I’ve had a couple of people comment to me over the last couple of days that I’m a prayer warrior, or something along those lines.
I’m sorry to disappoint you guys but it’s just not true.
You see, a prayer warrior is someone who senses the call of the Spirit to pray and does so both often and with a strong desire to.
I’m not that person. I have the hardest time praying. Really, you don’t want to hear me pray out loud, it’s not pretty. I pretty much have to force myself to pray and even then, Irush through my prayers and get distracted very easily.
It’s only in times that I set aside to fast and pray that I come anywhere close to what should be a ‘normal’ prayer life.
Now I can already hear some of you objecting but let me continue…
My gift is that of Pastor.
I’m not saying that arrogantly or to boast, it’s just a fact. God gives each of us gifts, mine happens to be the gift of pastor.
The thing is, having this gift means I see things differently than many people I see things in a way that makes me think “What can I do to release the Church to do this?”
The apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists are there to equip the saints to do the work. (Ephesians 4:12)
I picture a pastor in two ways:
1) As a shepherd (the literal translation). The shepherd leads the sheep to the pasture, he guides them. Very rarely does he actually carry them, rather he shows them the way, He also NEVER eats the grass for the sheep or grows wool or fattens himself up for slaughter. That’s the job of the sheep. The shepherd just shows the way and keeps them on the right track.
2) A sports coach. Any team needs a coach. The coach shows the players what needs to be done and equips them to do it but then he sends them out onto the field to actually play the game. Yes he shouts encouragement and correction from the sidelines but he doesn’t suit up play the game with them. That’s not his (or her) role.
Pastors, like anyone else have to listen to God and obey. If God calls me to pray for you, I do it – but that doesn’t make me a prayer warrior, it means I’m obeying the call of God and demonstrating what it looks like when we pray for each other.
People often tell me I have the gift of encouragement. That is SO not true. The gift of encouragement means that you have a supernatural ability to be able to speak encouraging words in any situation. I can’t do that. I can give you a “woo hoo” and a slap on the back every now and then but I’m lost when it comes to real need.
The way I encourage is that of the coach shouting from the sidelines and I do it:
a) because I know everyone needs it and
b) because I want to demonstrate what encouraging people looks like and how easy it is.
This post really isn’t about me though… it’s about your pastor.
All too often, the church sees that something needs to be done and expects ‘the pastor’ to do it, when that’s really not his/her job (or gift). Your pastor/minister is there to equip you and the rest of your congregation to do the work of ministry. Their gift is very specific and there are people in your congregation who have the gifts to do whatever it is that needs to be done.
The Church needs to stop looking at the ‘leaders’ as the workers and everyone else as passive bystanders and start thinking about ourselves as a body in which all the parts have an essential function and are all neccessary. If any of us are being passive and doing nothing then the whole body of Christ suffers.
Go, do what God is calling you to do. Don’t give it to your pastor to do – as Nike says “JUST DO IT!”
Oh and you could read 1 Corinthians 12 if you need more convincing!