My friend, Pastor Rob, resigned. He called to inform me and to say I would not be leading the revival we had scheduled in his church.
“What happened?” I asked.
The story Rob related was the back end of what he had told me some months earlier when he became the pastor of that church. A couple active in leadership roles had been living together as man and wife for several years, but without having ever married.
Scripture calls this fornication.
When my friend Rob had agreed to become their pastor, he did so on the condition that the deacons would deal with this issue and not foist it off on him as the new shepherd. They agreed to do so. Less than a year into his ministry, nothing had been done and the pastor was being attacked by the man and woman as a trouble-maker. They and their supporters in the church griped that all was well until this new preacher came, and he’s stirring it up.(Understand that I’m abbreviating the story and omitting a great deal.)
When the pastor asked the deacons if they intended to act, the chairman said, “Preacher, I guess we’re just cowards.”
So, my friend resigned and moved away with no new church in sight.
He did a courageous thing.
Those who allowed this situation to fester did the cowardly thing. (One could make a case for the previous pastor being a coward too, since he left that situation intact for the next preacher to deal with.)
The ultimate test of a deacon is whether he has the courage to take a stand against a hypocrite who is doing great damage in the Lord’s church; whether he is willing to stand up for his church, for his Lord, for the calling of God. (Granted, this is true also of pastors. But we are addressing deacons here.)
Continue reading “Reforming the Deacons (19): “The Ultimate Test”” »