Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Howdy y'all; Hot enough for ya? I cannot believe how hot it has been. So many records have been broken. It has really been hard to do anything here with this heat. It has been a VERY long time since last I was here to put up a new post , and for that I beg your forgiveness. It has been very busy for me and I have had a bit of a "hiccup" in my faith walk and about my feelings about what a "pastor" & "minister" should be and how it differs from a "Preacher"! I have served a few churches as pastor/preacher and I have served MANY churches as a member of the congregation in many different capacities. I have cooked banquets, done bar-b-ques, washed floors, swept up, cleaned pews, vacuumed floors, scrubbed toilets, mowed lawns . . . you name it! It is ALL service to the church and service to God. All of it, and all of it is very necessary for the smooth functioning of the church. As we are all parts of the church body and the body of Christ. No body can function well if one or more parts is out of place or broken or missing. Well anyway . . .What is the difference between a pastor, minister, reverend, preacher, etc., etc. etc. In reality it is just a matter of accepted definition by most folks, religions and religious sects. Some churches (Non-denominational) call their preachers, ministers etc. Bishops! Biblical definitions are also a bit vague. The only term that really stands without much ambiguity is "preacher"! A preacher is one who preaches. The person in the pulpit who brings the sermon message is the preacher, who may or may not be ordained by the particular sect's hierarchy. Usually if they are not ordained by the formal church hierarchy they can be (and usually are) ordained as and elder or deacon by the particular congregation they may be speaking to, or they may be sent out to another church to be a guest speaker and are still under the "umbrella" of the parent church. I believe that preaching is a serious onus and should be taken VERY seriously because every word spoken in the name of God from the pulpit is going to have to be accounted for when the day of judgement is at hand. When the day comes and I / we/ you stand before the Lord wewill be called into account for every word spoken in the pulpit or in the name of God! Reverend is usually a term used within the particular churches hierarchy to designate a person ordained by that hierarchy as a "minister", or "pastor" for the churches under their umbrella of control. So a person sent out to a particular church or one who is hired by a particular church in that hierarchy "Officially" is the "Reverend" Mr. or Ms. such in so. As a "minister" one is ordained to minister (care for, take care of, tend) to the spiritual needs of a member of a congregation or even a non-member if that person recognizes the person as their "Minister". Prayer for that person is a way to minister. Holding their hand at the time of trial or need is also a way to "minister" to that person. Keeping shared information (sins, failings etc.) confidential is also a way of ministering for a person. We ALL, as believers in Jesus Christ, are called on to be "misters" at one time or another to each other. It does NOT need to be "officially" ordained to minister. It is a verb as well as a noun. Pastor also has both "official" and "un-official" connotations. One can be "ordained" officially as a "Pastor", but pastor is also one of those words that is both a verb and a noun, and means pretty much the same thing as minister. An ordained Pastor is meant to minister to the needs of their congregation. Anyone can, and should be able to preach, witness to, or minister to the needs of another. We are told to do so by Jesus Christ. When He said "Love one another as I have loved you." that is what He meant for us to do. Love lets us take care of each other. By being a member of the body of Christ we are all called to minister one to the other. Do you have to be ordained by a particular church? No, you do not have to be ordained by the church to "minister" or to preach. But . . . whenever you do those things in the name of God, or the name of Jesus, you had better be sure you are doing it out of the pureness of your heart and to the best of your abilities and in a way that will bring glory to God and His kingdom because you will be held accountable for your actions at the time of judgement before the Lord. We all have a witness. We all have a message to "preach" if you think about it. How, where, when and what brought you to the point where you could accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? That is your witness! That is your message to all, especially to non-believers, that you can share or preach. We all have a story. We are NOT unique, because there is always someone who may be in a spot or condition similar to mine / yours before you or I accepted Jesus. Because of the similarities of our human condition we all have known sinfulness and evil in our hearts and can share how Jesus saved us and wiped away our sinfulness with His precious blood! God is good . . .all the time, and will respond to your request for forgiveness if you truly repent. Your words of witness cannot return void. God will use them.