I sat across my office from a superior in my denomination. He explained that as pastors our first responsibility is a personal relationship with God; second, is the relationship with our spouse; third is “ministry.”
Now, I’m not going to say that his belief is untrue. I’ve heard it over and over among many church leaders of our day. But what I will ask is simple: Where is such a belief outlined in the Bible? Especially for a pastor?
No one has ever been able to explain it to me from the Scriptures.
The Apostle Paul wrote 3 letters directly to young pastors on how to live their lives and serve God and His people. They are First and Second Timothy and Titus. Yet this priority list of God first, spouse second, ministry somewhere down the line is nowhere to be found in Paul’s letters or the New Testament. If it is, someone better versed in the Bible should clearly outline it with Scripture.
How is it possible to separate a relationship with God from serving God? Can a person wholeheartedly believe in him yet divorce that belief from service? Is it possible to say, “Hey, God. I have this super relationship with you … but I’m not going to do anything about it until after I’ve met these other demands. Once I’ve fulfilled my obligations to serve my spouse, and serve my employer, and serve my nation, and serve my children, then I’ll serve You.”
I’ll continue this line of thought in my next post, but let me end with this interesting statement by the Founder of Christianity – Jesus. If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:26-27). Seems that following His commands as a disciple takes priority over every human relationship.
What do you think?