Do we really take the covenants in
our lives seriously?
I’m wondering, in this modern age, do we really take the covenants in our lives seriously? The first question this statement might generate is, “What covenants?” I can think of four: The New Covenant, The Marriage Covenant, The Parent/Child Covenant and the Church Membership Covenant. The second question might be, “what is Covenant?” A covenant is an agreement between two parties, but it’s much more than a contract. The covenants I have listed are divine in nature. They are agreement made before God; and thus they are sacred and not to be taken lightly.
The most important of all the covenants is the New Covenant. This is the unilateral agreement from God to us that He has provided a way for us as sinners to be completely forgiven. That is the way of grace by faith. This, of course, is the new birth, the very act of salvation. What is our part then in this covenant? Is it not the glory of God? When we understand predestination, that God in His divine omnipotence has redeemed us for His own purpose, we realize that this purpose is in fact His glory. We agree with God that we are sinners in need of a Savior. That Savior is Jesus, who came to seek and save the lost. Those who are indeed redeemed by grace are sanctified or set apart to a holy use, God’s glory. I think sometimes we forget that. Salvation becomes all about us and a free ride to heaven. In reality, the point of the covenant is that we as the people of God might live by the power of God to the glory of God. We need keep this truth ever before us.
The next covenant most of us have entered into is the Marriage Covenant. This covenant is a man and a woman coming together before God and human witnesses, pledging to “Love, Honor and Cherish until death do us part.” When a man and a woman are united in marriage, it’s not about the ceremony, it’s about the covenant. A sacred agreement. When we understand this, we realize that it’s not just about staying married; it’s about what it is to “be” married. That means dying to self to live for another. It’s not easy. It’s something we have to work at and take seriously or it decays. Marriage cannot stand on love alone. It must be a three-legged stool, love, honor and cherishing one another. We so easily walk away for our marriage covenant in our culture. The world absolutely doesn’t get it; but God’s people should. This is a life time endeavor. It’s not about our happiness or contentment; it’s about the covenant, and the glory of God.
If we get the New Covenant right, it’s much easier to get the Marriage Covenant right. If our relationship with God isn’t right, then most likely our human relationships won’t be either; but when we get the Marriage Covenant right, then we will get our third covenant right as well, that is the Parent/Child covenant.
Most Christians make a public declaration before the church of pledging themselves to raise their children in a God fearing home and with godly principles. This should not just be a ritual, it should be an act we take very seriously. At our church, we call this our Parent/Child dedication service. Within that service, actual vows are made.
Do you desire to publicly dedicate your child to
the Lord, to be His special possession and to be used for His Glory?
Do you covenant before God to teach your child
the Holy Scriptures and to seek to lead your child to saving faith in the Lord
Do you dedicate yourselves in praying for divine
guidance in raising this young one
Do you dedicate yourselves to set an example to
live by and look up to, the example of godly parents?
Do you by these promises dedicate this child to
I hope we take these vows seriously. The spiritual life of parents deeply affects their children. Parents together pledge themselves to model Jesus for their children. That means that they have to get discipleship right. That means taking up their cross daily to follow Jesus. There is no room for selfishness here. We commit ourselves to something much bigger than ourselves that will indeed live beyond our lifetimes.
The fourth covenant encompasses all the rest in that it holds us accountable for our part in the covenants we have entered into. The fourth is the Membership Covenant. It’s more than just joining the church, it’s identifying with a body of believers and being willing to be transparent and accountable about our conduct in our Christian lives, our marriages and our parenting. I hope we take this seriously. Too often, we just think that church membership is about voting on stuff. Certainly, it is important in making congregational decisions, but that’s not its purpose. The purpose of membership is identification with a body and a level of accountability. So when members begin to live outside the bounds of their covenant, then the elders need to reach out and seek to reconcile the situation. In violating their membership covenant, they were also violating all their other covenants as well. You see, they are all interconnected! If we don’t take our membership seriously, we really aren’t taking Christ seriously.
So dear Christians, it really is good for us examine to our lives, our commitment to Christ, and our commitment to the covenants we have pledged ourselves to; because in the end, it’s all for the glory of God.
to recognize that every church will face obstacles to ministry, discipleship
and fellowship. It is essential to the unity of the body that we respond to these
obstacles correctly.We need to be sure that we view them as
speed bumps and not road blocks!
