They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons. ~ 1Timothy 3:9-10
I am writing this about Elders/Deacons/Pastors:
“let them be closely examined, if they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons/elders/pastors….I have a few different things to say about this subject. I served as a member of the “credentials board” for about 5 years. On this board we were the ones doing the testing of men and woman going through the process to ordination and full time ministry. First thing I want to say is I wish I took it more seriously now, I mean I did but I along with the entire board could have gone deeper. The idea is NOT to put men and women through a brutal beating to see if they pass, or if they are good enough to join our group! The idea was and is to make sure they first of all are called by God, second they are submitted to him in all area’s of their lives, family, wife, children, finances, community etc and thirdly are the in a LOVE RELATIONSHIP with Jesus, his word, prayer, knowledge of Him etc……..I must say I saw a huge difference in the way we did things in the last few years from when I went through the process 15 years ago. This is very difficult to do, you want to make sure and at the same time you want and need to encourage a person to keep moving forward.
The other thing I want to say is through this study I’ve learned that the “church” is very important, the leadership of the church is to be ALL these things and to be trusted. God established the church, Jesus died for the church and left it in our hands!! There are far too many men and women out there who proclaim themselves as “prophet, prophetess, deacon, pastor, elder, evangelist. When asked about it they come back with “God has called me, I don’t need a man, a church to give me permission” Well according to what I read in the Word of God that is FALSE!!!
Does God use men and women — YES YES YES. He uses us all in ministry. that is not what I’m talking about. I want to give an illustration to show my point.
When I was pastoring things were going along pretty well, my prayer was for our church to come alive in the Spirit! Deeper things, gifts etc…..one day in walks a man that is alive, on fire and very expressive in his ways….very charismatic. He would speak to people, pray over them, pray healing, speak words from the Lord, and in many ways was spot on. He came to me and to my wife saying that he was here and would support us…..with open arms we accepted him into the body. Soon so many following him, holding on to every word he would speak. I was not threatened in any way, I felt he was sent here to help us open up to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. My life changed in many ways…..he spoke over me many times about how great of a pastor I was, what a GREAT man of God I was…..etc etc etc… my future in the kingdom etc…..He would say He knew what God was saying…..He spoke what God told him to say, he could see the heart of men through the Spirit. IF God sent him to us, as many things in this world, when his time was up he stayed on… you know kind of like a revivial when it’s over man tried to keep it going. His time was up and he hung around, clinging to the people who followed and staying clear of those who were concerned.
HERE IS TRUTH!! IF this man was a “prophet” as he proclaimed, (with no covering, no credentials – self-proclaimed) why did he not see me? Why did he not see the horrific sin I was tangled up in? Why would God send him to me and let me know how pleased God was and my future was SO HUGE in the kingdom? Why didn’t he know? IF he was really who he said he was, God could have sent him to me and probably would have sent him to me to warn me, expose me, whatever and however…..but no it did not happen. I’m pretty sure now if anyone ask him he would say “he knew…….he warned me… blah blah blah” HE DID NOT KNOW < HE DID NOT SEE IT!!!
This is just ONE example of what is taking place out there. Many are innocent and do not know better…. the CHURC IS IMPORATANT!!!! A man is to be tested and then be approved and then ordained. So, I say BEWARE of anyone who is a lone ranger prophet, pastor, evangelist etc…. BEWARE!!! They may lead you astray no matter how strong you think you are.
How do you test a man, how do you test what a man thinks, feels, knows, acts and reacts? It is very difficult but I am convinced that the spouse/family is the key to it all. When we would interview men and women year after year, we NEVER interviewed the spouse until the final interview before ordination and it was not a setting for them to open up and speak if there is something not right…… they know!! Or family members for the matter. I think there should be separate interview that are less intimidating for the spouse all the way through the process. Sometimes the process is over a period of 10 years. I must say that EVERY TIME a pastor has fallen, the spouse knew and hid it for years, knew it before they were ordained. I mean what spouse wants to ruin that for a man or woman? The truth is they probably are hoping and praying that this is the very thing in their life that will being the change that is so desperately needed.
I know for me and I know for each one that has fallen that I am aware of this would hold true. Would it hurt? YES, would it help? YES YES YES…..for me being exposed was the very thing that FREED me up after years and years of living with secrets. Very difficult thing to do, to set up but a man with secrets will always hide the secrets, hoping that change is right around the corner, there may even be some freedom for awhile, but it always rears it’s dirty little head up again down the road.
Well that’s it for chapter 3 – it’s been hard, hurtful, painful and FREEING!! It has opened the doors to others around me too — I’m very thankful for this book and the Holy Spirit who has brought me through it with new insights and truth shown to me about ME.