“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. . .’”
Matthew 28:18-19a (ESV)
Jesus lived above the fray of the “praisin’ paparazzi” of his day that demanded signs and tried to make him the de facto king or leader of a political party. He seemed to do everything opposite to today’s “TV preacher marketing strategy” that makes these mere men like Christian celebrities where sometimes duped followers seem to fawn over them like teenaged girls swooning over the latest rock star. Jesus’ mission was clear – He had come to do the will of the Father and to finish His work (John 4:34). That work meant pouring out His life as a sacrifice – investing it in others for the purpose of multiplying His authority, power and influence.
His death, burial, resurrection and ascension brought the multiplication of the seed and the image of God (John 12:24; Romans 8:29; James 1:18) from one seed abiding alone to a whole body of disciples filled with His Spirit (Acts 2) and completely deputized to carry out His work to the rest of the whole creation. I’m convinced that if Jesus were walking around here today, He wouldn’t be making network TV appearances, certainly of the “Christian” variety. He’d be making disciples and embracing the lost, engaging the culture and empowering believers to realize their callings and destinies.
So many pastors and spiritual leaders today not only succumb to the temptation of “the man” syndrome – but some actually advocate and foster that kind of culture in their churches and among their followers. This nonsense starts with the promotion of the idea that the pastor is the only one who has the anointing to move in the Spirit and pray for the people’s needs. It not only creates this ridiculous “pop star” culture, but it keeps the individual members of the body from realizing the kind of spiritual maturity in handling the things of the spirit that God intended. It smacks in the face of obvious scriptural direction for “ordinary” believers to do the work of the ministry. (See Mark 16:15-16).
Actually, if you are born from above and are filled with God’s spirit – there is nothing “ordinary” about any of you. I use that word “ordinary” to bring distinction from those in the professional ministry. Have we come so far from the revolutionary truths of The Reformation that we’ve forgotten that almost 500 years ago, the huge class separation between clergy and laity was torn down and the blessed truth of the “priesthood of all believers” (1 Peter 2:9) was established? God help us! Paul was dealing with this same kind of foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:13-17) and showed that it only produces an ungodly division. He determined not to baptize people himself so they couldn’t claim something special out of it! Think about it!
In the same way that on solid Biblical grounds, I reject the Roman Catholic idea that I need a human priest to represent me in prayer before God (see I Timothy 2:5-6) I also reject the “Pentecostal TV preacher syndrome” that says the pastor is the only one that has the anointing to pray for the people’s needs.
Our ministry team prays for people every Sunday, not only under my pastoral direction, but under Jesus’ delegated authority. But lest anyone think, I would make these willing servants a special class of prayer warriors, remember a newborn babe in Christ can pray in faith and see the same results as a seasoned intercessor or trained pastor. I don’t want anything to do with that celebrity syndrome. My heart is to see every person in Victory Church grow into spiritual maturity and the fullness of all God has for you. If we can stay focused on that vision, we’ll see the Delta transformed for the Kingdom of God – not because of me, but because of Jesus in US.