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CHAPTER 8

 Insecure Pastors Dealing With Rejected Prophets

I.  Reasons for Insecurity among Leadership 

By far and large the vast majority of those who have entered the ministry and been endorsed as having a calling have achieved that through a Theological seminary. It is therefore not surprising that they would expect anyone who is to command authority of any worth in the church will have proven themselves by their levels of theological training apart from other natural giftedness. Spiritual giftedness is viewed with suspicion unless it is cloaked with a mountain of 'accepted' theological explanations.  A prophet like Elisha, a farmer by trade, or Amos a tenderer of Sycamore trees would have had great difficulties being received because of their lack of theological training.

The fearful enter ministry in the large, established churches because of the guaranteed salary, security of employment, and social status for life, even though it may be small compared to secular work. The effect of this is to emasculate the ministers so that they cannot challenge the system even when they see it to be wrong - "You don't bite the hands that feed you!"

 Those with poor self-esteem seek the ministry to bolster it. The effect is to have ministers who are very possessive of their congregation. They try to extract a strong commitment from the congregation to the leadership rather than to the Lord Jesus Christ. They throw out emotional hooks to people to try and control them emotionally. This has its source from sufferers of rejection. They are also unable to release people easily into their ministries. Such ministers are unable to take constructive criticism or advice.

 The lazy are also attracted to the ministry, especially in the Pentecostal/ Charismatic settings because there is a premium on personal charisma and ability to be verbose, rather than godly character, true calling, and spiritual/scriptural knowledge as qualifications. There is a lack of personal discipline that often leads to moral compromises, for example, in the areas of food, sex, and finance.  There is lack of depth in wisdom, knowledge, and discernment that leads to major errors in teaching and corporate activity. 

The angry are attracted to the ministry because:

The platform provides the avenue for venting personal frustration and bitterness, especially towards oneself. They therefore, unconsciously project their own guilt on to others.

 Some want to draw people into their own bitterness and frustration in order to justify their own position. This leads to melodrama, shouting, screaming, and castigating the congregation in an authoritarian leadership style.

 The ambitious are attracted to the ministry because some churches/denominations promise power, wealth, and honour (the spirit of the world that has entered the church). This is counterfeit Christian ambition.

 In some cases the people have the true Divine call but are still insecure because Pastors/ Leadership attracts satanic assault as well as attack from carnal people.

 Usually, Pastors exercise far less revelatory gifting than the prophetically gifted thus making them feel insecure before the congregation. The pastor tends to receive revelation by studying the word of God and in an eclectic way. Prophets hear more directly. This should provide for interdependence between the various offices.

Effects of Insecure Pastors

 There is a spirit of competition and comparison in the body of Christ! The Pastors strive to prove their validity and are drawn into a "turf” or "my flock" mentality - they are paranoid and divisive.

 There are thousands of lonely Pastors unable to share their problems with peers from their own denominations or other denominations because they are very insecure.

 The pastors who are insecure provide poor fathering for the prophetically gifted. The prophetically gifted need spiritual boundaries provided much like children do in their backyard. They can then operate in safety and grow into maturity.

Two Types of parenting for the prophetic

 The evangelical Approach- suppressing the prophetic in an authoritarian way. They are very sceptical and have gone to the extent of inventing theology to support this suppression.

The Pentecostal/Charismatic Approach - an indulging approach often not correcting or rebuking as recommended in I Cor. 12, 13, and 14.  This results from false humility, therefore, a giving over of the responsibility to the immature prophet; not realising that God has entrusted authority to Pastoral leadership.

Solutions for Insecurity in Pastors

 Proper foundations rooted in The Father's love, is the key for getting security in the Pastor. John 5:39 says- Do not seek glory from men otherwise you will not have the love of God in your heart. You cannot live and move in faith if you seek glory from men.

 A strong devotional life in secret must be a priority. Men resort to substitutes to try to keep influence after compromising in this area. Note: Burnout comes from stress NOT hard work, ask a farmer. Burn-out in ministry occurs when the Pastor tries to please people instead of the Lord. 

