him; He is the head.

  • Can you be saved and not be a disciple of Christ? Can you be a disciple and not be part of the body that is fit together and directed by Jesus Christ?  Can you be saved and not be part of the body of Christ?
    • If you said yes to any of the above, I challenge you to look at all the scriptures and not just the ones that seem to support your view. Look into them and pray for understanding on how they all fit together.  I believe you will find as I do that the answer to each question is “no.”

I have several friends who are pastors, and we talk regularly and have had many discussion on what we see as a major issue that affects the churches in the area.  We survive in a society that is becoming more and more self-centered, has less respect for authority, less respect for other’s viewpoints, and less feeling of responsibility to and for others.  These aspects have infiltrated the hearts of many in the church body.  (Read 1 John)

The mindset of “what is the church giving to me.”I see this becoming the norm and replacing the biblical base of “how can I be used of God to help those in His Body, the church?”

  • It this the heart and mindset of a person that truly believes in Jesus Christ? A mindset of one who truly understands how their sins are forgiven?  A mindset of one who knows the door to eternal life and to live in the presence of our Creator has been opened?  The mindset of one who understands this all was possible because of what our Lord Jesus Christ did through His death, resurrection, and ascension?  That our salvation is only because of His Grace and Love?
  • To attend church without these foundational beliefs operating in one’s life I have to ask, “Is that person save?”
  • To be “In Christ,” to be part of “His Body,” to be “Born Again,” to be “Saved,” are all much greater than simply attending church!

You may be asking “Pastor John, what is occurring that has stirred you up to write this?”

Well, it is not an incident that has occurred but a general change in attitude I have been witnessing in those that attend church over the past thirty years.

  • Less interest by many that attend church in the Scriptures, Gospel, and Truth and more interest in music and programs.
  • Worship is becoming more of an emotional environment lead by excellent musicians and singers and less on worship from the heart for Who God is and what He has and is doing.
  • Involvement in church, body, activities are becoming optional based on what a person perceives they will get out of it instead of looking at each activity is an opportunity to share with and edify others in the body that are present.
  • The internet and numerous Christian TV networks are creating an army of self-proclaimed These experts are parrot out the theological flavor of the month or some other personal belief they found support for on the internet. The teaching of the elders, teachers, and pastor become minimized, and the experts’ unstudied belief is preeminent to the point they will not listen to another’s viewpoint even when the scriptures are behind the different view.

When you read the books in the New Testament, the picture of the church body as a tight community, caring about each other and being responsible to one another stands out loud and clear.

What I am seeing develop in the churches today is the replacement of this biblical view with one that places more value on the numbers that attend, music, programs, and priority of church involvement have dropped close to the bottom.

  • Biblical priority as I see it: 1) God, our Lord Jesus Christ 2) Spouse and family 3) Church body 4) Personal time, work, community…
  • The Priority that I see developing: 1)Self & personal time 2)Work 3)Family 4)Church 5)God

What can be done?

Now is the time for those truly committed to Christ to live their belief like never before.  To talk and encourage those coming to church but not committed to Christ to take the step into seeking Jesus Christ in prayer and the scriptures.

The purpose for this post has been mostly to vent, and more on what true believers can do to encourage the church going lost will be shared in later posts.

In Jesus Name, John

My Humble Thoughts…

Thanks for joining me! Over the 20 plus years I have been a pastor I have seen many things and  been through some challenges.  I am not a pastor of a large church and I do not have a doctorate in theology.  What I do have is a heart that has been given to our Lord Jesus Christ with the ability to listen to both other Godly men and women and the Holy Spirit.  This site contains my thoughts and views.

People change when they hurt enough that they have to change, learn enough that they want to change, receive enough that they are able to change.John Maxwell


Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ ” (Mat 13:30 NKJV)

Christianity today in America seems to to personify the Leodicean church.  “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked”— (Rev 3:17 NKJV)

The world around us cannot seem to get along.  War both civil and with other countries, killing others because of differing political views, and money and the securing of it seeming to be at the heart of it.  Unfortunately this too often sounds like the church here in the United States.  It sure seems like the world had crept in.

My thoughts reflect what I have seen over the years and the need to get back to the basics.  My posts bounce around that idea.