Quarterly Journals
Click On the image to comment!!

The Role of the Pastor

“…for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,…” – Ephesians 4:12 NKJV

When I came back to Shiloh, some 19 years ago, Pastor was teaching on “Progressing Toward Spiritual Maturity.” I came at a time when I was very young in my conversion, and I was hungering and thirsting for more of Christ. I was a young mother, with a husband and two young children. I was juggling work, homework, and the struggles that life can bring, and I recognized my need for something greater. I didn’t know it then, but I was longing for a fulfilling love. I knew, even as a young girl growing up in Alabama, that there was something bigger; and I yearned for purpose. I had not met God then, and I didn’t know that He had a purpose and a plan for me.

Through my marriage of 43 years, to my husband at the age of 21, and the rearing of our children, I learned that God was always there, but I didn’t always know it. I can’t tell you exactly when I fell in love with Jesus, but I know that it was on Pastor Washington’s watch. I had been introduced to Him, but I did not know Him. My life was good, and sometimes difficult, but I never really attributed those times to Him. Knowing about God is not knowing Him personally, and the real tragedy of life is that so many of us go through life missing His purpose for us, as we go after houses, and land, and cars and things; and miss out on what we need the most: Jesus. It takes years for children to grow into adulthood, and it takes a full season for fruit to mature and ripen.
 
The same is true of our Spiritual Life. When we neglect Bible Study; when we neglect corporate prayer and worship; when we occasionally come to Church, and neglect precious time with Him, we become void of the strength that we need to endure the storms in our lives. We can’t be strong if we neglect the One who is our strength. The role of a pastor is to impress upon the people the need to maintain fellowship, and communion with Christ – no matter what. Our Pastor teaches Bible Study on a Wednesday night for a crowd less than a few as if there is standing room only. He teaches Sunday School on Sunday morning the same way; The Word of God goes forth from this pulpit, because our pastor is serious about his calling. The same God who saved you, and me saved Him. Christ invades our conversion life the moment we open our hearts to Him. He works in incremental steps in our lives to bring us into a place of His perfection. And it is the Word of God that keeps us when those tough times come. It is the spiritual family and the Word of God that will keeps us from collapsing.
 
Time and time again, calamity has come; discouragement has come; opposition has come; and faith has waivered, but it is in those times that I have been strengthened by the unadulterated preaching and teaching of the Word of God. The role of a pastor is to cause us to know that we cannot fulfill God’s purpose without Him. The role of a pastor is to make us aware that God has wired us o need each other. The role of a pastor is to point the people of God into the presence of Christ. It is when we meet with Him, that we have no choice but to fall down and worship. All these years later I am still progressing toward spiritual maturity, and I’m not the babe I used to be, because by the Word of God, I have been born again.

 

Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon



Getting Ready For Your Meeting with God

We recently had a fellowship where together we went to the movies to see “War Room”, a faith-based movie that emphasizes the importance of prayer and awakened many of us to the fact that we are in a spiritual battle, and how we need to arm ourselves with the Word of God in order to have victory in the battle.

Having said that, we saw in the movie that we must rid ourselves of all distractions when we come into the presence of God. Here are just a few strategies for preparation for your quiet time with God:
 

Come with Expectancy:

Come before God with anticipation and eagerness. Expect to have a good time of fellowship with Him, and to receive a blessing from your time with Him. Let your confession be the same as David’s, where he says, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You.” (Psalm 63:1)

 

Come Reverently:

Don’t rush into God’s presence but prepare your heart by being still before Him. Let the quietness clear away the thoughts of the world. Focus and fix your eyes only on Him. Coming into God’s presence is not like going to a football game, or some other form of entertainment. Let your communication be, “The Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth be silent before Him.” (Hab. 2:20)

 

Be Alert:

When you come into the presence of God, be wide-awake. Set your heart to know that you are meeting with the Creator. The Maker of Heaven & Earth. The Redeemer of Men. The best preparation for quiet time in the morning with God begins with a restful night before. Spend time with Him in the evening. Get to bed early, and rise early, thoroughly rested. God deserves your full attention.

 

Be Willing to Obey:

Come into God’s Presence with a willing heart and mind. Come prepared to talk and to listen. Purpose in your heart to do whatever He tells you to do. Come and meet Him, having already chosen to do His will, no matter what.

 

 Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon