21 things pastors need to stop now – Part 2
• Stop using the church’s tithe on wasteful expenses
Did you need to go to that expensive restaurant on the church’s dime? Was that shiny new gadget the best way to invest God’s money? Mishandling the church’s money doesn’t just apply to pastors with mansions and private jets. Be a good steward of every penny that God has entrusted to you.
• Stop pointless invitations to speak everywhere
Why do you welcome invitations to preach outside, when your own people have not been properly fed? The number one role of the pastor is to feed the sheep very well. If you are not always available in your own altar to feed your people, but goes everywhere because of honorariums, you are a shame to Him.
• Stop saying your church is going to ‘reach the world’ alone
The whole body of Christ will reach the world, and not just your local church. God’s redemptive plan is far greater than any lone congregation. Teach people to think bigger about the church than just gathering.
• Stop preaching anything but the Bible
Opinions are like feet; everyone has them, and sometimes they stink. We don’t need your opinions. We need God’s in His Word. Tell us what He says. In the end, what He thinks is all that matters.
• Stop preaching other pastors’ sermons without giving them credit
That’s called plagiarism. It’s illegal. Don’t do it. I know many pastors plagiarise my teachings, posts, and even my books, yet they don’t give me the credit. It stinks.
• Stop doing selfish service
Don’t serve for the sake of publicity. If your primary goal is to get in the news or to take pictures with orphans in Africa to post on Facebook, you need a heart check (Matthew 6:4). Do good for God’s glory, not your own!
• Stop playing church politics
Politics of promotion, hierarchies, money and position and titles have brought ruin to the spiritual impact of many pastors, especially those in denominations. Church politics have a way of reducing you in the sight and scale of God.
• Stop giving false prophecies
We can’t all be prophets. We can’t all perform miracles, signs and wonders. Many of us will only see supernatural manifestations few times in our ministry. So, don’t work it up by yourself, if the Holy Spirit is not inspiring you. Fake, flaky prophesy and miracle will bring bad image and reduce your impact.
• Stop mishandling the Word of God
Handling the word of God deceitfully is when you compromise, wrest, mutilate and misinterpret the Bible because of fear of man, personal advantage or pecuniary considerations. Stop it, or God will send the famine of His Word into your life and ministry.
• Stop doing ministry with bitterness
Make sure you allow God to heal your heart of hurts, wounds and injuries inflicted by the people you helped or served. Too many pastors are going about with inner hurts and doing ministry with bitterness, which will eventually defile you and your work. (Hebrew 12:15) Bitterness turns you to a hurtful person in words and actions. Eventually, your hurts will make you hurt others.
• Stop operating outside your giftings and callings
If God called you as a pastor, don’t try to become an evangelist. If He calls you as a prophet, stop trying to be a pastor. If He hasn’t called you as an apostle, stop being one because of prestige, ordination and human expressions. Know your actual calling and stay there. Working outside your calling will always bring stagnation and disaster of great proportions to you and the people.
• Stop being critical and fault-finding
Many of us are in the habit of being defensive, critical and cynical, when the Word of God hit us at the point of our sins. We find fault with the vessel the Lord is using to speak to us, thereby rejecting the work God wants to do in our hearts and life. Stop it now. Receive benefits from any message the good Lord sends to you, not minding the vessel.
What do you need to stop?
Look, none of us is perfect. If any of this rubbed you the wrong way because you felt convicted, you are not alone. Don’t get mad at me. Get angry at the sin that so easily entangles us. Let’s repent of the mistakes we have made and move forward as faithful stewards of the work God has entrusted us to do.
Dr. Francis Akin-John, Church Growth Consultant,
Growth Centre, 6/8, Mukadaz Close, Off Palace Way, Iyana-odo B/Stop, Isheri-LASU Road, Lagos. 08023000714 firstname.lastname@example.org
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