Ajith’s Final Session

It’s been a long day and I’m sure my mind wasn’t as sharp of this evening’s session as it could have been. Yet, Ajith was sharp and clear and the Spirit used him to speak to me, and I trust He worked in others’ hearts as well. Dr. Fernando completed his 3-part series on “How Must a Pastor Die?” and here are just a few highlights:

1. Colossians 1.24-29 has given us three keys to knowing how we must die as a pastor, as well as why we must die:
1) rejoicing & suffering go hand in hand; the more we experience both, the more like Christ we become
2) we are called to suffering on behalf of the church, i.e., the church will be blessed by our suffering
3) from v. 25a, as a pastor, I am called to be a minister, a diakonos, a deacon, a lowly term of usage

2. Problem today – there’s been a lop-sided teaching on the spiritual gifts so that people “can’t” serve anymore because it simply isn’t their gift. We have over-specialized which produces a great deal of frustration in just about all involved in a church. Instead, we need generalizers: those who are involved in many areas and have just a little time to dedicate to using their gifts.

3. Our day has great difficulty with this idea of serving, especially where it involves humility. We live in a culture of celebrities who don’t like to serve; it takes them out of the spotlight. But, according to the Scriptures, we are servants. And servants must die to self.

4. This calling is a stewardship from God. And is there any higher calling than to that of being a minister/servant of the glorious gospel? No, we are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5.20).

5. Our task is to make the Word of God fully known; the whole counsel of God is to be proclaimed. In declaring the whole counsel, we’ll proclaim many things which our culture has deemed beneath it. They are too sophisticated for such things as judgment and hell. But our culture (and Christians who have absorbed it into themselves) hangs this judgment upon Christ as well. “Oh Jesus, you and all that talk about hell. You know that’s not a reality; let’s talk about some other things that will be much more positive, more helpful and boost our self-esteem.” But this is like having a special device that would tell you ahead of time when a tsunami is coming but failing to tell anyone about it. It’s foolishness! How dare we ever think we’re too sophisticated to talk about hell. This is like criminal negligence. We need from Bible-teaching, not less in our day and age because people are so ignorant of the Scriptures.

6. Never lose your wonder over the gospel. It’s like a romance: sweeter than honey to my lips. The thrill of contemplating the calling to proclaim the gospel should never grow old in our hearing.

Ajith concluded with many illustrations for practical application.

One final session in the morning, then the Q & A and then… head for home!


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