One of the things that people find surprising when they first come to El-Shaddai, is how easy it is to talk to us, to touch us and to fellowship with us.
Some people are immediately suspicious that we are not all that, because if we were in any way significant, we would surely have bodyguards keeping people away from us! They are fooled because we are nice, and wonder if maybe we are small people without much to do but chat!
It is not that at all!
In the first instance no one is trying to kill us, so we really don’t need bodyguards. We certainly don’t need to be protected from our members!
Secondly, the only reason we can be nice is because we are strong enough. Weak people fight and fuss with others over the least little thing. It takes more strength, and a greater security in who you are, to be nice when others are trying to fuss with you.
And finally, and really centrally, how can we ever pastor people that we never personally connect with?
And we are not saying that because we have small churches, either. Sometimes after a meeting, we will spend even two hours in the church just greeting people and hugging them and letting them know that they are loved.
Jesus was touched by the feeling of our infirmities. He was so normal that people couldn’t tell which one was Him when He was in a group with his disciples. When they came to arrest Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, they had to ask who He was because He didn’t have that air of self importance that so many pastors adopt to make themselves appear higher than the members of the congregation.
When he died for us, he let us see his nakedness and his wounds. He didn’t hide his weakness from those He came to save.
None of us will ever impact anyone by impressing them. We will only really touch the life of another when we show them our humanity just as Jesus did.
Ezekiel 3:15 is a powerful verse. The prophet Ezekiel had become frustrated with the people to whom he was prophesying that they still weren’t getting it right. But then he put himself in the place of the people he was preaching to, understanding their struggles and pain, and he didn’t say anything further for seven days! His words of criticism and frustration were silenced. As a pastor it is far more important to feel what the people are feeling and understand their struggles, than to be able to preach a well crafted, well studied sermon.
Don’t get me wrong, as one who has accepted the call to speak for God in this generation, I believe in the foolishness of preaching. I am convinced that God knew what He was doing when He sent men and women to preach the gospel. Preaching is powerful. It is different from teaching, because teaching brings understanding, but preaching pulls people into the arena of faith. when preaching takes place, miracles accompany it. But we don’t do any of this just to look good or to draw a crowd. We do this because people need to be made whole.
As pastors we lay hands on people to pray for them because we love them; we teach them because, just like Jesus, we recognize that this is the most powerful thing we can do for another human being to lift them higher in life; and we minister to them because we wholeheartedly believe in the value of a single human soul.
Bid religion adieu, and join us in the REAL LIVE LOVE REVOLUTION AT EL-SHADDAI! THIS IS NOT A GIMMICK, THIS IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD!