Shepherds Are Sheep, Too


                              Phil Scovell

                          Copyright (C) 1989/2003

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved

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          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Voice:  303-936-2188
          Email:  Phil@RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG
          Web:  WWW.RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG

                              Shepherd's Are Sheep, Too

                                   By Phil Scovell

               I have  considered for many  years the idea of  pastors that
          are not fulfilling their  callings as shepherds.  This  in no way
          suggests that all  pastors are not doing their  job or fulfilling
          their calling.  Readers of this will likely have forgotten what I
          just said  long before they reach the end  of what I have to say.
          If I  were a wagering  Baptist, however, I  would lay  down money
          that more than fifty percent of pastors were never called by  God
          to  the ministry.   I am  not suggesting  that they don't  have a
          definite place  in the  body of Christ,  everybody does  for that
          matter,  but I  am suggesting  that their  calling likely  is not
          pastoral  in   nature.    I   make  these  statements   based  up
          familiarity, that is, traveling for  many years and preaching  in
          many churches and meeting hundreds of pastors, and from  personal
          experience as a pastor.

               I was a pastor twice, both for  short periods of time, and I
          loved it both times.  The first time was a stop gap affair.  They
          didn't want  me as  their pastor, I  was their  assistant at  the
          time, because I was  blind and they said a blind  man couldn't do
          all that needed to be done by a pastor.  They requested, however,
          I stay and fill the pulpit as their pastor until they  could find
          a full time man.  I stayed for four months as a fill-in.  Stupid,
          I know,  but I thought it  was the Christian  thing to do  at the
          time.  They finally  voted on the third man,  out of desperation,
          and he turned out  to be the worst of the  three they considered.
          Well, four, if you count me as one of the candidates.

               My  hypothesis that more than  fifty percent of pastors were
          never called  to be  pastors starts with  my own  experience.   I
          wanted to be a pastor but not originally.  I traveled for several
          years as a guest  speaker because I thought I was  called to that
          sort of ministry.  Plus, I believe the lie that a blind man could
          not  fulfill the complete  ministry of  a pastor.   Later,  as an
          assistant pastor, I  learned otherwise and I began  looking for a
          Body of Believers to serve.  Talk about rejection.  Over and over
          again  I was turned down when it  was learned I was blind.  After
          three years of trying, I gave up.

               One day,  many years later,  a man pastoring a  church I was
          in, decided he was  tired of being  a pastor and furthermore,  he
          had gotten  into a multi level business and was making more money
          from that than he was pastoring.  He turned his church over to me
          and left the church  and the ministry.  He  left the church in  a
          huge financial mess but he never bothered telling me that when he
          turned  it over to me.   He also left his  wife and five children
          and began living with  the former church secretary.   She in turn
          left her husband  and nine month old baby to live with our former
          pastor.   In short,  I had a  spiritual and financial  mess on my
          hands  but  I loved  the  pastorate.   I loved  working  with the
          people, praying with  the people, and preaching and  teaching.  I
          felt honored, literally,  that people would come  every Sunday to
          hear me preach  and teach.   I  was even more  humbled that  they
          would put money into the  offering plate and support the ministry
          God had given me.  We did not hold a literal offering plate under
          their  nose either.  Not that I think  that is wrong, but we just
          had a wooden box  with a slot cut into  the top of it sitting  in
          the vestibule.  People put their  offerings in so it wasn't  like
          we  forced anybody  into giving;  they  did it  willingly and  it
          certainly wasn't due to my great speaking ability.

               After all the  passed due bills were caught  up and we moved
          to a more affordable facility,  I began to sense the  Holy Spirit
          indicating that, first, I  was not a pastor, and second, the Lord
          wanted our church to close.  this bothered me greatly since I was
          the happiest I had ever been in my life.  I did my best to ignore
          the Holy  Spirit concerning the  church and my calling  because I
          wanted,  with all my heart,  to be a  pastor because I absolutely
          love people.   I  could feel what  the Lord was  saying, however,
          deep within my spirit but I thought I could turn the  church into
          something that would  glorify God if I just  did everything right
          and if I could do that,  God would be happy and let me  stay.  My
          mistake was  not realizing that He was going  to get His glory by
          closing the church; not keeping it open.

