Jesus said, “Remain in me and I will remain in you. It by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. (John 15: 4) NIV
The Church is a living, breathing organism of faith that was established by the Lord centuries ago. The Church is not where we go to worship God. That is the House of God. The CHURCH is a triumphant picture of men and women, boys and girls aligning themselves together for one purpose. That purpose is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ globally. The CHURCH is the BRIDE of Christ, and He is purifying her in these last days before He comes to take her away. What is preventing His coming? I believe it is the Lone Ranger complex infiltrating the Church that has become an obstacle in spreading the Gospel effectively, and thus averting the return of Christ.
Lone Pastors, Lone Evangelist, Can Cause Loneliness
Since my husband and I moved to the Permian Basin, we have witnessed something that is happening in the church here and in several other cities throughout the United States. It is the lone preacher, the lone pastor, or the lone evangelist coming in trying to start a new work in the area. We see within their ministries a sickness spreading like a wildfire, and that is a refusal to be accountable to anyone. They do as they please, plan things as they please, never seek out wise counsel, hold themselves accountable to no one person, and try to lead the masses by the seat of their pants. If they have established an eldership, it is in name only. The ministry looks very much like a one- man show. Jesus never intended the CHURCH to operate outside of accountability.
Grace Does Not Give Us Freedom from Accountability of the Brethren
You see, as we keep watching these usually smaller congregations, suffer in this sickness, we discover that the leadership is often very controlling, allowing room for a Jezebel spirit to operate freely. (Not sure of what a Jezebel spirit is? Read the previous devotional.) Why am I so heartbroken over this sickness of unaccountability? I clearly see that it is destroying the Church from the inside out. Grace is very freeing, and whom Christ has set free is free indeed, however; freedom does not liberate oneself to lead without accountability. Grace is a beautiful thing, and it is being abused in the church today. Grace does not give us the freedom to do what we want. Grace sets us free to do the Father’s will. There is a mentality among many of these lone ministers, and it is this; “Just do as I say, and God will bless you. Just give to this ministry and you will never be poor again. Just come to every meeting, be at the church house every time the door is open, and God will bless your life.” I am not making this stuff up. I have heard all of these spoken in the last month. In fact, a local evangelist has come to town and during his meeting he asked people to sow a substantial seed into his ministry. He asked those willing to do so, to stand up and then he went to each publically and read off each of their donation checks aloud in front of the crowd. See anything wrong this picture? I did, and I never went back. What happened to “Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” when it comes to giving? I felt like I was in an auction. One Sunday morning, I witnessed an actual auction taking place at a local House of God. I got up and walked out. I can’t make this stuff up. It is happening, and it is going on in God’s house….and the church is over their head, involved in it.
Real Leadership Desires Wise Counsel and Accountability
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand if your pastor or the local evangelist is accountable to anyone. The tale-tale sign will be in their mode of operation. They will use the word, “I” a lot and the “we” factor is all but forgotten. Jesus, said, “Remain in me and I will remain in you.” We cannot remain in Christ and not be held accountable to Him or each other. The Word emphasizes the importance of the Body of Christ. “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:5) In this passage, I see no lone wolf or lone ranger mentality. The CHURCH, the Body of Believers, are each a part of each other, and since we are a part of each other, we must be accountable to each other. That means if I am messing up, the church has the right to correct me, and I welcome that with open arms. Beware of those who are not open to correction but try to find a way to skirt around uncomfortable issues or actions they have made. They often say, Well, I heard God tell me ……” Accountability starts with more than one person hearing from God. 2 Cor. 13: 1 says, "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses." If you hear from God, rest assured, those holding you accountable will too. This is how God operates. Let us lay down the Lone Ranger mentality that has permeated the Body of Christ and let us hold one another accountable for our actions, words, sin, etc. When we start doing this, we will hasten the coming of Christ!
By Jane Morin
About the Author
Jane Morin is an international speaker, worship leader, Bible teacher, and award-winning author. Her latest re-release, The Weapons Of Our Warfare is now available on Kindle Books! Learn how to fight the "fight of faith" effectively and snatch up your copy today!