Jim Wies is a lover of God and has served the Lord in a variety of capacities for more than three decades as a pastor, teacher, counselor, author, equipper and conference and seminar speaker, providing training and mentoring on a number of topics. Jim has written eight books, including, See Jesus, His Glorious House, and The Advancing Kingdom. He serves as administrative pastor at XP Shiloh Fellowship and Shiloh Tent fellowship groups. In this devotion, Jim shares about major changes that must take place; the redefining of the role of leaders, as we see a full five-fold ministry model being restored.
Much of today’s current structure in the church-at-large is an old wineskin that cannot contain the wine that God is pouring out for the harvest that is coming to the church.
One of the major changes that must take place is the redefining of the role of leaders, as we see a full fivefold ministry model being restored. For instance, we see the unique grace upon apostles to be master builders. We see a unique grace upon prophets to inspire and cast vision. While many are excited about the emergence of apostolic and prophetic ministries in these days, it is also essential to note that the ministry of pastor has evolved over time and through traditions into something different than the scriptural definition, and needs redefining as well.
As an example, nowhere in the New Testament do we find “the” pastor being the solo minister in a local church. What we do see is churches led by apostles over teams of ministers, some of which were prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, administrators, etc. We see, for instance, in the case of the Antioch church from which Paul’s apostolic team was sent, certain prophets and teachers giving leadership to the church. Pastors weren’t even mentioned.
We also realize that leadership in the Kingdom of God functions quite differently than leadership in the world. In fact, it has even been called the upside-down Kingdom, because the Kingdom of God works very opposite the natural domain. For instance:
The way up is the way down … HUMILITY. “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5–6 NKJV; also Phil. 2:3–7). It is the humble who are exalted and the proud become abased. If we attempt to lift ourselves up, we stumble; if we get low, we will be exalted by God.
Letting go is the way to receive … SURRENDER (Mark 8:24–25; 10:29–30). If we try to save our life we will lose it. If we let go of our life we will find it. We must give to get, sow to reap, etc.
The greatest is the servant of all … SERVANTHOOD (Matt. 20:25–28). Great leaders are the ones who are great at servanthood. Give one who is a servant-at-heart a position of authority and he will use his position to serve others.
The meek shall inherit the earth … MEEKNESS (Matt. 5:5). If we have to foist our leadership on others, we show that we have none (or that ours is the world’s version of leadership). A wise leader is peaceable and easily entreated (James 3:17) and leads by example (1 Peter 5:2–3): “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”
In the Kingdom of God, “lording” over others is a serious offence, as the Pharisees of Jesus’ day demonstrated, in caring for power and authority rather than caring for God’s people. Instead, we are becoming a people who love one another and care for one another and lead by example as the family of God.
In both the Old and New Testament the word for “shepherd” and “pastor” is the same word in Hebrew and Greek. A pastor is simply a shepherd, and a shepherd is a pastor, both naturally and spiritually.
We see this clearly in Peter’s first epistle. “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:1–4 NASB).
In John 10:11–13 (NKJV), Jesus states: “The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.”
Ephesians 4:11–12 provides some insight to help distinguish shepherds. These verses tell us that the goal of all church leadership should be the “equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
A number of pastoral epistles in the New Testament give young ministers instruction on how to effectively pastor/shepherd the people of God (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus). But one of the most thorough job descriptions comes from the prophetic words of Ezekiel, where the Lord is scolding the shepherds of Israel for what they didn’t do (Ezekiel 34:1–4, 11–12,15–16).
We see there that the Lord rebuked the shepherds who failed to feed the flock, strengthen them, gather them, heal them, bind up the broken, and protect them from harm. It is the description of one who protects, corrects, guides, and provides. In essence, this can be described as the “ministry of feeding and caring” as expressed in these tangible ways.
We further see God’s promise to the people of God in Jeremiah chapter 3 to give them shepherds after His own heart who will spiritually feed the flock. “I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:14–15).
A pastor will feed the people with knowledge and understanding from an anointing to teach and impart biblical truth. But he will also bear the people in his heart, pray for healing when they are hurting and sick, tend to their souls and round them up when they are drifting away. A pastor is the expression of the individual care that Jesus has for His flock.
As we move toward the emergence of apostolic centers versus local churches, this means several things regarding the ministry of the pastor. It means they need a willingness to recognize and make room for a new wineskin of leadership and ministry. In many cases it will take a whole new structuring of the government of the church to make room for apostolic and prophetic foundation layers to work, and the effective church actually needs a whole team of pastors to effectively pastor the church. It also means we must simplify and clarify the description of pastoring so as to recognize that many can participate in the ministry of feeding and caring, and we must recognize the many “pastoral” people in our midst that God has gifted to pastor/shepherd the people. A true Ephesians 4 pastor will equip each one of the members of the church to be pastoral in their growth into the image of Christ, the Great Shepherd.
PRAYER FOCUS FOR MARCH 2016
“I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1–4).
Pray for the “Goshen principle” for the people of God, that even in the midst of the disciplines and judgments of God the people of God will be protected (Exodus 8 & 9).
Pray for the “Isaac principle” for the people of God, that they will sow during times of leanness and reap 100-fold upon their investment (Genesis 26).
Pray that unity will prevail and that division, strife, and the spirit of carnal judgment will be broken.
Pray that the winds of revival will continue to blow across the body of Christ and that the people of God will humble themselves and pray, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, that God might heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Decree the WORD over the body of Christ:
Health (3 John 2; James 1:5)
Provision (Philippians 4:19; Deuteronomy 8:18; 2 Chronicles 1:12; Proverbs 18)
Anointing and Glory (Acts 10:38; Ephesians 1:17–19; Exodus 33; 2 Chronicles 5:14; Matthew 17:1–8)
Favor and Blessing (Deuteronomy 28:1–12; Ephesians 1:3; Psalm 5:12; Exodus 33:19; Proverbs 22:1; Luke 2:52)
Protection (Psalm 91; 24; 27; 121; Isaiah 54:17; Zechariah 2:5; Matthew 6:13; Luke 10:19)
The Advancing Kingdom – An eBook by Jonathan Welton and Jim Wies
In “The Advancing Kingdom”, Jonathan Welton and Jim Wies have done an incredible job of debunking and unmasking the doctrinal error which the church has embraced as biblical truth. They offer hope and exciting anticipation regarding the posture and function of the Body of Christ in the coming days.
Although this is contrary to the prevailing eschatological views of much of todays Church, a thorough examination of the Scriptures will give us a much bigger view of the the advancing Kingdom than most of us have been seeing. God promised David He would raise up the House of David and a descendant would rule there forever. This restoration was inaugurated at His coming, and it is now beginning to be enforced, not just within the Church but through the Church into every sector of society.
Topics include The Inauguration of the Kingdom; The Transcendent Nature of the Kingdom; and Finishing the Apostolic Mission.
See Jesus – An eBook by Jim Wies
To know the real Jesus is absolutely critical to our lives and eternal destiny. A thorough examination of Scriptures will reveal that there are many more facets to who He is and what He has done for us than most people realize. This book is an in-depth look into the multi-faceted person of Jesus Christ. It will inspire you, quite possibly surprise you, and ultimately build you up in your faith in the God who is the creator of all things.
“In this powerful little book, Jim Wies demands the need for all to see Jesus_„_ I highly recommend this book as an answer to today’s confusion.”
– Iverna M. Tompkins, D.D., D.Litt.; Internationally known author and speaker