               As the  months went by, I knew something  was wrong.  It was
          me.  I wasn't a pastor and I was pastoring a church that wasn't a
          church.  Additionally,  the Holy Spirit was revealing  to me that
          the church  I was pastoring was never supposed  to be a church in
          the first  place.   In fact,  the Lord  revealed to  me that  the
          church was never His idea.  Then why did 150 people, at one time,
          go there?   The pastor was  a first class  musician and he was  a
          first rate Bible teacher.  He was likeable, friendly, had a great
          sense  of humor,  and he was  a good  organizer.  None  of those,
          however,  are requirements for  being a  pastor.   They certainly
          help a ministry but they  aren't requirements.  God always honors
          His Word no  mater who preaches it.   Plus, this man  had started
          the church  by default.  He admitted to  me he couldn't get along
          with anybody so  he decided to  stay out of church  all together.
          Eventually, someone  asked him  to start a  Bible study  in their
          home and from there came the church.  He never said he was called
          or the Lord led him; people just liked his teaching.

               My  job, given  to  me by  God, was  to literally  close the
          church without any encumbering financial indebtedness and that is
          what occurred.   It was, however, the most difficult thing I ever
          did.  When we closed the doors for the last  time, we owed no man
          anything and the thousands of dollars  of equipment and furniture
          which remained, we donated to a couple of churches in need.

               I  cried  rivers of  tears  and spent  sleepless  nights for
          months.  I sank into the deepest  depression I had ever known.  I
          had failed myself, my people, my family, and worst of all,  I had
          failed God.   Nothing  was left.   I  became suicidal.   I  heard
          voices.    Anxiety attacks  not  only  nearly  killed me  but  it
          frightened me  in ways  I can't even  describe.   I was  still 35
          years old and I knew there  was a glimmer of hope that  some day,
          if I could just hang on, that I could be in the ministry again.

               I  started  a   small  business  which  rapidly   became  so
          successful that I found  it difficult to believe.   I was finally
          happy  again but  I wasn't  in full  time ministry, which  was my
          greatest desire,  so I wasn't really  all that happy.   When your
          panic attacks, I  didn't know what  those were  at the time,  and
          your anxiety  attacks, which I  did know what  those were  at the
          time, subside, and the  voices you hear drop back to  a low roar,
          and you  are suicidal only  once and awhile,  that seems to  be a
          cause for  happiness.  It isn't, and it  wasn't, but I thought it
          was.  Demons are  patient.  They don't mind waiting  a few years,
          or even many years, to launch  a bigger attack, if that is,  they
          figure the  next attack will be successful.   They are fooled and
          deceived, too, you know, by the master deceiver, but I digress.

               During the years I was in business, I still tried everything
          I could think of to  get back into ministry.  I  tried starting a
          church in my home.  I  tried starting a monthly tape ministry  of
          Biblical teaching which  I would mail to subscribers.   I tried a
          live  call-in Christian  radio talk  show.   I tried  a Christian
          counseling ministry.  Nothing worked.

               One day, I had this funny feeling the Lord was calling me to
          an  office of  ministry and that  was the  office of prophet.   I
          immediately said, no, of course,  because I wasn't even convinced
          in  the ministry  of modern  day prophets.   As time  passed, the
          feeling of being  a prophet grew stronger.   I forced it  down to
          the best of my ability.

               finally,  four years went  by and I  could not stand  it any
          longer.   I told  the Lord I  didn't even  believe in  modern day
          prophets and furthermore, I had no idea what a modern day prophet
          was.  I suggested, if the Lord  could prove to me from His  word,
          using the New  Testament, none of this Old  Testament stuff, what
          the office of a prophet was in relationship to today's  church, I
          might consider  His calling.   "Might"  was  the key  word in  my
          prayer.   So,  after a  few  weeks of  suffering,  I went  to  my
          computer and began to study  the New Testament in relationship to
          a New Testament Prophet.  boy, was I surprised.

