The primary function of the Pastor is to faithfully exposit the word of God to the body, in obedience, love, and truth. Doing this glorifies God and serves the body. Many Pastors today are overburdened and inundated with projects and outreach. They have been told by many pragmatic men that the way to grow the church is to do, do, do. This isn’t the model of the gospel and it isn’t the model of growing true converts. Certainly it will work to add goats to your pews. Yes, the number of people attending will go up. Yes, there might be some that get converted listening to you preach the gospel on Sunday. These are not your primary duties that you have been commended to do. You sir, have been entrusted with the Holy Word of God and His elect beloved! Do not stray from your commission. All of the techniques that the world employs are not to be in your toolbox. You have the blessing and obligation to plumb the depths of God’s word and return to the flock with a bountiful harvest of truth. When you preach from the pulpit don’t think of it as a chance to evangelize a few lost sinners visiting the church, but view it instead as a time of ministry to God’s elect. He knows what they need to grow and to do the work He has for them. He has a plan to provide for them, and that plan involves you. God wants to use you to educate His people. He wants to use you to help in their sanctification. He wants to use you to equip them Biblically so that they can do the work of evangelism and outreach. By laboring on behalf of the Lord’s gospel you equip and impassion the flock to evangelize the lost, feed and clothe the poor, visit those in prison, and provide for the orphans and widows. It is easy to mix up your personal walk as an individual Christian and your commission as a Preacher of God’s word. There are things that you will do as an individual for God, and there are things that you will do as a Preacher. The first comes from being a born again believer and the other is a Holy Vocation. God in His sovereignty will grow or shrink a congregation. It won’t be based on your efforts. You are called to be faithful, to live by faith, to do what has been ordained by faith.
Some of us are old enough to remember the funny Wendy’s commercial with the, “where’s the beef?” lady.
Just like how most fast food chains can leave you unsatisfied and wondering just, “Where is, the beef?” The prosperity gospel and life enhancement version of Christianity leaves people unsatisfied and lacking the appropriate knowledge. They are spiritually malnutritioned and existing as the walking dead. They drone on through life never getting it. One can only wonder how long people will continue to pay this man to hear his silky smooth distracting messages delivered through his 10,000 watt smile.
Many folks get angry when you mention any wrong doing of Joel and his ilk. I have been surprised at how many Christian brothers and sisters have gotten down right perturbed at me for besmirching their golden cow. Joel is not any better than any of us. He certainly is not educated and rooted in the word, like many genuine theologians and Pastors. Joel is firmly in the, “Word of Faith” movement. He teaches that your words have power and if you have faith when you speak you can declare prosperity for yourself and God will provide it. How messed up is that? “Say, I think I’ll twist the arm of the sovereign Creator of everything into giving me a better house and car with my, “less than a mustard seed of faith.” It is men like him who give good unsung Pastors a bad name.
Think about all of the times you have listened to him on television or the books of his you have read. Can you recall anything that he has done that looks anything like, “You were once a vile sinner. You were under the condemnation of sin. You were going to be cast into Hell for eternity, but you repented of your sins and believed in the atoning work of Christ Jesus on the cross. He paid the price of your sin debt. He satisfied the justice of God through His propitiation. Now go and be holy for God is holy.”
Joel isn’t a Pastor, he is a self-help guru with a Christianesque guile. He is the burger with fillers and washed in ammonia. He is not the real deal. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying he is not saved. I don’t know that. I am saying he isn’t qualified to be a Preacher of God’s word. He is not a Preacher of the gospel. He has this humungous platform to do something really great for the kingdom of God, but instead he backs away from boldly proclaiming the gospel and preaching the word. Why is that? What sort of Preacher does that? I haven’t even really addressed his teachings here. That wasn’t my goal for today. I simply wanted to draw attention to the lack of good, God centered, gospel proclaiming, life giving, preaching of God’s word. Now I declare, go read your Bible Joel and repent. Use that television platform, and mega-church for the right use.
If you love Joel ask him to preach the gospel every Sunday. Ask him for clear and correct teaching instead of the prosperity life enhancement fluff. Who knows, maybe he’ll listen.