Before you read this, please set aside any pride. Last year Reinhard Bonnke came to Orlando, Fla. to begin a crusade to save Americans, and many made a commitment to Jesus. Making a commitment and becoming a disciple are two different things. Evangelists convert sinners into believers. However, it is pastors who convert believers into disciples. Jesus knew believing would not be enough. James 2:19 says even devils believe.
Those who answer the call to be a leader in the body of Christ have a great responsibility. The first question Christian leaders must ask themselves is: Am I a sinner saved by grace or a child of the King destined to reign with Lord Jesus forever? Their answer to that question will influence the answer to the next one.
The second question is: Does the congregation think they are saved sinners or a royal priesthood who must prepare themselves for His return, not in their lifetime, but in their own life?
The answer to both questions should be – both. Believers were sinners who have been saved and made righteous by His blood. Now, they are royal children whom their heavenly Father wants to mold into the image of His Son in preparation for their eternal destiny.
Believers need to know it’s not enough to go to church every Sunday or study, memorize and be able to quote verses from the Bible. Church attendance will not earn the words from Lord Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master.”
All believers, not just leaders, are called to be servants. However, not as subservient, but as Jesus’ friends who have been appointed as Kingdom of Heaven ambassadors in the Earth. It is the job of church leaders to equip them to take on the task. Yet how many church goers today have the understanding of Jesus as their personal friend, or how to carry out their responsibilities as His ambassador?
There is an urban legend of the story of a masked gunman storming into a church brandishing a weapon and shouting, “Anyone who isn’t prepared to die for Jesus today, leave!” It goes on to say over 90 percent of the congregation rushed out. After they left, the gunman removed his mask, nodded at the pastor (who had remained) and said, “Okay, now let’s have church.”
This is a horrible example in light of today’s mass killings by grievously lost souls, but do pastors know how their congregation would react?
If a pastor hasn’t grasped the answer to the first question for their own life, they can learn about it through the discipleship study, “The Royalty Principle: a Guide to Reigning in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
A simple poll of their congregation will answer the second one. Asking for a show of hands in response to posing the question in church should give them a clue, as well as an idea of the size of the job ahead.