               I well remember  one night as  I prayed in  my office on  my
          knees, giving  myself to  the Lord.   I  told Him  that He  would
          certainly have  to direct  me because I  was walking  on unstable
          legs  as  far as  the office  of  a prophet  was concerned  as it
          related  to the  church.    Nevertheless, I  gave  myself to  the
          leading  of   the  Holy  Spirit.     In  some  respects,   I  was
          disappointed.   I wanted to be a pastor but it was not God's will
          for my life.

               Within thirty days of giving myself to  the will of the Lord
          concerning the  office of a  prophet, the Lord  gave me  my first
          opportunity to  minister to a pastor and his church as a prophet.
          I won't detail all that led up  to what happened that day because
          it would  take some time to  explain.  Needless to  say, however,
          the Lord  open the  door so  wide, I  could do  nothing but  walk
          through  it.   It  was  a bombshell,  a  bust, a  train  wreck, a
          backfire,  a galactic stellar  explosion, a volcanic  eruption, a
          munitions   blast,  a  bomb  burst,  a  nuclear  detonation,  and
          resulting in a nuclear  winter when it was all  over.  a I  spoke
          for nearly 45 minutes,  the Holy Spirit leading me every  step of
          the way,  and when I  finished, the  pastor was  mad, the  church
          members, some of them, were upset, and I felt horrible.  I blamed
          God for  calling me  in the first  place and I  told Him  what He
          could do  with his office of a prophet.   the Lord laughed it off
          and  accused me of being a big  baby.  Well, all that happened in
          so many  words.   So far,  all these  years, never  once has  any
          pastor taken what I have said, when being led of the Holy Spirit,
          seriously, spiritually  valuable, or even usable.   In fact, most
          have been ticked  off.  You would think that response alone would
          make me  consider I was wrong.   Oh, no,  not me.  I  just plunge
          right on like I know what I am doing and making enemies all along
          the way.

               this all could be due to a couple of reasons.   first, I may
          be 100  percent wrong, that  is, maybe I  wasn't led by  the Holy
          Spirit after all.   The second reason is due to  what we all have
          been taught about the office of a pastor.

               Nobody messes  with the  pastor because  that would  be like
          messing with  God.   He is  number one.   He  is the  top of  the
          spiritual food chain.   He teaches and preaches  the best because
          he is called and anointed and lead and blessed and gifted  of the
          Holy Spirit and  who wants to mess with the Holy Spirit?  Come to
          think of it, the pastor is  even filled with the Holy Spirit  and
          you sure can't say that about everybody in the church, that's for
          dead  sure.  Plus, he  is humble.  Nobody  is as humble, works as
          hard,  and is  as dedicated as  the pastor.   He's been  to Bible
          college and  seminary and  he has  sacrificed everything  for the
          church.   You haven't noticed how much  he has sacrificed for his
          people but that's because you are selfish and unspiritual and you
          aren't  a called  and anointed  pastor.   Plus, you are  too busy
          being   critical  of   everything  he   does   and  doesn't   do.
          Additionally, he lives  on peanuts for  sake of  the church.   He
          could  be pastoring some big mega  church some place but the Lord
          led him here so he lives on bread and water because you need him.

               Nobody is as gifted as the pastor.  I know this  because any
          time I have seen someone manifest a gift of the Holy Spirit which
          the pastor of that church does not have,  conflict is the result.
          It is ok  if a person from  the outside comes  in and has a  gift
          which the pastor doesn't have but let  that person be a member of
          his own church, and there is hell to pay, sort of speak, any time
          that person  uses the gift God has given them.   I know this from
          personal experience.  I  understand why this is now but  over the
          years, I was totally confused by this pastoral attitude.

               Something  else worth  your consideration  is  how much  the
          pastor does?  I mean, he hangs dry wall, he paints, he cleans, he
          runs the sweeper, he cleans the toilets, arranges the song books,
          correlates all the Sunday school materials, shovels the snow from
          the walks, counts  the offerings, that goes without saying, fills
          the toilet paper hangers before  church each Sunday, polishes the
          pulpit all alone, is the last one out, turns out all  the lights,
          locks all the  doors, checks all the windows, and  he spends long
          hours surfing the internet every week for materials to include in
          his sermon.  Not only that, look at the millions, well, hundreds,
          of dollars he has spent on his personal library.

               Don't say anything  about the pastor because if  you do, God
          won't bless you.  Besides, if you say anything, that's gossip and
          the Lord is  going to get you if you gossip; especially about the

               Last, but  not least, he  is the man  of God who  hears from
          God.  Try and top that one and see where it takes you.

               I realize that it is possible the somebody is going to think
          I don't know what I am talking about even if I was a pastor once.
          Well, twice.   First, let me point  out that not all  pastors are
          this way.  I  have known of  at least two  pastors who were  not.
          Well,  one of the two was  like this but only  half the time so I
          guess you could say I know one and a half pastors who  weren't as
          I have described.  Of course, I am exaggerating but tell me; am I
          wrong?   If  you have  been  a church  member more  than  a month
          anywhere at any  time, you know  what I am  saying is the  truth.
          Why is it true, therefore, if indeed it is, that many pastors are
          this  way?  Because  they were taught  it is supposed  to be this
          way.    blame the  Bible  colleges  they  attended,  blame  their
          pastors, blame other pastors who  teach it, or blame their wives.
          It makes little difference who gets the blame.  By the  way, most
          people blame  the pastor's wife  anyhow no matter what  the truth
          is, so you might as well get  started blaming her now and get  it
          over with.

               "So, what's your real opinion of a pastor?"

               I'm glad you asked.  I think pastors are the greatest people
          on earth.   I  love pastors  and they  have one  of the  greatest
          callings a man could  ever have in the body of  Christ.  To their
          chagrin, however, they are  not the king of the hill  or even the
          top of the  heap; that is reserved for apostles and prophets.  If
          you doubt this, read Ephesians  Chapter 2 and pay close attention
          to whom  is attributed the foundation  of the church in  verse 20
          and  of whom Jesus  Christ is the chief  cornerstone.  That verse
          pretty  well tells the story of  rank in the body  of Christ.  If
          that  doesn't  confirm it  for  you,  then  thumb over  to  First
          Corinthians Chapter  12 and read  along about the body  of Christ
          until you  hit verse  28 and see  what it  says.   In this  case,
          pastors aren't even mentioned.  That's kind  of scary, if you are
          a pastor, that is.  If  you are still unconvinced, them zip  over
          to Ephesians Chapter 4 and read about the body of Christ  in that
          chapter.  When you get to verse 11, stop and think about what you
          just read.   then try and use  the Bible to prove to  me that the
          pastoral office is the top of church governmental structure.

               I realize  this makes a  lot of pastors nervous  because the
          bible seems to rank them a few notches lower than they originally
          thought when  the Lord called  them to  preach.  It's  all right,
          however,  because  it's  like  I  told a  friend  of  mine  once.
          Shepherds  are sheep, too.

               It  is like  the  issue  of women  submitting  to their  own
          husbands.   I have heard every imaginable theological explanation
          of this Biblical  principle but there is only one  that works and
          that is, the  husband is the spiritual authoritative  head of his
          home.  Take my word for  it, I don't even like that position.   I
          would  much rather my wife take all the blame for everything that
          goes wrong  while I get the glory.   I would much  rather have my
          wife stand  before God  some day  to give  an account  of why  my
          family turned out the  way it did.  I'd  even pay her to take  my
          place, if that would work, but you know?  God made me the head of
          my home.  Yes, I have heard hundreds of sermons on this topic but
          I have never once liked my position.

               It finally hit me  one day as I thought about  it.  The Holy
          Spirit spoke to me and said, "You  know what, Scov, it don't mean
          a thing  that you don't like it;  I'm holding you responsible for
          your family."  I realized then, I can kick and stream and cry and
          become a drunk  or sleep with other  women or blow dope  until my
          brain falls out  through my ears and I will  still be responsible
          to  God for  my family.   This means,  if there are  demons in my
          house, I have  the most authority  over them.   This means if  my
          kids,  now   grown,  bring   people  into   my  home   which  are
          unacceptable, I  am responsible to do something about it.  Need I

