Suddenly, that great church which the pastor was enjoying and had been bragging about to his colleagues turned on him and wanted him gone.

Without warning it seems, those precious people who had welcomed him so warmly just a couple of years back have now joined the vicious mob clamoring for the pastor’s head.

That wonderful deacon fellowship which had devoted themselves to serving God’s people and ministering to the needy suddenly arose and announced their intention to oust the pastor.

That sweet family to whom the pastor ministered again and again misinterpreted something he did (or believed something they heard) and began to devote themselves to seeing that he was fired.

Why, Lord?  Pastors and their families wonder that.

Many a servant of the Lord has been treated less kindly and more unfairly by the Christians than any business in town would treat an employee they were dismissing.

One unemployed pastor said to me, “If this is the way it is, maybe I’d better find some other line of work.”

Another said, “All I ever did was try to bless those people.  Now, look at how they have behaved.  Why?”

Another said, “Why does God allow this?”

In every case, I hear them out, offer them my understanding and sympathy, and then say, “You might want to go back and read your charter again.”

“My charter?”

“Yes. Where the Lord told you what to expect, how people would treat you, and why He would allow it.”

Silence.

Matthew 10:16-42 is the charter of the Lord’s servant.

“It’s the tenth chapter of Matthew, beginning in verse 16 and going through the end of the chapter.

– Why beginning in verse 16?  Because the first 15 verses are a temporary, one-time only instruction to the Lord’s disciples as they were about to go out and “try” preaching, then return and report to Him.  (Luke 10:17 tells of their return.)  But from verse 16 through the end of the chapter, everything the Lord said pertains to us for the rest of this age.

– Jesus said we should expect to be mistreated.

– We should not be surprised when that mistreatment comes from the best people.  “You will be beaten in their synagogues,” He said.  They actually think they’re serving the Lord.

– Why does the Lord allow this?  “As a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.”  That is to say, Jesus needs someone to be Exhibit A of His presence in a human life.  He needs someone to catch the attention of the outside world so they will hear God’s message.  After all, Caesar ain’t coming to your revival, friend.

– The world is watching.  (See Acts 16:25.  They’re listening, too.)  When you are mistreated, the outside world watches in silence to see how you will take it.

– You’re no better than Jesus.  The pupil should not expect to be honored above his teacher.  They hated Him, they will hate you.  They crucified Him, so why do you expect them to recognize your anniversary each year and to acclaim you as the greatest preacher ever?  Get real.

– But we are not to fear what they are doing.  Three times in this passage, He tells us not to fear.

– We are to be aggressive, to speak up, to speak boldly, to hold nothing back.  In other words, we should not be so cotton-picking politically correct.  Take a stand, preacher. And if it gets you in trouble, well–that’s what He said would happen.

– If it causes a disruption in the fellowship of a worldly church, don’t be surprised.

– You keep on doing your job.  Even to the smallest degree. That cup of cold water is precious to one who needs it.  When we give to the Lord’s workers, we share in their reward.

– Speaking of rewards, we in the Lord’s work should readjust our expectations of recognition, appreciation, and honors.   Those who work for human rewards get that, but that’s all they get.  See what the Lord said of the Pharisees in Matthew 6:2,5,16.

Let Matthew 10 become a vital part of your daily armor…

After thoroughly digesting and assimilating its contents–read it again and again until its instructions and insights and promises become as familiar to you as John 3:16–then share it with your family, pastor.  Make your spouse and children aware of what the Lord has said concerning your calling.

Do not go looking for opposition and persecution.  Do your job and it will find you soon enough.  But do not be surprised.  (See the insights of I Peter, particularly 4:19.)

By all means, appreciate a church fellowship which does the right thing.  Encourage them in this, and continue teaching them the proper response to and treatment of the Lord’s servants.

Now, look around you, pastor, and find colleagues in the ministry who are having a tougher time than you.  Perhaps you know a pastor who was driven from his church by a little group who wanted to control things.  Reach out to him.  (When one unemployed pastor said to me, “No one will help.  Why don’t pastors help other ministers who are without a church?”  I said, “When you were pastoring, how many unemployed preachers did you help?”  He said, “I didn’t know it was a problem.” I said, “They don’t either.”)

