7. I’m concerned about pastors who cultivate a culture of dependency on himself instead of cultivating a culture of community within the church.
Of course, I’m not denying spiritual dependency on Christ is biblical. But the pastor is not the people’s savior.
He’s just a man who will burn out and fail himself given enough time and responsibility.
Christians should be taught to depend on Jesus as our Savior, the church as our sanctifying community, the Bible as our word from God and the Spirit as our parakletos.
8. I’m concerned about pastors who read and teach the Bible literally instead of literarily.
This is not to suggest the Bible is not important or any less God’s word. It’s to say the Bible is literature, divine literature to be sure, but literature nonetheless.
That means it needs to be read and understood as God’s word to us (or for us) in the context of its literary genre.
Not all the Bible is prescriptive; and none of it was written to be used as a random list of verses cherry-picked capriciously to beat people up or defend our personal ideas and beliefs.
The Bible is the holy canon that reveals God to us through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Pastors who mishandle God’s word are extremely dangerous.
9. I’m concerned about pastors who contribute to the culture of consumerism instead of combating idolatry.
Pastors who pander to the consumerism in the church are no different than parents who give their kids everything they want to keep them from throwing a fit or to get them to reciprocate love.
Christianity isn’t a smorgasbord where people get to pick and choose what they like or don’t. It’s a community of believers on a journey and mission of faith who live in communitas with others for the glory of God, the blessing of his people and the advancement of his kingdom.
10. I’m concerned about pastors who see the church as a stepping stone instead of seeing it as a custodian of Christ’s kingdom.
Certainly, God moves people. And certainly pastors have a right to pursue other ventures as the Lord leads and gives liberty.
But the church is the primary agent for the stewardship of the gospel and the redemption of the cosmos. It’s the integral institution for advancing Christ’s kingdom and for shaping culture and society. It’s not God’s second-hand agency. It’s not his “Plan B.” Jesus died for the church and it is significant.
These are a few of my concerns about pastors.
What are your concerns? Let me know in the comments.