               Let's turn  this around.   I've known  some women  that like
          their position in the  family.  They would prefer to  be the head
          and  to take  the responsibility  and some  try their  dead level
          best, too.  Just  as the man does not take his rightful place and
          the line of authority  is distorted, so it is if  the woman tries
          taking a  wrongful place in  the relationship.  I  understand the
          old man  isn't doing  his job according  to Scripture  but that's
          between he and  God.  I can't  take the blame for  everything and
          certainly not  for your  own family.   Look, I  didn't write  the
          bible.   If this bothers you,  take it up with  God.  My wife can
          stand in our living  room and curse all the demons  she wants but
          if I don't stand up and take the greater authority given to me by
          God and  I sit over in the corner  saying, "Boy that's good," the
          demons are going to laugh  themselves silly and they aren't going
          any where for very long.   Why?  Because, if my wife does  it for
          me, she is  out of order and demons  and Satan and even  God will
          not function when things are out of Biblical order.

               So, pastors,  start acting like  sheep and if you  have been
          called to be  a shepherd, then act  like a shepherd.   Jesus, the
          Great Shepherd, left  the 99 sheep and went out after the one who
          had lost his way.  When, pastor, was the last time you went after
          one of your  sheep who isn't  coming to church  any more?   When,
          pastor, is the  last time you went, taking your wife, and went to
          visit a woman  who lives alone with  children who won't  obey her
          and do nothing  but make her life  hell on earth?   When, pastor,
          was the last  time you cried yourself  to sleep at night  because
          one of  your members  is living  in sin  and doesn't  seem to  be

               If you are wondering what  I really think about pastors, let
          me tell you a story.

               A few years  ago, I was in  my office running my  high speed
          cassette  duplicator making copies for a church with whom I had a
          contract.   The Lord  said, "Call Rayburn."   I explained  to the
          Lord that His timing was all off because it was the middle of the
          day.  You see, back then, long  distance rates during the day, in
          state, were  like 25 cents  a minute.   Nobody called  anybody in
          their own state  during the day time  back then.  The  Lord said,
          "Call Rayburn."  I suggested  I call him later that  evening when
          the rates would be affordable.  The Lord said, "Call Rayburn."  I
          asked why  I should be calling Rayburn in  the middle of the most
          expensive call time  of the day.   The Lord said, "Because  he is
          financially broke and needs some encouragement.  Get on the phone
          now."   I stopped  what I was  doing and walked to  the phone and
          dialed Rayburn's number.   He answered.  We talked for  a good 45
          minutes about little things.

               finally Rayburn said, "Phil, why  are you calling me just to
          visit in the middle of the day when it cost so much?"

               I himmed  and hawed around  but he was still  suspicious and
          pressed me for  a more definite answer.  So I finally suggested I
          might be calling because he was discouraged.  He admitted he was.
          Then I suggested he might be broke and in financial need, which I
          could not do anything about, and  he said, he was, in fact,  flat
          busted  broke.  He told me he  was two months behind in his house
          payment and he didn't know what  they were going to do.   I said,
          "Rayburn, have you told any of the men on your board about this?"
          He  said he hadn't.   You see,  Rayburn wasn't really  a sheep as
          much as he was a chicken but I digress.  I suggested that perhaps
          the men of  his church might like  to know that their  pastor was
          going under.   He  said he could  never talk  to them  about such
          matters.  Pride  is a terrible  thing and it  looks worst when  a
          pastor wears it, too.

               By the way, Rayburn is one of the finest soul winners I have
          ever known  in my  life.   I've been  with him  as he  shared the
          Gospel with people.  He is a master at winning people to the Lord
          because he has  the gift of  evangelism.   He loves people,  too,
          before and after they  get saved.  I know that is  rare but it is
          true with  this man.  We talked awhile  longer, until my bill was
          25 dollars, and hung up.

               I  had preached in  Rayburn's church a few  times and I also
          got to  know some  of  the men  he pastored.   Furthermore,  this
          church was running about  100 members, at the time,  and later it
          reached 150 and  they had to  go to two services.   The town  had
          1500 people in it and the church building was small.  Rayburn had
          led nearly  every church  member he had  to the  Lord personally.
          Like I said, he was one of the greatest soul winners I ever knew.
          So, since I knew some of the  men in his church, I called one  of

               "Hello, Ray, this is Phil Scovell."

