Summary: The preaching of the gospel must always be the main agenda of the preacher.
Ministry: The Father’s Business
A Pastor invited another Minister to preach a special day at his church. He sent a Deacon to pick him up at the airport, but the Deacon had never met him so he used the resume picture he’d sent. The picture showed a Pastor with black hair, no glasses, and 190 pounds. But the picture was 20 years old. The Pastor was now bald, 260 pounds and bifocals. The Deacon had searched for an hour and then had him paged. He was standing right across from the Deacon all the time. The Deacon said, “I didn’t recognize you, because you don’t look like your picture.”
If ministry is not reflective of God’s plan and principles that looks like the picture of God’s Church, then the Minister and the Ministry will ultimately go out of God’s business. It will be guilty of being:
Perfunctory but not Personal
Mechanical but not Missional
Motion without Meaning
Because it is possible to remain in the business of doing church, but yet be disconnected from being God’s Church. There was a letter that was written by John the Revelator on the Isle of Patmos. John had been sentenced to Patmos because John would not cease and desist from being who God called him.
You see, it is difficult not to be who God has called you to be and do what He has called you to do, if He really has done that. John apparently could not.
In Revelations 3:1 he writes to the Church at Sardis. You have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die. That is why the Shepherd that God sends to oversee the flock must insure that the Shepherd is mindful that he is first a shepherd – not just called but sent, and he must be about God’s business. The Preacher and the people of God must have a God driven agenda, a God driven focus, a God driven fellowship. This work is about the Kingdom and the King. And if anything usurps that agenda, whether it is in the pulpit or pew, that element damages and damns the agenda. And if it ever becomes something else less than that, trust me it ceases to be the Father’s Business. It becomes your business.
In this text in Luke, it revolves around Christ’s words to His mother when they discovered that He was not with them as they were en route home. It appears that this had been Jesus’ appearance before the Elders at the age of twelve, it was his Bar Mitzvah, he became a son of the Law. Mary and Joseph finds him after searching several days. She is certainly maternally stressed, and she conveys her stress and concerns to Christ her son. He says to her: How is it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that I must be about my Father’s Business?
It is His phrase and the usage of the language, “My Father’s Business” that I want to hang my preachment on for these next few minutes and lift up some biblical mandates around the Pastorate and people relationship in God’s church, coupled with Paul’s perspective that preaching to the people is a gift and a fellowship of mystery.
I. The Father’s Business has a Sacred Purpose.
The Pastor must approach the ministry of Pastor as Holy Ground. The Church and the position of Pastor is a desert and mountain experience. It is where we have to pull off our shoes, it is Holy Ground. It is so sacred that Jesus Christ would not entrust the Foundation of the Church to none but Himself.
(1) He is the Owner (Proprietor) (my church)
The church does not really belong to any of us… It belongs to God. At best it is ours by stewardship not ownership. Are we being good stewards?
Whenever you have been entrusted with something that does not belong to you, you need to be very careful with it. When someone loans you something, handle it with care, it is not yours, it is only entrusted to you. The church is not ours, handle it with care.
(a) You don’t damage it!
(b) You don’t destroy it!!
(c) You don’t want to mess it up!
(2) He is the Architect …
(a) He designed it to be a place for sick folk to get well!! A place for imperfect to become better!! A place for wrong folks to get right!!
It is a place for: Hope!! Healing!! Help!!
The Foundation is built upon Truth and Testimony!!! Thou art the Christ!!
(b) And to emphasize the sacredness of this purpose… He gave us: