If you’re a part of a congregation led by a true Spiritual leader you are blessed! Authentic Spiritual leaders comfort – but they also confront! The churches they lead are not perfect (their pews are filled with “sinners saved by grace” and “recovering hypocrites”)! These leaders are authentic, loving, caring and concerned. More than anything else they want to see the spiritual progress of those they lead as they seek to see them “conformed [personally and collectively] into the image of Christ!”
Can you imagine how Paul, the great apostle, felt about the congregation in Corinth – a church in which he had invested time, energy, prayer, concern and tears? He saw himself as an apostle – but as more – a spiritual “father!”
If you thought the believers in Corinth had to be a nearly perfect congregation because of Paul’s apostolic ministry and leadership – dream again! Here is a body of believers that tore Paul’s heart out! Perfect congregations are RARE (in fact they DON’T EXIST this side of Heaven, because of US!) Pastoring at its best is like parenting – and even the best children aren’t perfect!
So today, this is what I read, about the congregation in Corinth, from Apostle Paul…
“We tell you this as Christ’s servants, and with God as our witness… EVERYTHING WE DO, DEAR FRIENDS, IS TO STRENGTHEN YOU! For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior. Yes, I am afraid that when I come again… I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.” (From 2 Corinthians 12:19–21 NLT)
Ouch!!! That’s pastoring… and that’s the heart of a true spiritual leader! Listen, if you’ve got a pastor who loves you, who cares about you, who prays for you, who comforts – but also confronts you and pushes you to be more like Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit, you’re blessed! Pray for your pastor, encourage and support them, listen and respond to God’s truth expressed through their lives!