               "Well, hello, Phil.  How are you doing?"

               "Mighty fine, Ray."

               "Well,  it  is sure  good to  hear your  voice, Phil.   What
          brings you to these parts?  Are you here to preach?"

               "Naw, Ray.  I'm in Denver at home."

               "Oh, I see.  Well, hows come it is you are calling me?"

               "Well, Ray, have you talked to your pastor lately?"

               "Sure," ray said, "I talk to him most every day.  Why?"

               I said, "Well, how does he seem to you?"

               "Now there's an odd question," Ray replied.  "He sounds just
          like his  old self.  Why?" he wanted  to know with some suspicion
          to his voice.

               "Because," I replied,  "Rayburn is flat busted  broke.  He's
          two months  behind on his house payment  and Lord only knows what
          else he is behind on."

               "My, I  surely didn't know that,  Phil.  How'd you  find out
          all this and when?"

               I said, "I  found out today when  I called him on  the phone
          and asked him."

               "Boy," Ray said, "I surely  didn't know this and nobody else
          in the church knows it either."

               "Well,  Ray," I  said,  "I  have no  idea  of the  financial
          condition of the church.  I don't  know if you boys can help your
          pastor or not but if you can,  I am asking you to do whatever you
          can for him and his family."

               Ray  said, "Phil,  the church  is in  fine financial  shape.
          Why, this is no problem at all.  We can fix him right up so don't
          you worry none  about that.   I sure wish  he would have  told us
          though.  Why do  you reckon he didn't mention this  to one of us,
          Brother Phil?"

               I said,  "He's proud.   He didn't  want anybody to  know how
          broke  he  was and  that he  was  going to  lose his  house.   He
          probably feels as if he is a lousy financial steward."

               "Well, shoot," Ray said, "if a man needs help, he needs help
          and he should be asking for it.  I'll tell you one thing, Brother
          Phil,  we sure will take care of this.   I'll get some of the men
          together, we'll fix up his bills and  get him caught up, and make
          sure his family has all the food they need, too.  So I don't want
          you to  worry about  this any  more because  it is  a done  deal.
          Thanks for calling  to tell me, too, because  otherwise, we never
          would have known about it."

               A couple of weeks later, I called 
          Rayburn to see how  things were.  He told  me they caught up  his
          house  payments, paid  off  his  other bills,  got  food for  his
          family, and gave him a raise.  He thanked me but said I shouldn't
          have done it.  Pride again.   I'll tell you, pastors are  riddled
          with  it.    I  reminded  my  knuckle  head  pastor  friend  that
          shepherd's are sheep, too.  I told him,  "You've taught them well
          and you continually  feed your sheep.   So, it  is payback  time.
          Let them feed  you and care for  you and meet your  needs because
          shepherds are sheep, too."  He admitted that was true and that he
          had never thought of it that way before but it made sense.

               does it make  sense to you?   Are you  a pastor or  pastor's
          wife?   Have  you forgotten  you  aren't number  one?   Have  you
          forgotten Jesus  Christ is  the chief  cornerstone and  everybody
          else comes  last?  Have  you forgotten shepherds are  sheep, too?
          Sure, it's  humbling but  if the  shoe fits,  well, you  know the
          rest.  If you want your ministry to glorify God, you  better kick
          the pride right  in the head and  while you are doing  that, tell
          the devil where to go, too.

               My  personal opinion about a  pastor's job is pretty simple.
          Sure, you, as  a pastor teacher, need  to do both but  you aren't
          even  commanded  to  do  either well  with  precise  execution or
          flowing allocution.  You need to win  people to Christ.  When you
          get  someone in  the church who  has the gift  of evangelism, you
          won't have  to do  this all  alone.   Until then,  win souls  and
          disciple them even  if you have to  do it on a  one-to-one bases.
          Later you can teach others  how to win souls and disciple  people
          and  this becomes something  you won't be  singularly responsible
          for as a pastor.

