America’s Perversion of Pastoring

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NASB) says, “11And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
A Pastor is one of the five office gifts of the ministry. This is literally a shepherd over a flock. They are servant leaders who lead from behind so they can keep their eyes on the entire flock while directing them into lands they have already been (Psalm 23). They can correct, counsel and discipline when necessary, as well as direct and protect from the attacks and plans of the enemy. They are referred to as angels in Revelation 2-3, indicating they are true messengers of God. They should be ministers of a flame of fire (Hebrews 1:7).
However, out of the five-fold ministry, pastor(s) is only mentioned literally one time in all of the New Testament. Although it is referenced in numerous passages, the concept of pastoring has been reverted in the American church. Pastoring itself is not a perversion, but what America has done is a perversion. It is not that shepherding is wrong. It is just that we have replaced Jesus with pastors when they are suppose to merely be ambassadors of a heavenly kingdom and reflect His leadership.If your shepherd has replaced the Great Shepherd, then you are walking in idolatry. Here are perversions of modern-day pastoring:
1) Due to the fear of inferiority and exposure, pastors feel like they cannot be transparent or relational. Relationships should never alter respect! This is the evidence of zero community or kingdom family in the body of Christ. It also proves how the hierarchy of the church is completely opposite of the kingdom of God as we have put pastors, who are human, on pedestals, higher than others.
2) We have made pastors our popes. They have become our access to the throne room of heaven, replacing Jesus as the mediator of our sins and our go to man between God and us. Too many people put the same expectations on pastors as they do Jesus. Pastors have not replaced Christ as the head of the church! That is idolatry! We are still the body of Christ with many functions. Know your role and fulfill it! While pastors should absolutely make themselves available for the needs of the flock while prioritizing and balancing their time, pastors must guard their hearts as people must respect their time. Let them be able to spend time with their families. If you have been a sheep for 20 years but you have not learned to become a son or daughter, then you are more than likely not even saved! Hebrews 5:11-14 says, “11Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Get off the milk and get on the meat, which Jesus said is doing the will of the Father (John 4:34).
3) Pastors have become full-time employees due to part-time Christians. I heard Kris Vallotton say, “The day you receive Jesus you enter full time ministry. There is no such thing as a secular job.” Paul was a tentmaker because he did not want to cause a financial strain on the church (Acts 18:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-8; 1 Corinthians 9:12). There has to be a group of leaders who share the load and responsibility, as well as birth vision for the entire body.
4) All ministry goes through the pastor’s approval. They must speak their blessing or derail it!
5) Pastors feel the unnecessary strain because of the “church police” who make mountains out of mole hills, who instigate issues that are not even issues. With these distractions, the kingdom of God cannot be advanced.
6) Pastors who are dictated by boards eliminates their capability of fully following and being obedient to the Holy Spirit. Of course, a corporate vision should consist of a unity of leadership and a system of checks and balances, but there should be no conflict of God births a vision in the heart of a pastor. You have rams leading rather than shepherds!
7) It serves the pastor an injustice if the only time we pick up the Bible and read it is on Sunday morning. By the time Sunday evening rolls around we have forgotten what the pastor even preached. What if we started taking notes, praying and rereading what we learned on Sunday until it becomes a part of us in fulfilling the Great Commission of going forth and making disciples.
8) We seek for pastors to serve us rather than find ways to serve them. We should not only be covering them in prayer, but helping to lift the load they carry whenever possible. This means taking initiative to carry the vision and Word released by pastors and apply them to our lives on a daily basis.
9) The duties of ministry should never remove us from the place of devotion, but our face-to-face encounters with the presence of God should be the fuel for family and ministry. 
Due to the task of ministry being upon one man’s shoulders, pastors are becoming weary and leaving by the droves. You see on the news pastors committing suicide because of carrying a weight in which they were never designed to carry. You hear of pastors committing infidelity in their marriages because they have cheated on their spouses with this prostitute called ministry, taking them away from being a true and faithful husband and father. We must defeat the Babylonian system of the church and be a people who hear the voice of God!  It’s not clear how many commit suicide, but it is clear that pastors are not immune to it. Psychologists point to several reasons why people commit suicide, from depression to psychosis to stressful life situations. But one thing is certain: Whatever drives someone to take their own life ultimately begins in the mind. Suicidal thoughts precede suicide. If you want to overcome the spirit of suicide, take control of your mind. Fill it with the Word of God that gives life, joy and peace unlike anything that this world can give! Come to Jesus and live! It is time for shepherds to return to the Great Shepherd and mirror His life!