Summary: FOR THE CHURCH TO BE THE CHURCH, THE CHURCH MUST LET THE PASTOR BE THE PASTOR
LET THE CHURCH BE THE CHURCH PART II: THE PASTOR
EPHESIANS 4: 1—16
MAY 4, 2003
INTRODUCTION: WHAT GOD CAN’T DO
A Sunday School teacher was questioning her pupils after a lesson on God’s omnipotence. "Now children," she asked, "is there anything God can’t do?"
The Pastors son thrust his hand into the air. The teacher, feeling certain that he had missed the point of the lesson, asked half-heartedly, "Well, just what IS it that God can’t do?"
Replied the boy: "I heard dad say yesterday that even God can’t make EVERYBODY, at this church happy!"
In a survey: The public’s image of the clergy has hit an all-time low, with just a bare majority now rating them "very high" (15 percent) or "high" (39 percent) in honesty and ethical standards. One person in three (33 percent) considers clergy ethics to be just average, while 7 percent say they are "low," and 2 percent consider them "very low."
In spite of this, members of the clergy are charted second only to pharmacists for honesty and ethics. Physicians, college teachers, dentists, and engineers are next in rank, while journalists, bankers, lawyers, members of Congress, and car salesmen are rated near the bottom.
Emerging Trends, Signs of the Times, August, 1993, p. 6.
FROM AN ANNONYMOUS SOURCE: The pastor teaches, though he must solicit his own classes. He heals, though without pills or knife. He is sometimes a lawyer, often a social worker, something of an editor, a bit of a philosopher and entertainer, a salesman, a decorative piece for public functions, and he is supposed to be a scholar. He visits the sick, marries people, buries the dead, labors to console those who sorrow and to admonish those who sin, and tries to stay sweet when chided for not doing his duty. He plans programs, appoints committees when he can get them, spends considerable time in keeping people out of each other’s hair. Between times he prepares a sermon and preaches it on Sunday to those who don’t happen to have any other engagement. Then on Monday he smiles when some jovial chap roars, "What a job--one day a week!"
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for today speaks of the true power of the church. The church has a high calling and it is so great that it is humanly impossible, but with the Grace given by Christ Himself, we can be the Church HE has called us to be, a church that the very Gates of Hades shall not over come and a church that goes making disciples baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe everything that HE has command. Let the church be the church, Let the people rejoice, For we’ve settled the question, We’ve made our choice, Let the anthems ring out, Songs of victory swell, For the church triumphant, Is alive and well!
BUT, how does our text say we accomplish this? This week we want to focus in on the function of the Pastor within the church, which this text clearly addresses.
THESIS SENTENCE: FOR THE CHURCH TO BE THE CHURCH, THE PASTOR MUST BE THE PASTOR
SO JUST WHO IS THE PASTOR SUPOSSED TO BE?
I. THE PASTOR IS ONE OF THE BODY
A. UNITY IS THE CALL
1. Our text begins with a powerful discussion on Unity in the body of Christ. The Apostle Paul continues to be our teacher in the faith as he shares what a real church looks and acts like.
2. If you had to pick one word out of this text that was central to its understanding, it would have to be Unity.
3. Guess what?? Unity includes the pastor. He or she is to be included as a part of the body and must be a part of the unity that makes up the body of Christ. 4. Therefore the discussion can never be an US, THEM or a WE, THEY argument.
5. Verses 1-6 make all of this very clear as to what the body of Christ must look like and the body of Christ includes Pastors.
ILLUSTRATION: (DON’T USE ALL) Consider what pastors think about work, home, and lifestyles as reported in a recent survey conducted by Leadership magazine:
- 94 percent feel pressured to have an ideal family;
- The top four problems in clergy marriages are: 81 percent, insufficient time; 71 percent, use of money; 70 percent, income level; 64 percent, communication difficulties, 63 percent, congregational expectations; and 57 percent, differences over leisure;
- 24 percent have received or are receiving marital counseling;
[- 33 percent of pastors are dissatisfied with the level of sexual intimacy in their marriages; and pastors report 16 percent of their spouses are dissatisfied, which 69 percent blame on their busy schedule, 54 percent on their spouse’s schedule, and 35 percent on frequent night church meetings.]