Most Christian leaders admit that post-ministry time is one of spiritual lows. For instance, a Pastor once told me that people should leave him alone on a Sunday night; it’s a dark time that he feels no need to share. I understand this to some degree: Biblically speaking, Satan loves to point out to God how sinful we Christians are (think: the book of Job)… lucky for us, God loves to point out to Satan how forgiven we are (think: Joshua in the book of Zechariah). Yet we, who minister, get caught up in the crossfire: the collateral damage, so to speak. If Satan shows my flaws to God (as if God didn’t know them anyway) he doesn’t get the reaction he wants. Unfortunately, when he shows my flaws to me, I react perfectly for him. I feel downtrodden… I get (to quote the Pastor) “dark.” This is why post-ministry time is best for him to strike: leaders are sinners, and we know it. Personally speaking, whenever I preach it is always from the Biblical standard, not mine. O, what a chance for the Devil! But what a chance for us too: if your life is lacking the standard you preach (which, if you’re a preacher of any worth, must be the Biblical standard) it ought to be resolved in two ways:
(The Gospel of God, Part One: Jesus & Paul is available here)
But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:15-16
This is a direct example for the church, and even more so for the leaders. There are two things for the church to be:
1) Very bold in our agenda
2) And for that agenda to always be ‘the Gospel’
What makes the church bold?
We are bold because God has given us grace. When I read this passage I hear the words ‘daily grace’ in my head; that every day we receive grace from God. If it were not so, it would be impossible for me to write these words. It would be impossible for me to do any kind of service in the church; every day I sin and am aware of it. But only because of grace can I push on and deliver the gospel.
If we believe the gospel is true then we have to be bold, because if we really do believe it then we understand the consequences for the person who doesn’t. People should see how we are not just bold in our message, but deeply concerned for their wellbeing. Which brings me to the next verse…