The Most Dangerous Place on Earth: Pastorless Churches
Updated: Oct 1, 2022
The most dangerous place on Earth is a Pastorless Church. This is neither false nor hyperbole, which is the same thing I guess.
I. Pastorless Churches are a Satanic Free-for-All
II. Pulpits Remain Vacant for Congregational Control
III. Pastorless Churches May Have Someone in the Pulpit
IV. God’s Leaders are Original and Never Copies
V. Vacant Churches are Places of Confusion
Pastorless Churches are a Satanic Free-for-All
Pastorless churches are in danger. Vacant pulpits are vacuums of leadership where Ha Shatan often appears. As a former Interim Pastor, I was privy to the anarchy following the loss of a church leader.
While I would never suggest being hasty in the hiring process, it is critical to not be slothful.
Jesus said: “fear not him who can kill the body. Rather fear Him which can both kill the body and cast the soul into hell.” Churches without a Pastor are the most dangerous place on Earth because of this!
Nuclear war would be terrible and was surely was for the people of Japan at the end of World War II. However, nuclear bombs can kill but never determine where souls are headed.
People, regardless of how they die, have determined this prior. Churches are different because the choices people make there determines where their soul will live for eternity.
This is why I so vigorously oppose wicked and slothful church leaders.
As surprising as it is — most truly do not understand the eternal consequences of their actions.
This must be true because if they did, 95% of the WICKED behavior we partake in would cease!
Pulpits Remain Vacant for Congregational Control
I have witnessed, on more than one occasion, congregations who ‘drag their feet’ because they desire ongoing control.
More simply — they desire a season of no accountability and freedom to run amok!
Further, other congregations have fired Pastors not because of wrongdoing rather they didn’t want to follow. I have seen such a thing up close and personal.
When I was a new church associate Pastor (of sorts), preacher, I was at a church that stood in opposition to our young Pastor.
This group was led by a ‘rogue’ deacon who was demon possessed. There are few times in ministry when I so clearly saw “scales” on the eyes of someone. What was interesting is that he was hailed in the community as a great and loving police officer.
In the House of God however, he was Satan’s own follower. This guy wanted control of the church and didn’t want to follow. The Pastor, although young, was just as stubborn if not as vicious and destructive.
Churches without an installed Pastor are dangerous. However, churches who don’t want a Pastor, yet one is present, are just as dangerous.
It is also true that congregations imply cannot find a Pastor as is the case in the great State of Maine.
Pastorless Churches May Have Someone in the Pulpit
As mentioned in a previous article, there were three candidates to Pastor our church. Each had a distinctive preaching style which ran the spectrum.
Through this, I knew God was in the midst. Three (3) distinct choices with future direction on the line.
This was not a church whittling a list of outside candidates down to three (3) either. They were internal ministers, at a small church, with limited resources.
The first minister was the deceased Pastor’s hand-picked successor. I have no doubt he reminded Pastor of a younger version of himself. Pastor, before dying, told me: “I will be gone soon. I need you to stay here and help him.”
Pastor’s successor also sought to win favor by intentionally trying to be just like Pastor. He tried to ‘wear armor that did not fit.’ The only way one can honor God is walking it out who you are and understanding what that means.
Anything more, or less, is calling God a ‘liar’ and questioning His sufficiency. There is a reason He created you how you are and placed you where you are.
Who knows why but His Word says: “His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways”.
There can be situations when even if there is a Pastor, the pulpit is still vacant! If we do not show up as who God created us to be, it is as good as not being present at all. This is often evident in Internet searches.
Here is an example of a church without a Pastor while a "preacher" still sits in the pulpit.
It is heart-breaking that "by-laws" (law of men) and not the Word of God are used to remove church leaders. However, when things get to this point, a church is in chaos and no Pastor (leader) is present anyway.
Nevertheless, any Preacher must be an "original." The Bible says: “no lie is of the truth.” Therefore, if you are living a lie, through spiritual cloning, you are not walking in truth.
Too many are nothing more than ‘clones’ of those who trained them. These so-called ‘fathers in the ministry’ in church speak. Paul had a ‘son in the ministry’ named Timothy but ‘son’ should never equal ‘clone.’
It is a good thing to have a role model. Nevertheless, there is a difference between admiring someone and reimagining yourself as them! Disciple, meaning imitator of Jesus Christ, is a Holy Ghost endeavor.
IF Jesus created you (according to John 1), then one must also accept that He knows you.
If then, He know who you are before He created you, why imitate someone else and not HIM? Your Savior approves of who you are. Who cares if these so-called ‘fathers in the ministry’ don’t?
I loved NBA legend Kobe Bryant however, watching him play, I see nothing except a fraudulent copy of Michael Jordan. I am one of the few who believe Kobe was more athletically gifted than Jordan.
Further, I also hold to the view Kobe could’ve been greater than Jordan. But we’ll never know that for two reasons.
First, Kobe retired and next, he copied Jordan’s moves and style while never creating his own. It is a true saying that the only way to be YOU is to recreate the wheel.
God’s Leaders are Original and Never Copies
I was speaking to my 7-year-old grand-daughter about rule breakers. On one side are those who negatively break rules and end up in legal trouble.
The others are positive rule breakers who are fiercely independent and change the world.
I further added that she should avoid negative rule breaking. She was confused and I was struggling to clarify. She jumped in and crystalized it: “Papa, so positive rule breakers write new rules.”
BOOM! That is exactly it.
Admire your teacher but never sacrifice who you are in lieu of worshipping who THEY are. Being ‘authentically you’ means writing new rules!
The second minister, and Pastoral candidate, was one of the most effective bible teachers I’ve had the pleasure to serve with. His family is beautiful, and I would have been honored to have served him (as my Pastor)!
Unlike Pastor’s chosen successor, his style was much less theatrical. It was talking, in an even-tone, which is less familiar to traditional congregations. This is commonly known as ‘slow-walking’ in preaching vernacular. He was, in all ways, a disciple-maker.
However, the African American church has existed not on such even keel approaches to preaching. Our view has been to push the ‘Art of the Preach’ rather than the ‘Art of the Teach.’
Although sad, many more traditional congregations demand extraordinarily little with respect to biblical education. This is changing however and praise Jesus! ‘Angels of Light’ who read this — if you can sing, whoop, and dress well — you are 75% of the way to Pastoring. Let Those Who Have an Ear Hear.
A senior member of a congregation’s Pastoral selection committee said it best: “we are so blessed to have this new Pastor. When he came, he sang…and that was something we were looking for (a singer).”
Thank God, on that occasion anyway, the new Pastor was so much more.
Future Pastoral Candidates Must Remain Original
To future church leaders, be cautioned on this wise; do not step away from who you are to gain favor, ever.
In the end, you will suffer disappointment or worse. Either God defines you or He does not. This current trend of a ‘flexible’ approach to Christian identity is hugely problematic.
Let’s use our focus Pastor’s chosen successor as an example.
Although he had issues (and who doesn’t), God certainly called him. I believed it then, and still do today. Too often, we see a person’s un-Christlike lifestyle and wrongly denounce them as false.
Although obedience CAN effect ‘call’ effectiveness, it does not negate ‘the call.’ This guy would have trouble tying his own shoelaces and functions on pure illogic. In the truest sense, trying to reason with him was like reasoning with my seven (7) year-old granddaughter.
I do not say this to be ugly either — it is true. To hear him preach, however, made his ‘call’ undeniable! I still marvel at this today. Truly, God is able.
I am not one to shy away from calling out a ‘false prophet’ either. I was made for such a thing. God’s Word gives believers this authority — “try those spirits, whether they be of God or not, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
Vacant Churches are Places of Confusion
Choice will bring enemies, while ‘lack of choice’ brings both confusion and enemies. God has spoken ‘it,’ ordained it, and kept you alive to walk in ‘it.’ Why keep resisting originality (Jeremiah 1:1–9)?
We learn, from Jeremiah’s call, obedience, even amid doubt, must be held onto. Jeremiah thought he was too young and didn’t have the skill to affect his ordination as a Prophet.
God rebuked him, and touched the Prophet’s mouth, filling it with the Word.
What is interesting, is God told him “Do not be afraid of their faces.” If you are changing for others and refusing what God created you to be, you are a COWARD. No apologies!
Even I was tempted to be a ‘clown preacher’ but I repented.
A God ordained preacher must understand what people expect and what God provides are separate paradigms. God knows what you and any congregation requires.
Whether they accept it or not is an entirely different matter.
I trusted, and agreed, to follow Minister #2, should he be elected Pastor. The reason was throughout his time at the church, he maintained integrity, and never ‘played to the crowd.’
His style, although not favored by the congregation, did not change.
Pastor’s successor was constantly adapting right in front of our eyes. He never trusted God with his lifestyle nor anointing to preach.
Minister #2, even to gain a Pastorate, refused to sell his birthright (Genesis 25: 29–34).
If you are confused about who YOU are, how is it possible to lead God’s people to anywhere except confusion?
Congregations are edified by a leader’s strength and destroyed by unrepented weaknesses.
Pastor’s successor was an ‘agent of chaos.’ Minister #2 had that ‘peace that passes all understanding.’
Pastorless churches are chaos waiting to happen. I am not suggesting rushing the process of selecting a new leader. However, I am suggesting that if your candidates are ‘in-house’, and known, nothing has changed with them.
As many a mother used to say: “if someone shows you who they are, you better believe them.”
Header Milt Ritter @ Pixabay