Proper training- we need a new order of training for a new order of leadership. This includes apprenticing and formal studies. It must be non-traditional.

 Proper setting to come into The Church. This includes a church based team ministry at the leadership level and a body ministry at the congregation level. No solo leadership/domination any longer.

 Proper perspective- Take God very seriously without taking ourselves too seriously so as to avoid becoming religious and therefore unable to handle criticism. Also we must not be naive about our influence otherwise we will make major errors.

 Leadership must be willing to lose personal identity in their ministry in order to work as a team.

  

II. Reasons for Prophets suffering from Rejection 

The biggest problem that prophets face is rejection. Rejection from close family and friends when they start to claim that they have the anointing for the office of a prophet. This is particularly true for t

hose in the mainline denominational churches where there is erroneous teaching that prophets and prophecy are limited to the Bible.

Signs of Rejection in a Prophet

 Tend to anticipate negative responses so become reclusive /withdrawn because of being hurt.

 They become over emotional and therefore angry, over-reacting when something happens unexpectedly.

 They tend to have a very overt/hysterical laughter because of the emotional stress of rejection.

 They become very quiet, solemn and withdrawn.

 They become very vocal without really saying anything meaningful.

 They become very opinionated - this is one of the greatest detriment to the prophetic.

 They become full of debate, defensive and argumentative.

 They exaggerate the revelation in order to convince people that they have received from God.

 They have an abnormal number of non-essential revelation.

 They have an inability to give proper value to the revelations received- whether they be serious or non serious revelation; whether they are for corporate or for individuals or for themselves only. Therefore,  they are very destructive- like a time bomb that goes-off when least expected.

 Note: It is very important that those with a prophetic anointing MUST deal effectively with any root of rejection completely, otherwise, their revelations will not find any audience because it will be tainted with rejection motives. In I Thess. 5:20, Paul knowing that the people were having problems accepting prophecy encourages them not to despise it.

Reasons for rejection of prophets  

He demands time, prominence and authority.

 Tendency to have an inaccurate portrayal of their gifting or revelation. For example, may think one is a prophet to the nations when, in fact, they are called to be a prophet to a local church only.

 Tend to think one is mature when, in fact, they are infantile.

 Tend to attack people who don't like them or accept their gifting.

 A pastor who is insecure will try to clampdown on the prophets because he feels that they will gain greater prominence than himself.

 The Pastor may tend to isolate the prophets from the public because of the fear of the unknown regarding what they may say next.

Cure for the rejection in the prophets

The immature prophet as well as those in the fellowship need to understand that its going to take time to develop their gifting - in fact, years before they can reach full maturity, particularly  in relation to the kind of character that Godrequires of the prophet.

 There is need to confront his error in love.

 There is need to confront his character weaknesses in love.

 There is need for those to whom the revelation is directed to work at it and not to simply accept what is uttered by the prophet  - Don't be afraid to ask him questions.

 Give encouragement to the prophet when improvements in his accuracy occurs.

 Openly discuss where he is in his public and prophetic ministry. Get his feeling first before telling him where you, as the leadership, feel he stands.

 The pastors must teach the congregation about the prophetic so that they don't puff him up or crucify him.

 Teach the congregation how to give the prophetic grace because "there are no clean stalls where there are oxen". Since prophetic schools tend to occur before people therefore their mistakes and failings being public tends to add to the rejection.

 There is need to provide discipline appropriate to the trespass without fear of the prophet so they do not become puffed up or remain uncorrected when they err.

 Do not kill off or cut them off because they do not deliver the message the way you want it.

 Discussion questions

 How can the congregation assist an insecure pastor come to terms with having an active prophetic ministry in the local church? 

What must a prophet do to encourage an insecure pastor to accept his ministry in the local church?

 What should be the correct parenting of immature prophets by the church leadership?

 What would be the value of having church run prophets' convention/conference?

 

Published 2005

 

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