COMFORT FROM THE PASTOR!
A church can be a comfortable place - perhaps too comfortable at times!
The leader of a local congregation is usually called a "pastor" or "leader" - one who gives his life to shepherd the people of his church under the guidance of The Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ!
Some give their pastors a hard time but most appreciate the loving dedication which their pastor gives to feed them with the word of God, help meet their needs and be there through the good times and the hard times!
Along with pastors, God has appointed others to lead the church…
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Many churches only acknowledge the position of pastor but God has included four other ministries in this lift of gifts, often called the five-fold ministry.
This is not a matter of terminology or semantics. The other four gifts God give us are there for a reason. The five gifts are not to be separated but work together closely to complete the ministry of the church!
Problems arise when we insist on everyone being a pastor! "I only listen to those who speak kindly to me and encourage me - like my pastor," is the position of many in the church! That would be fine if God did not also send the prophet, teacher, etc.
THE UNCOMFORTABLE PROPHET!
The prophet may appear to not be as kind or loving as a pastor but if He is truly speaking for God, the love of God is behind his words. Though his words may seem to "tear-down" rather than "build-up," it is because that is necessary at times!
A house is built on a strong foundation. If the construction foreman sees something wrong with the foundation after the work has begun, he may have to stop the work to fix what is wrong. He may even have to order the previous work to be torn down and restarted! This could take place at any point in the project, even when the building seems almost completed. Imagine the groans of the workers who have to start over!
Likewise we groan when a true prophet speaks into our lives because it is not pleasant for God to say "Stop what you are doing!" or even have him tell us to tear down what is already in place so it can be built correctly and last for a long time!
But we must understand that if God is speaking what may seem harsh through the prophet, it is because he has more than just our temporary happiness in mind. He knows that if we don't first tear down some things in our lives before building more on top of them, they will crumble like a weak foundation.
So next time, if the one whom God is speaking through does not seem to "rubber stamp" everything in our lives, realize that it is the Master Builder who is speaking through him. He may not seem as loving as our pastor who is called to gather the sheep but he is nevertheless speaking for God and has our best in mind. The two are not opposites but are working in harmony to bring about God's loving master plan for our lives!
The goal of the construction foreman is always to complete the building correctly and in a timely manner!
THE GOAL OF THE MASTER BUILDER IS THE SAME!
...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