2 Corinthians 11:3-5 MSG And now I’m afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ. (4) It seems that if someone shows up preaching quite another Jesus than we preached–different spirit, different message–you put up with him quite nicely. (5) But if you put up with these big-shot “apostles,” why can’t you put up with simple me? I’m as good as they are.
Reading through the book of Acts and Paul’s letters to the churches you quickly see his passion for the Gospel, reliance on the Holy Spirit and his love for the Church, the Body of Christ, especially the churches that he was instrumental in their founding. In those letters he also shares his greatest ministerial fear. It wasn’t ridicule, persecution, imprisonment, beatings, or even death, though Paul certainly wasn’t excited about those things he didn’t fear them (Philippians 1:23, Acts 21:13). So what was it that kept Paul up at night? Paul’s greatest fear was that the people he had poured his life into would be lose the purity and simplicity of the Gospel message and their devotion to Jesus. Your pastor shares that fear and deals with it regularly.
He had this fear, because even in the early church there were people that preached with the wrong motivations. Some used ministry as a way to get prestige, popularity, power, & money. One way they did this was to preach NEW STUFF, extra Biblical stuff, their own ideas, and even made up stuff. Paul’s heart broke when he heard these bogus doctrines and saw it corrupt the faith of some Believers. Today there is even greater access to more bizarre and weird teaching. It breaks my heart when I hear people repeating weird non-scriptural or contextually accurate ideas they heard at some church or on the internet.
Here is how you can help your pastor avoid falling prey to this fear.
1. Show up to your home church regularly.
2. Take notes.
3. Be a Berean and study out what you’re taught.
4. Put the WORD of God first and not just the words of somebody on line or on TV.
6. Read the Bible for yourself.
7. Remember your pastor isn’t perfect and is still growing too, it’s possible for even the best pastor to be wrong sometimes. Extend grace.
There are some other things we could mention, but this is a great start to help protect your pastor from fearing you will fall away from the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ.