Jeremiah 3:15- And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Acts 20:28 – Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
1 Peter 5:2-3 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
Titus 1:7 – For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain. (ESV)
What does it mean to be an invisible Pastor? The invisible Pastor is easily recognizable, as they are effective because they lead by example, and they teach the flock to follow them as they follow Christ. Any other guidance or directive is likely that of a personal nature and should be construed as the messenger’s personal opinion. Keeping in mind that most messages contain at least some measure of the messenger’s personal opinion and is perfectly okay as long as you can differentiate biblical guidance from opinion. Opinions are not always a negative thing, however it should be noted that an opinion is a viewpoint of an individual or group, and not fact or scripture.
There are standards of excellence where a Pastor is measured, specific to their calling being a noble task, and should not be entered into without the biblical affirmation. (1 Timothy 3:1) God ordained Pastors should seek to promote God’s agenda, and not their own, keeping their personal opinion separate, and clearly particularized. This will help new believers to understand that God is not requiring them to be a clone of the Pastor, and will develop them spiritually with time. (Psalm 139:13-16)
As the invisible pastor leads the flock, they don’t do so for recognition but to honor the life and purpose of Jesus Christ, who walked humbly among even the lowest estate of mankind. Those who people deem vagabonds and prostitutes and others who mankind has ignored and disregarded. When an invisible pastor seeks to please God, he or she is not interested in flexing their spiritual muscles, rather expanding the borders of the Christian faith through service, and the saving of souls. (Acts 2:47)
There shouldn’t be a task force or organized crime unit that frequents the pulpit spiritually arresting God’s people, ultimately abusing Godly pulpit etiquette and the resources that God has intended to advance the kingdom of heaven. Again, if the influence of the pulpit draws your eyes in to fasten them on your Pastor and not Christ, you are likely looking at a visible Pastor. An invisible pastor’s agenda make themselves less and less visible, directing God’s people to put their trust in Christ Jesus their savior, through the teaching of the word.
I can recall times when a Pastor has systematically discussed in depth their choice of an expensive brand of clothing, cars, homes, etc., whether intentional, or inadvertently inspiring those who were less fortunate to emulate those lavish spending habits, resulting in financial hardship, indebtedness, or the feelings of inadequacy. Pretentious financial spending or elaborate squandering of money should not be on display in the pulpit, and the platform is not an appropriate measure of teaching the congregation. The flock should be inspired by God’s word, to also include Godly prosperity, but with the utmost level of balance.
So often, parishioners are confused by the authority of spiritual leaders and when used illegally (spiritually unsound), one can find themselves in an extremely arduous situation. You’ve heard the saying that “Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely”? That simply means that a leader without accountability is a Rogue Pastor, that does not meet the qualifications of a God-ordained leader. When given absolute power, it will morally bankrupt a pastor, taking many volatile believers with them to destruction. (Matthew 15:14)
Let’s take a look at this analogy of an visible pastor more closely. There are about 2.4 billion documented Christians around the world, which gives Rogue Pastors a significant probability of influencing that number, possibly leading some astray. In 2020, there were 28.3% of the world’s population that was documented as unevangelized, compared to 54.3% in the 1900s. That means with the world being in disarray, the church must governor itself according to scripture so that those who have touched the pulpit illegally will become less and less impactful, reducing their ability to negatively influence God’s people, and those who have not yet heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The world is in disarray, and the church shouldn’t be, neither should we sit by idly and watch Rogue pastor pluck down the works of the kingdom through the abuse of power and malfeasance.
While Christianity remains the largest and most popular religion in the world, Christian Pastors continue to fall from grace, contributing to the declining spiritual leadership. The emphasis in today’s pulpit has also drastically shifted to material wealth, excessive opulence, and ungodly prosperity, instead of evangelism, righteousness, love, and holiness. Remember, there is a fundamental basis for teaching the principles of prosperity, however, if the message is preached to satisfy lust or greed, then there again you have found your eyes on a visible pastor and not an invisible one. The difference is vast and painfully obvious.
A visible pastor is flashy, controlling, manipulative, fearful, greedy, critical of the flock, egotistical, a poor communicator, and leads with intimidation, thus being visible
An invisible pastor is gracious, wise, authentic, honest, forthright, accountable, and spiritually sound, his personal agenda is never on display.
It should be obvious now that we are not discussing an invisible pastor which you can’t see with your natural eyes, rather one who promotes the gospel according to scripture, and not that of their own volition; Shifting all glory to God and making themselves only validated through Jesus Christ and the spiritual principles of the word of God.
It is also noteworthy to remember that whenever a person’s eyes are shifted from the purpose that Jesus came to a pastor’s personal syllabus, then that pastor has illegally apprehended the glory of God, diverting innocent souls to embrace their personal teaching and logic, and leading them astray. That pastor is visible and Jesus Christ is not, which is why they are called “Visible Pastors“.
Pastors who teach the Divine purpose, sovereignty, and the deity of Christ, will wisely redirect any praise or attention which they have not earned, and that was inadvertently given to them, back to its original owner, The Lamb of God.
It is appropriate in its proper context to honor the ministers of the gospel and is perfectly acceptable as the scripture encourages believers to “Give honor where honor is due” (Proverbs 3:27) and also to let the Elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine. (1 Timothy 5:17)
Think about honoring the Elders and Ministers of the gospel in the context of esteeming them and regarding the office of that ministry with great respect. However, as a believer you also have an obligation to study the scriptures, thus holding yourself accountable, and not being guilty of loving the creature more than the creator. (Romans 1:25)
Remember this and write it on the table to your hearts: If the gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are lost. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4: 3-12)
What does that all mean? The gospel can be hidden in many different ways, but for the purposes of this discussion, when a pastor’s agenda supersedes the Divine authority of the most high God, to whom there is no variation or shadow of turning; That pastor (the visible leader) is guilty of destroying and scattering God’s flock, and has hidden the gospel. They will ultimately face the judgment of God. (James 1:17, Jeremiah chapter 23)
A visible pastor is relatively easy to recognize. Watch for money-grabbing, attention-seeking, control freaks, and there you have yourself a pastor that is visible and one whose heretical doctrines and practices gives glory to themselves, reducing Jesus Christ to being just another prophet or teacher in the bible, and not our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 56:11)
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