The purpose of Speed Bumps: Slow us down and make us focus on what’s
As we examine the book of Acts,
we see the founding of the church and its early development. We tend to think of the early church as
perfect and that its only problem was persecution, but the early church faced
some real internal challenges as well.
Let’s examine how they handled these bumps in the road. (All Scripture quoted here is from the New King
Speed Bump#1, Fleshly Pretenders
Context: Acts chapter 2, The
Day of Pentecost. Note 1-6. We see the gift of tongues, a sign gift to the Jews
(This will be very important later when the gentiles begin to believe as we
shall see). This is followed up by
Peter’s fabulous sermon, vs.14-47.
Vs. 36 is the focal point. Therefore
let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom
you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Result: Vs. 41-42. Then those who gladly received his word were
baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they
continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking
of bread, and in prayers.
This is the
birth of the wonderful new entity, the Church!
We see this fabulous fellowship where everyone is excited about what God
is doing. Note vs. 44-47. Now all who believed were together, and had
all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them
among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the
temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with
gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the
people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
The Church is “truckin” along
joyously; however, the Apostles begin to face some hassles from the religious
leaders in Jerusalem.
5:1-2, But a certain man named Ananias, with
Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds,
his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the
wonder why would they do this? The only
answer can be that they were given to the flesh rather than the Spirit. They were more worried about what people
thought than what God thought, so they lied, and God took their lives in response! This is the first act of church discipline by
the divine hand of God! This tells us that God takes the church and our attitude
toward it seriously. Note the atmosphere
in vs. 11, So great fear came upon all
the church and upon all who heard these things.
Question: Suppose this
happened in your church. What would the reaction be? Certainly, it would be sobering. The upside of this was that the church was
purified This was very important at this stage of development. There just could not be any fleshly
Result: Vs. 12-14. And through the hands of the apostles many
signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord
in Solomon’s Porch. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people
esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord,
multitudes of both men and women,
Verse 13 suggests that some
stayed away, and yet the Lord added multitudes to their fellowship! So we see a blessing on the other side of the
bump! True believer came in as pretenders went out! We find then a pure church in the sense of
sold out believers.
Speed Bump #2, Division/Strife
Context: The Apostles are still getting worked over,
5:40-42.When they had called
for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in
the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the
council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and
preaching Jesus as the Christ.
6:1, Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying,
there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their
widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
People felt they were getting
left out; their needs not being met; and the church was unfair and played favorites. (Possibly, they felt their leaders weren’t listening or didn’t care.) Whether it was true or not doesn’t
matter, it was their perception.
Question: What are some of the ways the leadership could
(1) Do nothing
(2) Try to do it all themselves
(3) Put more people into ministry
We see in vs.2-6, that they
wisely put more people in ministry. So
the speed bump became an opportunity to do something great! Now there is a bigger body concept.
Result: Vs. 7, Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied
greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the
So we see blessing on the other
side of the bump! We love the fact that
many of the priests believed!
Speed Bump #3, Persecution
Context: Stephen is killed! Acts 7:54-60
8:1-3, Now Saul was consenting to his death. At
that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem;
and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except
the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great
lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every
house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
not just the leaders that are being persecuted for their faith; it’s everyone
and Saul is the ring leader!
Question: What would happen in America if our own
government began to persecute Christians? Our emphasis would change from buildings to discipleship!
Result: 8:4, Therefore
those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.
They were run out of town. With
the scattering went the Gospel. Instead
of being focused in one place, God used persecution to move them out!
So we see blessing on the other
side of the bump! God used this situation
to further His kingdom and for His glory!
Speed Bump #4, Fear
Acts 8-9, we see Philip going out as a great evangelist, and the
conversion of Saul the great persecutor.
9:26, And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he
tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not
believe that he was a disciple.
church just could not bring itself to welcome Saul with open arms. They are terrified of this man.
Question: Was the fear
legitimate? Yes. This man had the authority to make their lives
miserable; and while we might expect that we would react differently, I
seriously doubt it.
What overcomes fear? 1 John 4:18 Love for Christ.
9:27, God had a man willing to
step up and lead through the fear.
But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared
to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him,
and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus
Result: Vs.31, Then the churches throughout all Judea,
Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified.
So we see blessing on the other
side of the bump! They had peace and
Speed Bump#5, Change
10 Peter’s vision & the gentiles being saved. Note 10:34-36, Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In
truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever
fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent
to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of
11:1-3, Now the apostles and brethren who were in
Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter
came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, saying,
“You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”
With the Gentiles coming in, the
church dynamic now totally changes!
There are 1,000s of years of culture to overcome here. It seems impossible. Yet see God’s plan. In Acts 11:16-18, “Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how
He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the
Holy Spirit.’ If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed
on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” When they
heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then
God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”
here that the gift of tongues would be the bridge between Jew and Gentile. God
poured this supernatural gift out upon the gentiles as well as the Jews proving
they were equally saved by grace.
Result: 19-21, Now those who were scattered after the
persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and
Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. But some of them were
men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the
Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them,
and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
So we see blessing on the other
side of the bump! The Gentiles come in
at exactly the right time. Isn’t God
good! So the Church at Antioch begins
and becomes the model for the rest of the Christendom. Note 22-24, Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem,
and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen
the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of
heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the
Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
Also note 25-26! Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek
Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for
a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And
the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Question: What if they had dug in their heels
instead of stepping out of the flesh and yielding to the Spirit on this issue.
There would have been two totally separate churches, Jewish and Gentile. This would have been tragic. The early church needed both the Jews and the
Gentiles to make it what it was to become. I’ve always felt the greatest
miracle in Acts was that the Jews and the Gentiles could come together and
function as one body. (See Ephesians
Speed Bump #6, False Doctrine
Context: Acts 13:1-5, Missions officially
begins. In Acts 14:21-23, we see some
structure with appointing of elders in these new churches.
When Paul and Barnabas retuned to
Antioch they gave a report. Acts 14:27, Now when they had come and gathered the
church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had
opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
What a great praise report about what
God is doing!
15:1-2, And certain men came down from
Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the
custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no
small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas
and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and
elders, about this question.
church is facing a severe test; false doctrine is coming in. If this doctrine was accepted, it would make
salvation based on faith in Christ and circumcision. Any time we add anything to the finished work
of Christ to atone for sin, we eliminate Christ! The doctrine of salvation is based in Christ
alone, by grace alone through faith alone.
We add nothing.
Question: What happens when someone comes into your
fellowship and seeks to teach a different doctrinal position then the church
holds? Does doctrine really matter? Yes!
For the body to have unity there must by necessity be a unity of
fundamental doctrine. Any doctrine that
diminishes the work of Christ is a false doctrine and must be rejected. Any doctrine that causes division must be
Results: The Council at
Jerusalem. Acts 15:6-29. They concluded that both Jews and Gentiles
are saved by grace alone! 15:8-11, So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged
them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction
between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you
test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our
fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the
Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.
The result of that: Vs. 30-31, So when they were sent off, they came to
Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the
letter. When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.
So we see blessing on the other
side of the bump! There
was unity by taking a stand for sound doctrine.
Speed Bump #7, Contention
Context: Paul & Barnabas return to the churches.
Acts 15:36, Then after some days Paul
said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city
where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.”
Speed bump #7, Contention
Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted
that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in
Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became
so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and
sailed to Cyprus.
get around the fact that this was indeed a personality conflict, and there was
contention between these two brothers; However, I’m not sure they departed
end of verse 40. The brethren recommended.
I wonder if the leadership at Antioch didn’t help them work through this
problem. Any way you look at it, they
went their separate ways.
Question: How do we resolve conflict? We
must set aside the flesh and examine our convictions. Are they of the Spirit?
We may need the brethren to help with an outside voice. Our desire should be peace, not war, note
Result: Two teams of missionaries head out. Barnabas and John Mark, Paul and Timothy.
Acts 16:5, So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number
So we see blessing on the other
side of the bump!
What do we learn from all of
this? Speed bumps aren’t bad; they just
are. They aren’t road blocks. We need to take the godly model to heart and
keep going on. Rather than despair when
we come to obstacles, we need to ask, “What is God doing and how can we best
There is always a blessing on the other side IF we walk in the Spirit
and not in the flesh. The flesh becomes
the Road Block, not the situation.
