LocalChurch Members, Part One by
Pastor John Hamel
“Obey them that
have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your
souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not
with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
We are still
talking about the Holy Spirit controlling and guiding the LocalChurch. In our last
two lessons we saw how the Holy Spirit appoints Leaders to the LocalChurch. Of course,
the true Leader of every LocalChurch under Jesus is the
Pastor. No Apostle or Prophet has the right to come throwing his
weight around in a Church that he did not establish.
it is necessary to say this because there have been self-appointed Apostles
and Prophets who have attempted to do this. No Pastor is expected to
My Pastor happens
to be a Prophet. Fortunately, he understands that I am the appointed
leader of my congregation and that he is a guest whenever he is in my Church,
even though his office is higher than my Pastoral office. Because I
know that he would never attempt to usurp authority, I can comfortably and
confidently allow him to flow with the Holy Spirit as he sees fit, never
being intimidated or threatened by him. This is how the Ministry
Offices are supposed to work together. Ministry is not a power
play. Ministry is “preferring one another in love” and respecting one other’s Anointings.
We also saw in our
last two lessons that the Holy Spirit decides what Church we are to attend
and who is to be our Pastor. We saw how the Holy Spirit sets the
order for worship and some of the many ways the Holy Spirit manifests in
We will continue studying how the Holy Spirit
controls and guides the operation of the LocalChurch, but with a
slightly different emphasis. We are going to see exactly what it is
the Holy Spirit expects from each and every member of the LocalChurch. What the
Holy Spirit expects from Church members is so simple and plainly stated in
the Bible that there is no excuse for ignorance. There is no excuse
for going contrary to the will of God as to how we conduct ourselves as LocalChurch members.
every Believer would consecrate himself or herself to obey what is written in the Bible, we would
come nearer to the unity that the Holy Spirit is calling us
like all other forms of government, is a reality. We must make the decision
to get ourselves in the Church God is calling us to and govern ourselves
according to the Word of God. The Pastor’s job is not to run an adult
daycare center. The Pastor cannot do what God is calling him to do
when he has to spend ninety percent of his time corralling wayward sheep
and bailing them out of unnecessary, self-created messes.
Each of us has a
moral and a Scriptural obligation to obey the Pastor as he governs in line
with the Word of God. This is made very clear in our opening text.
Let me share with you now your responsibilities as a consecrated Believer
and a member of a LocalChurch. Keep in
mind these are not my commands. These are the commands of the Holy
Importance of "Like-Minded" Fellowship
“And being let go,
THEY WENT TO THEIR OWN COMPANY, and reported all that the chief priests and
elders had said unto them.” (Acts )
Peter and John were
imprisoned for preaching Christ with miracles following. When they
were released “they went to their own company” for prayer and
agreement. This means they went and found the other Believers who
believed that God would intervene and protect them. They did not go
and find Believers who did not believe that God would intervene and protect
them. The Holy Spirit will lead you to a Church that believes the
Bible the way you believe the Bible.
I have had more
people see me on television and call me for counsel. I always ask
them, “Why are you coming to me and not to your own Pastor?” They
almost always say the same thing, “Because he doesn’t believe the Bible
like you believe the Bible.” I always say the same thing, “Then why
are you over there and not over here?”
You need to be in a
Church where the Pastor believes what you believe. A Pastor who does
not know or believe the Bible like you cannot be much help to you.
& Highly Esteem Your Pastor Superabundantly
“And we beseech
you, brethren, to know them which labour among
you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to ESTEEM THEM
VERY HIGHLY IN LOVE FOR THEIR WORK'S SAKE. And be at peace among
yourselves.” (1Thessalonians -13)
The literal Greek
actually says “to esteem the Pastor beyond measure and
superabundantly.” Even if you do not agree with the Pastor about some
minor things, God still requires you to love him superabundantly.
Take care of the Pastor and God will take care of you. Resist the
Pastor and God will resist you. (James 4:6,7)
Yourself Willingly to Your Pastor
“OBEY them that
have the RULE over you, and SUBMIT YOURSELVES: for they watch for your
souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and
not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
The Greek word for
“obey” in this verse actually means, “agree with and be friendly.” The
Greek word for “submit” means “to yield or surrender.” This does not
mean that the Pastor can lord it over you and that you have to do what they
say, when they say it and how they say it. We know this because the
Greek word for “rule” in this verse means, “to give shepherd-like
A shepherd cares. A shepherd loves and a shepherd
guides gently. (1Peter 5:1-8) Although the shepherd has authority to
discipline when necessary, he is still called to gently admonish and teach the
Word patiently. We should never make his job difficult. Jesus
is the perfect example of a Shepherd.
