By Timothy Johnson
The title of this column may be a bit misleading. If you expect to read about a job opening or a place you can get a job tomorrow, this article will disappoint you. But I do encourage you to read on.
My wife and I returned from vacation just 10 days ago. We had a wonderful time. We drove for three days, witnesses the beauty of the American Plains and Southwest, and visited relatives in Texas on the way home. We even climbed a volcano in New Mexico. The physical beauty of America is breathtaking throughout the nation.
We never miss church, even when we travel. Sunday morning, Sunday night, one time during the week, usually Wednesday, we find a place to worship.
On this trip, we visited two separate churches, one in Missouri, the other in Arizona. We knew nothing of either church before walking in the door. The church in Missouri was more traditional. In Arizona, the church was more contemporary. However, both churches were without a pastor.
In our travels, we have visited dozens, if not hundreds, of churches. Never have we come across a church without a pastor. Now, on this trip, every church we visited needed a minister. What are the odds?
Then on the first Wednesday after our return home, we had a missionary from Peru visit our church. While talking with him before the services, I asked if anything was pressing as far as needs.
He replied, “Missionaries.” He explained that most of today’s missionaries came to the field in the 70s and 80s. They are now in their 60s and 70s and leaving the field. Many have no one to replace them.
Then, in Saturday’s mail is a letter from a missionary in Cyprus. It was a typical missionary letter praising God and informing us of what is happening in the ministry. Then the letter took a turn from the ordinary. The final paragraph in the letter was a plea for more missionaries. He expressed the same need — many missionaries are advancing in years and are not being replaced.
Within three weeks, both churches I visit need a pastor. Both missionaries I encounter make a plea for more missionaries. I understand my sample field is small, but I ask again — What are the odds?
The body of Christ needs leaders.
Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”
The church is in the great “falling away,” as prophesied in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Many churches are leaving the teachings of the Word of God. Services are shifting from a place where the Holy Spirit works in hearts to entertainment centers that give temporary good feelings.
Mixing the previous paragraph with the need for godly ministers, the future of the church looks grim.
The Bible prophesizes the general condition of the church before the rapture as a church of apathy (Revelation 3:15-16). A church with material wealth yet lacking faith; a church that is spiritually “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).
Christ gives the solution to these church problems in Revelation 3:18-19. There will be trials of fire, but we need to put on the “white raiment.” In other words, put on righteousness — get sin out of our lives. We are to “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Get into the Word of God and see the world through Biblical eyes. This way of seeing is a lifestyle change. Seeing sin as sin, seeing God working in both the good and awful times of life, and basing our opinions and actions on what God has to say on the subject. It is a transformation of the mind (Romans 12:1-2).
Christ will spank us from time to time, but the goal is our repentance, a change of our behavior. If He did not love us, He would not chasten us (Revelation 3:19).
We think all is well with our spiritual life, but Christ is outside, pounding on the door of the church, pleading for anyone to open the door (Revelation 3:20).
The lack of godly ministers is a problem that has existed for a while, or else the church would not be in the condition described in Revelation 3:14-22. Now we are reaching a point where the godly ministers are aging and dying off.
Help Wanted: Pastors that meet the requirements instituted by God in 1 Timothy 3:17. If interested, please get in touch with the Holy Spirit. You can contact Him on your knees in prayer and fasting.
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County, Indiana. Webpage: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com; email: [email protected]; address: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872; all Bible references KJV. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.