If your pastor said he is an apostle, you probably wouldn't be thrilled. You may even hit him with the five books of Moses, or smack him with the four gospels. But you would be wrong, at least according to Paul.
I recently said that we don't compare ourselves to Elijah, but (in some cases) should. Your pastor may not call himself an apostle, but maybe he should. I'm a bit bias about this, and here's why.
I was called to a spiritual office at an early age. This experience made me ask, "Why do I meet people who fell into the pastorate after an internship, or who thought becoming a pastor sounded fun?" My experience couldn't be more different than theirs. Shouldn't every position in the church be a calling?
As you read my forthcoming posts about spiritual offices, you may be able to figure out which one I was called to. But that's not the point; the point is that you're called to a spiritual office too.
For far too long, pastors and other folks high up in the church, have ignored Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 12:27–31. We've lost sight of one of God's greatest gifts to the church: spiritual offices.
You should live your spiritual office and so should your pastor.
Some pastors have the spiritual office of apostle. Others have the office of teacher. And others, the office of prophet. Yet, we ask our pastors to be all of these spiritual offices and some. We expect for them to have all the spiritual gifts and some. But that's not the way it works, or was meant to work.
Our pastors burn out because we make them restaurant managers. They seat us, manage the kitchen, manage the wait staff, bus a table at times, fix our problems, and even take out the garbage. All without tips. They usually make a good salary, but are rarely appreciated. We want customer service from them, and frankly, that's sickening. We have forced them into positions they weren't called to.
I'm beginning to be convinced that senior pastors should be people with the gift of apostleship. Apostles organize people, get them excited about God's vision, and then send people out to other places to do the same. They don't do everything; they do what they're best at—what they're called to.
Here's what happens when apostles run the church the way apostles should.
"There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need" (Acts 4:34–35 ESV).Apostle in Greek means "sent one." If all of our pastors really were sent ones, things would be different. If we treated the pastors who are sent ones as being sent to us to lead and guide us, things would also be different.
What would "different" look like? That question I leave with you. Drop me a comment and let me know.