Working Hands

I can’t help thinking about the following verse:

“But when the Son of Man returns, how many will He find on the earth who have (persistent) faith?” (Luke 18:8 NLT)

This is my forth article in a series. In my three previous articles, I concentrated on the single greatest attribute of God and next on the attributes that devout Christians should possess, and then I turned to the attributes of what a devout church should possess. Now I want to concentrate on church leadership.

Note: This article and the PDF’s contained within it are not meant to throw the baby out with the dirty water. It is meant to take a healthy look at the example set forth in the New Testament of a healthy church and its leadership and see where we can go from there. A W Tozer had some wise words to share:

A New Kind Of Religious Leader Must Arise.PDF

A Christian church was not meant to be an organization, administration, or institution. It is not a building, campus, or structure. It is not meant to be a social club or a musical entourage. It is to be first and foremost a body of believers. A typical American church is backwards to what we see layed out in the New Testament. They put the cart before the horse. When young people come out of seminary, they are more worried about health benefits, retirement plans, compensation, and income than they are about serving the Lord. They are afraid of the word ‘work’, as referring to toil and manual labor. True servants of the Lord are not afraid to use their hands:

Then Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he became acquainted with a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife, Priscilla. They had left Italy when Claudius Caesar deported all Jews from Rome. Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was. Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue, trying to convince the Jews and Greeks alike. (Acts 18:1‭-‬4 NLT)

“I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes. You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:33‭-‬35 NLT)

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others. (1 Thessalonians 4:11‭-‬12 NLT)

Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. (2 Thessalonians 3:10‭-‬12 NLT)

What an incredible example Stephen was. He was appointed by the Apostles to use his hands as a table server:

And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 6:2‭-‬5a ESV)

But the Lord didn’t limit Stephen to just serve tables with his hands. The Lord used him mightily to also do greater things:

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. (Acts 6:8 ESV)

The word ‘pastor’ is not found at all in the New Testament. It is found in the plural only once in Ephesians 4:11 where it should of been properly translated ‘shepherds’ as it was in all the other instances. It is the same word to describe those who came to see Jesus at His birth. But, we have so twisted, misused, and abused the word ‘Pastor’ as a title. Prestige within churches has so blinded people that the title ‘Pastor’ or ‘Reverend’ or ‘Father’ is off the charts. What was created was a professional class of Clergymen. I wonder what words Jesus would have for them, like He had for the Sadducees and Pharisees of His day?

He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” (Mark 9:35 NLT)

So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world Lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42‭-‬45 NLT)

I have put together two PDF’s that properly address the word ‘Pastor’ Biblically:

The Word ‘Pastor’

Using The Word ‘Pastor’

I want to begin finishing up by using the words and example of Jesus:

“I am the good shepherd. 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.” (John 10:11‭-‬13 NKJV)

As I stated at the beginning of this article that we have to be careful not to throw out the baby with the dirty water, but every Christian needs to evaluate if they have over them hirelings or true leaders with a shepherd’s heart. My personal conviction is that if I support a hireling, the Lord will judge me for it because I become an enabler. The Word of God, which was expounded upon in this article is the answer. It cannot be stated any clearer than what Smith Wigglesworth said:

“It is absolute disloyalty and unbelief to pray about anything in the Word of God. Believe and receive the Word of God, and you will always be on sure ground. If you pray about the Word of God, the Devil will be behind the whole thing. Never pray about anything concerning which it can be said, ―Thus says the Lord―. You need to receive God‘s words so that they will build you on a new foundation of truth. The Word of God does not need to be prayed about: the Word of God needs to be received.”


About annointing

Defender of the Christian Faith
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2 Responses to Working Hands

  1. What an insight into the true heart of the Spirit concerning His church and how it is to be cared for. If only all men everywhere would see this, Amen.

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