He made it easy for people to submit to Him, even when it was hard.
He did this by loving them unconditionally.
Faithful in Church Attendance & Service
“NOT FORSAKING THE
ASSEMBLING OF OURSELVES TOGETHER, as the manner of some is; but exhorting
one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews
ourselves together is not a good suggestion; it is a Holy Spirit
command. We need to be together to draw strength from one another,
from the preaching of the Word and by the operation of the Gifts of the
Spirit. Dr. Lester Sumrall used to say, “The first banana to leave
the bunch is the first banana to get peeled. The first log to roll
away from the fire is the first one to cool off.” (Acts 2:40-47;
1Thessalonians -23; 1Timothy ; -16)
for Your Pastor(s) & Their Spouse(s)
“Now I beseech you,
brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit,
that ye STRIVE TOGETHER WITH ME IN YOUR PRAYERS TO GOD FOR ME; That I may
be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service
which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;” (Romans 15:30-31)
No Pastor ever
reaches such spiritual heights that they are no longer in need of prayer.
(Hebrews 13:18; 2Thessalonians 3:1) Pray for your Pastor the way Paul
requested prayer for himself. Paul requested prayer to be delivered
from those who did not believe the way he did.
You will never know
what your Pastor goes through with other Pastors and Christians who do not
agree with his faith teaching. Paul also requested prayer that he
would be accepted of the saints. You can pray that your
Pastor and their spouse would find favor and good understanding with
everyone they encounter. (Psalm )
Your Local Church with Your Finances
“And HERE MEN THAT DIE
RECEIVE TITHES; BUT THERE HE [Jesus] RECEIVETH THEM, of whom it is
witnessed that he liveth.” (Hebrews 7:8)
Both the Hebrew and
Greek words for “tithe” mean “one tenth.” The Bible says that
one-tenth of all of our income is to be set aside for the work of the
Lord. It is holy and it belongs to God. (Leviticus 27:30) We
are to pay our tithes in the
storehouse (the LocalChurch) where we receive
the strong meat of God’s Word. (Malachi 3:8-11)
Our tithes allow the
Pastor to dedicate himself to prayer and the Word as opposed to the
distraction of secular employment. (1Corinthians ) Although we
pay our tithes to our Pastors here on Earth, the Bible says that Jesus
receives them in Heaven.
People who are unwilling
to tithe do not have a prayer when it comes to Biblical prosperity.
Only the willing and obedient eat the good of the land in God’s economy.
Not only must we pay tithes, we must pay an additional offering over and above our tithe. (Malachi
3:8) Although God has predetermined the tithe amount and where it is
to be paid, the Believer is allowed to determine how much their offering
will be and where it will go. (1 Corinthians 9:7) The Holy Spirit
leads the Believer in this.
The amount we give over and above our
tithe determines our financial rate of return. (2Corinthians 9:6) See
“Biblical Prosperity in Perspective” under the curriculum heading
"Supernatural Provision" at our JHM Online Bible Training Centre.
Your Church Missionary Program
“As they ministered
to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul
for the work whereunto I have called them. And WHEN THEY HAD FASTED
AND PRAYED, AND LAID THEIR HANDS ON THEM, THEY SENT THEM AWAY.” (Acts
The Apostle Paul
was a Pastor but he was also an Apostle/Missionary. Maybe your Pastor is an Apostle/Missionary and
must spend time traveling as well as overseeing his local flock.
Support him in this and do not resist him.
Maybe your Church supports
a Missionary and you are not yet involved. It is vital that you get
involved. (Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15-20) Everyone doing a little
something equals a great big something. You will be credited with
every soul saved through your Church’s Missionary program if you are
involved even in the smallest way.
If your Church has
no Missionary program, maybe you should pray that God would use you to
Yourself Teachable, Correctable & Humble
“…Yea, ALL OF YOU
BE SUBJECT ONE TO ANOTHER, AND BE CLOTHED WITH HUMILITY: for God resisteth
the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
Many Believers are
teachable in that they thrive on learning new things from the Bible.
But there is a difference between being teachable and being correctable.
You may love learning new things from the Bible but if you are thin
skinned, moody and throw a fit every time you are in need of correction,
you are resisting the Holy Spirit.
Do not find fault
with the person that the Holy Spirit sends to correct you. Stand
there and be quiet and ask the Holy Spirit in your heart,
“Is there any truth to this at all, Holy Spirit? If there is and this
is You correcting me, I need to know it.” (Hebrews 12:6-11)
We will cover the
subject of correction in lessons six, seven and eight of this series.
In our next lesson we will continue to see
what the Holy Spirit requires of each and every member of Christ’s Body.