The church is messy. Always has been, always will be!
does the church shoot its wounded?” is an often-repeated refrain. It is my contention that the very premise of
this question is a lie from the pit of hell.
Jesus, when speaking of Satan, said, “when he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a
liar and the father of it.” This is a lie he loves to have repeated. Yes, I will admit that some churches
sometimes react badly and innocent people are hurt, but that is the exception
not the norm. The churches I’ve pastored
and been involved with have been caring and careful with the flock. If you repeat a lie often enough, eventually
it’s accepted as truth; and I believe that to be the case with this lie. So where does this idea that the church
shoots its wounded come from?
is my contention that most of the ecclesiastical wounded are in fact the result
of self-inflicted wounds! It is the
mandate of the church to call God’s people to holiness. The people of God respond and desire to be more
like Jesus. Yes, we fail along the way, but the church doesn’t require
perfection. No one is thrown out for
failing to measure up. If that were the
case, the church wouldn’t exist. It’s
been said and I agree, “The church is not a rest home for saints, it’s a
hospital for sinners!” There is always
the ebb and flow of victory and failure.
The church takes the fallen saint and seeks to minister to them and lift
them out of the muck and mire to once again join in the journey of glorifying
Jesus. The church is messy. Always has been, always will be!
the problem comes is when members of a body continue to shoot themselves in the
foot and then resist the medical care offered by the church leadership. Every church I have been a shepherd of has a
church covenant for membership. That
covenant usually requires that the members are in fact willing to put
themselves under the authority of the elders of the body. They agree to be held
accountable for their actions. This is
as it should be! We are accountable one
to another. We are there not to judge
each other; that’s God’s domain. We are
there to address sin in the lives of believers and to hold one another
accountable for bad behavior. Inevitably,
the people who accuse the church of shooting their wounded have often shot
themselves in the foot and refuse aid.
someone or a couple are struggling with sin in their life and it comes to the
attention of the elders of a body, those elders are obligated to reach out and
seek to help the sinner be reconciled to God.
When the sinner refuses help, won’t follow Biblical advice, or even
refuses to meet with the elders they are in covenant with, what then must
happen? Usually, that means some form of
wrote to the church at Corinth about the situation there where one of their
members was having an intimate relationship with his father’s wife. The church seemed to be affirming the sin
rather than seeking to reconcile the sinner.
Here, ultimately, was Paul’s exhortation to them.
Corinthians 5:9-13, I wrote to you in my
epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did
not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous,
or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the
world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a
brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or
a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. For what have
I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are
inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from
yourselves the evil person.”
also wrote “deliver such a one to Satan
for the destruction of the flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day of the
Lord Jesus.” (1 Cor. 5:5)
the same wording is used when he writes to Timothy, “having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected,
concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and
Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”
there is an unremorseful and unrepentant member of the body, who refuse Godly
counsel, the only chose is expulsion. In
our culture, that sounds harsh but it’s certainly Biblical. The point of excusing someone from the flock
is so that they might yet repent and then be reconciled to God and ultimately the
body they were a part of. Inevitability,
the one ejected from the body for their own good becomes the wounded that has
been shot. Had they accepted the counsel
offered and there was true repentance and reconciliation, they would have remained
in the body and healed to the glory of God.
Because they refused to acknowledge their sin, they were put out. The unrepentant sinner then becomes the
victim of an overbearing church, at least in the eyes of those who don’t know
or want to know the real truth of the matter or the teaching of Scripture.
illustration in the church at Corinth dealt with immorality, but sometimes it
is someone who is teaching unsound doctrine or is divisive, or just plain
arrogant and unruly. Inevitability, the
leadership will have to deal with these issues; and if the offender will not
yield, they will ultimately have to part ways.
Usually, people who are in disagreement with their own leadership leave
on their own accord, but the leaders or the church still get blamed.
point of any church discipline is ultimately to reconcile the rebellious to
God. It’s not to punish people because
they displease us.
a church releases individuals from their membership covenant because they will
not receive Biblical counsel from the elders, it isn’t fun. It hurts.
