No Boss of the Meeting
God says the Spirit gives gifts as He wills and distributes His gifts in His Body. He gives gifts to those who love Him and have consecrated their lives to Him. If we are Christians, all of us have gifts. He gives the gift of shepherd, the gift of violin, and the gift of encouragement. All of these gifts are part of Jesus. They are all equal and they all come out when they need to come out.
The gift of shepherd (the word “pastor” is not in the Bible so I don’t want to hear that word) comes out when it is needed. It doesn’t control or own people. It’s just one gift amongst the many gifts. It doesn’t start the meeting or end the meeting or even call the meeting. Any of the believers are free to do that.
Where I live, I don’t even know if I’ve called a meeting in ten years. Why should I? Jesus is in everybody so if other people feel the need from the Jesus inside of them to call the whole church together, then I’m glad to be there. I may say something, or I may sit quietly for three hours. Nobody expects me to say anything. Nobody expects any one person to say anything. We’re a Kingdom of Priests (Rev. 1:6, Rev. 5:10). The Levitical system was in the Old Testament and had animal sacrifices, the temple, tithing, and a boss-priest-holy man who was in charge of all the holy things. Well, that was the Old Testament.
Now, there is a kingdom of priests where all of us have Jesus living inside of us and all of us have to take responsibility to let Jesus out. Without any fear or procrastination or laziness, we all need to play our part. Violin, shepherd, teacher, encourager, helps—whatever the gift may be, we all just play our part. We’re equals. We’re brothers amongst brothers. Jesus said to call no man leader or master or reverend or pastor or teacher. Stop calling people “Violin Mike.” If they play violin, hallelujah. But don’t give them a title.
Some people who are called “Violin Fred” or “Violin John” don’t even know how to play the violin! Some people who are called “pastors” don’t even have the gift of shepherd. They just read better than everybody else, but that doesn’t mean the person has that gift. The gift of shepherd is someone who sees the needs of God’s people, and they lay down their life to steal the sheep out of the bear’s mouth. That doesn’t make them “the boss” of all the meetings and the controller of the flow of everything that’s going on.
I will give you a hundred U.S. dollars right here on the spot, if anybody can show me where it says in this Bible that there is a “pastor” of a congregation. Find for me in the Bible where there is a “pastor” who runs all the meetings, does all the teaching and gives all the sermons, decides when the meetings are, tells everyone else what they are supposed to do, and controls the treasury. Show me that person in this Bible! I’ve asked professors of theology to show me where that is written in the Bible. I’ve asked the dean of one of the most conservative, scholarly seminaries in the whole world to show me in this Bible where that man exists who controls the local church and has the title of “pastor.” And he could not show me because it is not in there. WHY are we going to do something that’s not in the Bible? Why would we do that? We call ourselves Bible-believing Christians so let’s stop doing non-Bible things! It’s not that complicated.
Is there such a thing as a gift of shepherd? Hallelujah, yes! Do we need that gift? Absolutely. Just like we need the gift of encouragement very much. We need all of the gifts of Jesus very much. If you happen to have the gift of shepherd, hallelujah. But you don’t have to be important to do what you need to do. You don’t have to be the boss to be a shepherd. You don’t have to be “Violin Jimmy.”
You can just be a brother amongst brothers and help people with whatever gift Jesus has given you. When you live that way, guess what happens? The other gifts get stronger and stronger and more and more loving and wise. They know Jesus better. They help people more and more, because you have freed them to come and rise toward Jesus. You have freed them to use their gifts because you have stopped getting in their way.
When revelation comes to the second, what does the first one do, according to the Bible? He or she sits down! 1 Corinthians 14 says, “When revelation comes to the second, the first one sits down.” Wow, that’s freeing! That means that if any of you has something to say, God can use you to say it at any time. The same Jesus lives inside of you that lives inside anybody who has ever walked on the face of the earth. You have no less Jesus living in you than the apostle Paul had. Let Jesus live in you! And you guys who wear titles, stop squashing God’s people. Let Jesus rise to manifest Himself in all of His Glory, in all of His gifts. When revelation comes to the second, sit down. You’re not the boss. Jesus is the Boss. Hallelujah!
Jesus is the Head. He never gave that away. He is still the Head. How does He use His headship? He brings Revelation, He brings Life and He brings gifts. We’re only letting Him be head, if we let the Jesus in Fred and Mary and Jose express Himself whenever He wants to express Himself. Through the gift of shepherd, He will express Himself. Don’t quench the gift He has given. If it is the gift of teaching, we should not quench His gift. The gift of encouragement should express Himself. The gift of helps too…all these gifts should express themselves and we mustn’t let our gifts smother and suffocate all the other gifts. We should encourage each other.
If you’re truly a good shepherd, and the Good Shepherd lives inside of you, you’ll try to get the Jesus in other people to come out. They will probably be afraid, but if you’re a good shepherd, you will try to encourage them to use their gift rather than consuming them with your gift. Okay?