               While  you  are  at  this,  figure  out through  prayer  and
          observation, what gifts  of the Spirit each of  your people have.
          They all have at least one,  you know?  Well, if you  don't know,
          it's true.  I say, pray about it, because observation alone often
          will not yield  an idea of their  gifting in the Body  of Christ.
          So praying  for them individually is  going to be your  only true
          method of  discovering their  gifts.  Then,  once you  know their
          gift, you need to allow them to use that gift in some way in  the
          Body.  If they don't know how, you will have to teach them.  This
          does not  mean, as  the pastor, that  you have  to have  the gift
          yourself  but you  should know, from  your Biblical  training and
          study, how that gift works in the church.

               Finally,  pray more  than you  do  anything else  as far  as
          church  work is  concerned.  If  you spend more  time hanging dry
          wall, painting, sweeping  the carpets, and hanging  toilet paper,
          then  you are too busy at the  wrong things.  Get back to praying
          and from your  times of prayer the Holy Spirit will show you what
          to preach and  teach and whom to  minister to at the  right time.
          Get  these  four  basic  elements  out of  order,  or  wrong  all
          together,  and  your  ministry won't  be  worth  spit  to anybody
          including you.   What were those four things?   Pray, preach, win
          souls, and determine the personal gifts of your people.  when you
          have done all this, keep repeating it all until you get it right.

               One more  thing.  You are a sheep, too.  If you do not allow
          your people to minister back to you as you minister to them, hang
          it up now and resign.  They need to minister to you.  How is this

               When  you are discourage  with ministry work  and pressures,
          tell  them and request they  pray for you.  No,  not when they go
          home after church  but right now.  Invite them  all, every single
          one of them, to the front, have them lay hands upon you, and pray
          their hearts out for their discouraged pastor.  The same goes for
          your wife.   You forget her, and  the trouble is about  to begin.
          You  think the enemy is after you and  the church?  You bet he is
          but if he  can, he will  target your wife  first and most  often.
          She is a sheep, too, so don't forget to minister to her and don't
          forget to  allow your  people to minister  to her.   If  you need
          money, say so.   If you are sick, say so and  ask for your people
          to anoint  you with oil  and to pray for  you.  If  your kids are
          causing you some  problems, tell your people and get them to pray
          over your children.  I don't care  what age the children are just
          do it.   If the church needs an increase in offerings, tell them.
          Pastors simply often get weary  of ministry work.  That's normal.
          what is abnormal is not remembering who you are and forsaking the
          ministry of your own people for and to you.

               Let me finish with this story.   I was visiting a pastor and
          his church here  in the Denver area  many years ago.   The church
          ran about  150 people.   That Sunday morning, during  his sermon,
          the  pastor said  he  had been  mowing  the grass  of  the church
          property  Saturday morning  and complaining  about  it the  whole
          time.   He kept  telling the Lord,  "Why don't  one of  my church
          members offer to do  this job so I could be  doing more important
          things like  praying and  reading the Bible  and studying  for my
          sermon."  He kept this diatribe up for quite awhile as he angrily
          shoved the growling lawn      mower around the  church lot during
          the heat of the day.

               Finally, he  said, the Lord  answered his prayer.   That is,
          the Lord responded  to what he was  saying.  The pastor  told his
          people, the Lord said, "Son, who gave you this church to pastor?"

               The pastor quickly said, "Why, you did Lord."

               He  said, the Lord  replied by saying,  "Then I can  take it
          away  from  you  if  you   feel  you  are  being  mistreated  and

               The pastor  said his  whole attitude  suddenly changed.   He
          praised the Lord  for giving him  such a wonderful church  and he
          thanked  him for  allowing him,  of all  people, the  ability and
          privilege of mowing the church grass.  He sang hymns and whistled
          and glorified God  the whole rest of the time.  Plus, he said, he
          now loves mowing that church grass and wouldn't have it any other

               I  don't think there is  any interpretation required of this
          true story.   God is good  and so are his sheep  of which pastors
          are one.  They just have the extra privilege of being a shepherd,

               Now, go back and read the first paragraph of this article.

                            End Of Document

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