It is hard on those who have to make such decision and I am sure those
who are expelled feel slighted and hurt and think the church has kicked them
when they were down. In reality they aren’t being honest with themselves. They
have refused to yield to the covenant they had previously agreed to. They can
run from their problems and they can run from their church to another, but they
can’t run from themselves, nor ultimately from God. While Satan will use their situation for his
own ends and the cry that the church shoots their wounded will continue, God
knows the heart and judgment is in His hands.
is interesting to me that in Romans chapter one we see a culture that will not
turn from their evil. In fact, the last
verse states, who, knowing the righteous
judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death,
not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. So God’s response is to give them
this reason God gave them up to vile passions.
turned away from these people and let them go their own way. Now I recognize that these are unregenerate
people, however, in the context it’s about a culture that knew the truth,
rebelling against it. God then gave them
up to their own devices. We wouldn’t
accuse God of shooting His wounded here would we? And yet we are so quick to condemn His church
and its leadership for basically doing the same thing. I think that’s because we think the church
should never do anything that would somehow hurt someone feelings or
self-esteem. The problem with calling
people to holiness is that it does both of these things! Holiness is about dying to self to live for
the next time you hear that so popular cliché “The church shoots it’s wounded” don’t
buy the lie. There is often a lot more
to the story. Please remember that Satan wants to diminish the church in every
Make no mistake! If you are a shepherd of God’s people, this is not your career.
of the great misconceptions of American Christianity is that the pastorate is a
job and pastors are employed by the church.
This is not how Jesus set up the church. In fact, just the opposite. Those who lead
consider John 10:11-13: I am the good
shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he
who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming
and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters
them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the
makes a clear distinction between one who is simply a hired man and one who is
actually the shepherd of the sheep. Now
to be clear, He is obviously comparing Himself with the religious leaders of
Israel, who were serving their own agenda rather than bringing their nation to
God. However, the principle helps
us. The shepherd cares for the sheep
because he loves them, not because he is being paid. If we are the under shepherds of God’s flock,
then we must love the flock as Jesus did.
It’s not about a job or a career or employment. It’s all about the calling and gifting of
God, and the love of God’s flock!
American mindset that the pastorate is a career has greatly harmed the
church. It has allowed those who are not
called or gifted, but simply have a college degree in theology, to become
shepherds of God’s church. That means
that there are those who are leading the flock who may not be appointed or
approved by God. They are elevated to
this position by men. Often, this leads
to flock drift because the leader was never really designed by God to shepherd
the church is instructed to monetarily support those who shepherd.
Corinthians 9:14, Even so the Lord has
commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
6:6, Let him who is taught the word share
in all good things with him who teaches.
is a distinction between support and employment. Support is what the church does so the pastor
or pastoral staff can function full time in ministry without the burden of an
outside job. Employment is when you are hired to do a job. While it may all look the same, it’s not! Employment suggests that the pastor is the
hired hand, the guy who works for the church.
Support, on the other hand, is the church acknowledging that this man
(or pastoral staff) is called of God; and they are willing to give to that
ministry so that the Word of God can go forth and the shepherd can lead without
confuses us is the government wanting churches to issue W2 forms to their
pastors rather than 1099. In my opinion,
the pastor is a 1099 guy all the way. He
fits the definition of an independent contractor because he sets his own hours
and has his own tools. I loved it when
we just got a 1099 instead of a W2; but alas, that isn’t what the system seems
to be able to understand so we complied.
But that doesn’t mean the church should view their pastor as an
employee. When they do, they miss the
point of who and what a shepherd is.
pastorate is all about the calling and gifting of God. Now, I’m not minimizing the need for a high-quality
Biblical education. It is a must. But a diploma or a degree does not a pastor
make. It is the God who calls us to know
Him who likewise calls us to shepherd the flock and with the calling comes the
4:11-12, And He Himself gave some to be
apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for
the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the
body of Christ.
the wording, “He himself gave.” He is
the supplier for the needs of the body.
we look at Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3, we see the characteristics God requires the
church to evaluate before they affirm someone as a shepherd of God’s
all about our mindset and the mindset of the local church. It’s not about “working for the church” nor
is it about “working for God.” It’s all
about God working through us for His glory and the edification of the