There is a reason why scared Believers never speak the Word of God boldly. In this post, we recognize that Believers inhabit the pulpit as well as the pew(s).
Scared Believers Hire Sheep Dogs
In all ways, Believers must speak the Word of God (Jesus) boldly whether people listen or not. Having been a Pastor for some years now, there is one (1) thing I know for sure: ‘comfort’ is more important than “truth” in the modern church.
Those who have mastered rejecting Jesus and making people comfortable lead most congregations. Those who reuse to rarely make it into local church leadership.
There is a phenomenon in churches I refer to as “sheep-dogging.” Sheep Dogs are preachers who come from another church and say things leadership cannot and will not.
Sheep dog chases away wolves and other threats to the sheep fold temporarily.
Usually, the Pastor has shared internal issues in their church with these Believers with the expectation the visiting speaker will address them. Early in Pastoring, I was used as such a person!
The intent is to shift the situation the congregation is struggling with.
In fairness: guest speakers often have different revelation on what is occurring in a certain church. We just experienced this last Sunday when a POWERFUL woman of God delivered a Word. We hadn’t spoken about church issues etc.
However, she knew what need to be said through the Holy Spirit! As a Believer, whatever your role in ministry, speak boldly and allow the Lord God to take care of the rest.
New Gospel Servants Must Remain Bold
I’ve chosen to begin this series of articles with one goal in mind: assisting new Believers who God has set apart to speak the Word in better understanding a few things.
This series isn’t meant to be some form of ‘How to Navigate Pitfalls’ presentation.
God’s Word presents the concept of ‘seasons for everything under the Heavens.’
Right now, is neither the season, nor time, for such exhaustive writing. In corporate America, we called writings like this a ‘working document.’
However, one thing critical to ongoing obedience to God is witnessing to both unbelievers and Christians boldly! Here is the challenge: newbies begin boldly and then “lose their edge.”
The reasons for being less obedient is either “fear” or trying to be accepted by others because of one’s refusal to “hurt feelings.”
I have rejected such groups of pretenders in favor of real followers of Jesus Christ who understand the cost of followship. Current leaders of this ineffective cabal are compromised and lost.
Here is what the Bible says on the matter (but not limited to) – Matthew 7:22-23:
As I always say: “I don’t need any assistance getting to Hell. I can get there on my own.”
Fearful Believers Steal Eternity from People
It is often wise to sit back, meditate, and observe before beginning a work such as this. Right now, I am a new Pastor (of advanced age). To write from the purview of allowing years to pass would make me guilty of theft.
Writing well after events occur means life changing lessons are forgotten and thus, never passed on. Who can argue against the faultiness of human memory?
This doesn’t even mention our built-in tendency towards bias which adds another level of obfuscating truth.
In this way, I have witnessed many steal from God’s people.
Sure, there is always some ‘higher’ reason (excuse) provided for hesitation. A slothful spirit has and will keep others away from life changing truth. There is, nevertheless, a more fundamental theft taking place, each week, when the Saints gather.
Teaching God’s people takes anointing, first, and after that, prayer, and study.
I’ve heard it said that a proper sermon takes about 20 hours, weekly, to prepare. I won’t argue the merits of this statement.
However, I will offer is: if a Preacher isn’t faithfully recording revelation, they are not ‘making full proof’ of the ministry (2nd Timothy 2: 4-5).
If, then, the Holy Spirit gives revelation, and we fail to properly record it, how are we not thieves and robbers? Bold witnesses for Jesus Christ understand that we must be obedient in every area to include ‘documenting’ His revelation to us.
Some document the Word faithfully but never get to a place where they speak it boldly to those most needing to hear. In this way, we miss the seasonality of the Words Jesus imparts to us.
It could be argued that we need to be ‘instant in season and out of season’ as the scripture teaches (2nd Timothy 4: 2).
Here are other encouragements in boldness as well from 2nd Timothy 2:15:
Being confronted with an evil world and then not spending the time in the Word will bring one to a place of shame! One of the quickest ways to be deceived is allowing unqualified people to open their Bibles, quote one scripture, close the Bible, and put on a performance.
