I’ve been thinking about the current pastoral model we see in the church and the future leadership it develops. I’ve come to one conclusion; it just cannot develop people into fulfilling their call into ministry. The pastoral model in its very nature is passive and not aggressive. Ministry requires aggressiveness to even be a self-starter. It also requires aggressiveness when situations arise that require an uncompromising position. I see so many that are sitting in a pastoral models frustrated with their life and with the call upon their life because no one knows how to fully develop them. The pastoral model has the ability to develop people into a helps ministry and serving ministry capacities. But how exactly does a pastor develop an apostle or prophet, for in the most part they don’t even understand that office or function nor recognize it.
Pastors are mostly focused upon the individual needs of a person, while the other four ministry gifts listed in Ephesians 4 are focused upon the corporate body as a whole, this brings a large limitation in the pastoral gift to develop the other fivefold ministry gifts. This is not saying there is not a need for pastors, as there is a need to minister to the individual constantly. Without the hope and vision that an apostolic oversight would bring a person may end up stuck in their current situation without a hope of the future.
The only way to truly develop the call upon a person is to be sitting under an apostle that has prophetic insights and prophetic people around them to be able to speak into the individual’s life. Apostles understand the corporate vision and the moment of time that God is moving in. They understand how to help align a person’s life to be productive in the current season. They also have vision to see what a person can be in God and how to develop the gifts that are setting dormant. Apostles are not concerned about mistakes an individual would make, very different from a pastor, but are concerned about the individual being developed to their full potential in reaching their ultimate destiny. For the most part many pastors lack an understanding of how to bring people into these dynamics, and thus the pastor becomes frustrated and so does the person sitting under them.
The biblical pattern of the New Testament is that apostles and prophets help develop the fivefold ministry gifts and release them into ministry. The apostles knew what gifts were needed and where they were needed to be sent. Apostles looked at not just the fulfillment of an assignment but also development at the same time a person was given an assignment. This on-the-job training is what set the early church in motion and caused an ongoing growth. Today in most pastoral models there is a length of time required before anyone is given a task.
I feel we are lacking very much in solid leadership due to the fact so many people are setting in pastoral models, frustrated, frustrating pastors, and living way below their potential. How many true apostles and prophets are sitting in these gatherings week after week and reaching the ceiling of growth that they cannot grow by. Eventually they would either have to leave these settings, compromise what they believe, or deny the call of God upon their life. I am not saying that needs to be a mass exodus out of churches, but what I am saying there needs to be a shift of people being committed to places such as kingdom centers and schools of ministry that can grow them up spiritually. They need to break soul ties and unhealthy commitments for the sake of the call. Many times decisions are made in which spiritual gathering to go to, or be committed to primarily, by humanistic and social relationships and not by Holy Spirit led God inspired relationships. Not all relationships we have are “fun” relationships but God has stated that “He has placed us in a body that pleases Him”. He knows what will bring us to the fullest potential. Thats why He also said to not deny the assembling together. Many times we have not allowed God to place us or if He does try and place us, we decided differently through the means of justification.
For those truly with a call into ministry you do need a pastor in your life, just they are not the primary source of spiritual input. This has to be those who can truly develop you. Myself I have a pastor who I speak with when I need pastoral perspectives and counsel for myself personally. But my primary source of spiritual development is by apostles and prophets, then by teachers.
Awesome word, Greg! Great distinctive from the “pastoral model” to the “apostolic!” We have tried to make the “pastor” all-inclusive to be everything in the current system! Thanks for this powerful word!!