Keep your eyes on the Lord.  Honor Him. He is your Source, your Resource, and your Portion.  Your Rock, your Shelter, your Song and your Salvation.  The church isn’t, and neither is the denomination.

If you find yourself the victim of innuendo and persecution, go back to Matthew 5:11-12 and live there.

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven.  For so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.”

When you get to Heaven, you will find that your suffering was pure gold in the Lord’s sight.  And that will matter more than anything else in the world. – Joe Mceveer

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BOOKS BY BOLA AKIN-JOHN

  1. Fruitful and Fulfilling Ministry Today
  2. Grow the Pastor Grow the Church
  3. Sexual Purity in Leadership
  4. Money, Ministers and Ministry Today
  5. 22 Dynamic Laws of Church Growth
  6. 25 Pillars of Church Health
  7. Personal Growth Today
  8. The Loyal Associate
  9. Guest Ministers Today
  10. 120 Strategic Ways to Increase Church Attendance
  11. Quality and Quantity Growth in Churches
  12. Strategic Church Planting Today
  13. Spiritual Warfare for Dynamic Church Growth
  14. Supernatural Power, Miracles, Signs and Wonders Today
  15. Church Change
  16. The Place of Anointing and Administration in Church Growth
  17. Pulpit Power for Church Growth
  18. Daily Nourishment for Leaders
  19. Healthy Leaders Healthy Churches
  20. Anointing Alone is Not Enough
  21. 101 Ministry Lessons
  22. Healthy Home
  23. Small Middle-Size and Mega Churches
  24. How to follow well
  25. Strategic Living
  26. True success in ministry
  27. Rise and Fall of Churches / Ministries
  28. Closing the Back Door
  29. 25 Indispensable Qualities of a Competent and Credible Minister
  30. Church Growth Principles of Jesus
  31. Your Church Your Community
  32. Your Growth is Your Future
  33. Frank Talk to Men
  34. The Cell Church
  35. Our Churches and His Church
  36. How to Support & Strengthen your Pastor
  37. 101 ways to progressively kill a church
  38. The Real Man in Every Church
  39. Matured Pastor’s Wife & Female Minister
  40. Pray and Grow
  41. Short Course on Family Growth
  42. Short Course on Church Growth
  43. Short Course on Wholesome Sexuality
  44. Short Course on Financial Growth
  45. Short Course on Personal Growth
  46. Fundamental Teaching & Doctrines of the Bible
  47. With Jesus in the School of Money
  48. Holy Spirit the True Vicar of Life and Ministry
  49. Five Fold Ministry
  50. Prophet & Prophetic Ministry Today
  51. Leading your Church to Lasting Growth
  52. Your Image is Your Growth
  53. Conflict and Crisis in Ministry
  54. Thy Kingdom Come
  55. DiscipleShift Today
  56. Healthy Local Church
  57. Congregational and Cell Church Today
  58. Heart of a Christian
  59. Overseer and Senior Pastor Hand book 1
  60. Abusive Pastor Abusive Churches
  61. Church Turn-Around Strategies
  62. Pastor and People’s Price For Church Growth
  63. Fatherhood and Sonship
  64. Healthy Woman Minister
  65. Women In Church Growth Resource
  66. Kingdom Stewardship
  67. Overcome At The Gate
  68. Healthy Pastor, Dangerous Pastor
  69. Sexually Wholesome Church
  70. Healthy Pastors, Dangerous Pastor
  71. Impact-Driven Church
  72. Clergy Coupes
  73. Apostolic Ministry
  74. Evangelist Ministry
  75. Pastoral Ministry
  76. Prophetic Ministry
  77. Teaching Ministry
  78. Your Church Can Grow in a Healthy Way
  79. Real Men Resource
  80. Strong Christian, Strong Christian
  81. Planting Disciples-Making Church
  82. Front and back Door of Your Church
  83. Discipleship Process Recourse
  84. True Biblical Church Growth is still Possible
  85. Daily Nourishment 2
  86. Reaching and Disciplining Children and Youth in today’s Church
  87. Eschatology and Kingdom Teaching Resource
  88. I Can’t Breathe