When this occurs, they are saying what they, not the Holy Spirit, wants said. It is so often true that in church leadership, it is the cowards who preach and the bold who are silenced.
One of the greatest horrors I have had to accept in ministry is the rejection of the brave in spirit and the ready acceptance of deceivers.
This grinds the unafraid down after continuous rejection while the satanic church member(s) are emboldened by the demise of the righteous.
Boldness Sets Expectations for God’s People
When preaching the word boldly, you set expectations for your new congregation.
Further, this allows other preachers, in the area, to understand who you are as well.
There is a reason why scripture teaches (Proverbs 28:1):
When scriptural integrity goes before you, other Preachers will ‘get the hint,’ and deal with you accordingly. When I go to a House of Worship, and someone gets up without being prepared, it is quite noticeable.
Further, when I see other Believers not prepared to carry out their task, I become angry as well. Boldness often relies on preparation and during this process, assurance from God of righteousness of cause.
This, honestly, is hard for me to bare and says several things. First, those who are unprepared believe experience is enough. Such a brand of experience breeds complacency, and complacency error, and error is confusion!
Next, unprepared Believers don’t value God’s people. How is it possible to value someone, and not give maximum effort to their edification? Finally, refusing to “make full proof of thy ministry” is mocking God’s grace.
How can anyone show up without being prepared for spiritual war?
I’ve even heard scripture used to suborn this spiritual laziness as well! An example is, Jesus told His disciples they weren’t to prepare, but to depend on the Spirit to give them what they needed when speaking (Matthew 10:19).
This is simply bad contextual doctrine.
Jesus was talking about when the disciples were dragged in front of religious councils, like He would shortly be (the Sanhedrin).
Didn’t scripture command: “study to show yourself approved; a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed because you are rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” Boldness, again, is under-girded by preparation regardless of either gifting or assignment.
Bold Speaking Rails Against False Race Diversity Doctrine
The congregation at for my first Pastoral assignment is African American. There are those who would offer: “people are people so you shouldn’t write this from the perspective of one race or another!”
This posit fails to understand the importance of cultural nuance to effectual ministry. This isn’t to say racially diverse churches aren’t important; we’ll get to that in a later article.
African American Pastors, such as Brian Loritts, who teach that racially diverse churches can solve the race conundrum, are in scriptural error. The church as accepted this irresponsible religious leadership as valid when it should be rejected.
The Bible speaks about ‘diversity of gifts’ but where does it claim ‘flesh-based diversity’ solves spiritual problems (1st Corinthians 12: 1-11)? Jesus didn’t come to bring racial healing; He came to resolve SIN, of which, racial prejudice is but one.
Western media present Him as a renegade Jewish preacher, totally opposed to the established religious order. Nothing is further from true.
Jesus openly rejected this by stating publicly; “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5: 17-18)
Further, Jesus, when brought before the Sanhedrin Counsel, Pontius Pilate and even Herod, was never reliably proven to have broken the Law of Moses. Jesus was hardly the ‘religious outsider’ western theologians and creative film makers present Him as!
He understood Jewish culture, being a Jew, operated within its nuance. There was a reason Jesus’ first 12 Disciples were Jewish and later, Apostles, as well.
Further, I point you to any of the many parables Jesus taught. Notice how culturally relevant those parables were to Jews.
In Jewish society, as an example, tax collectors were considered sinners who preyed on others. Using the I.R.S. to illustrate the Greco-Western mindset: can anyone reliably prove they are ‘sinners’ as in Jewish society?
Just because many dislike the IRS, doesn’t make all who work for it sinners! Didn’t your Lord and Savior tell you to pay taxes anyway?
Nuance should not be a tool to enforce segregated beliefs, however. Paul was a religiously educated Jew, yet who has done more for spiritual integration than he?
Flesh based segregation, therefore, is only wrong if it willingly excludes others as a matter of doctrine. After all, there was a reason there were multiple congregations, across Asia Minor, in the days of Jesus’ Apostles.
There is NEVER a flesh-based solution, such as racially diverse churches, to a spiritual problem – NEVER.
I thought we believed: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
In all things, remain obedient and to do so, we must remain bold Preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Header Image Courtesy of Melanie Wasser @ Unsplash