Tag Archives: pastors and vision

Just for Intercessors: Pastor and Intercessor (cont.) (Part 8)

Last time we talked about the road rules for delivering revelatory words to your pastor:

1.)  When you have communicated your revelation, your job is done.
2.)  It is the pastor’s job to discern your word and do with it as he thinks best.
3.)  The pastor gets the vision and makes decisions for the church, not the intercessors.

I hear the stories over and over – prophets and intercessors thinking that just because they had a word, the pastor must do what they say.  I’ve got news for you: the Kingdom of Heaven does not revolve around you!  Your word could be wrong, believe it or not.  It could be right, but for a later time.  It could be a mixture of right-on prophecy and imperfect interpretation of how it is to be implemented.

Let’s even suppose that you have heard something of a directional nature for your pastor, and that it is completely accurate.  (Directional words should be rare.  Because revelation on vision is the pastor’s domain, he also gets most of the details of direction to implement that.)  Let’s suppose he IS spiritually obtuse and is totally missing the boat by dismissing what you have said.  He is still the shepherd of his congregation, and you are not.  God will honor his position of authority, and if you buck it, you are out of line with God.  God has more grace and mercy toward your pastor than you do, and He knows exactly how to get the message across in His way and time.

Always remember that intercessors do not guide the church.  We are a support for our pastors.  We feed information to them, but it is their job to process that information.  If your pastor messes up, it’s not your problem.  Just keep on supporting him.

It is not your place to pray against the pastor’s vision, even if you think it is totally wrong.  It is not even your place to pray that God would give the pastor a change of heart, or make him more spiritual, so that he can see it the way you do.  The appropriate thing to do is lay your pride and opinion aside and align yourself with your pastor and his vision.

Having said that, there are situations where aligning oneself with a particular vision is not possible, whether for moral reasons or because one’s heart-cry is just not being satisfied under that vision.  For example, perhaps you are a Spirit-filled believer, but your pastor and church family are not open to the gifts of the Spirit.  Or you are distressed over doctrinal differences between you and your pastor.  If you cannot peaceably and lovingly live and align yourself with your pastor’s vision, the kindest thing you can do for your church is to go elsewhere, no matter who is right or wrong.  If you are not in unity, you are only hindering that body of believers from moving forward by staying.

Perhaps your heart is pure in the whole matter, and you have tried your best to make it work, but you just cannot be happy.  There is room in God’s heart for you to find a new church home with people likeminded with your inclinations.  Do seek the Lord’s guidance before making a change, asking Him to search your heart for sinful attitudes, but know that it is not a crime to leave a church behind.  Sometimes it is best for all parties concerned.

Next time:  When interceding for your pastor is your specialty.

Previous: Pastor and Intercessor (Part 7)
Next: The Pastor Specialty (Part 9) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries

 

Just for Intercessors: Pastor and Intercessor (Part 7)

Why are some pastors leery of having anything to do with intercessors?  Why do some intercessors flit from church to church, never quite settling down in one place?  The pastor/intercessor relationship was meant by God to be a harmonious duet of two very different ministries.  Sadly, often it has not worked out that way.  Misunderstanding and hurt fill the great divide between multitudes of prayer warriors and the pastors they were called to help.  But if we learn how the relationship is supposed to work, we can cut the problems to a minimum.

In order to stay balanced, intercessors must be plugged into a local church.  We are not above other Christians in needing to receive solid Bible teaching.  We should not be depriving ourselves of the corporate worship experience, either.  Most of all, we need accountability.  This means that we are connected to our pastors by more than just sitting through their Sunday sermons.  Pastors should know who the intercessors in their churches are.  A trust relationship must be built between the two.  If your church is small enough, you will probably be able to connect with your pastor personally.  In larger churches that may not be possible, but there is someone you can connect with — perhaps an intercessor leader.

So, where do problems come into play, and how can they be avoided?  The number one conflict between pastors and intercessors is over revelation.  Intercessors, because they spend so much time in prayer, tend to hear a lot of things from the Lord.  Often, the things they hear pertain to the local church fellowship.  Many of us have gotten the mistaken notion that if we hear something for the church, and communicate it to our pastor, he is obligated to agree with and implement what we have told him.  If he ignores our “word” or out-and-out disagrees with it, we think he is spiritually obtuse or disobedient to the Lord.  We tell other intercessors that the pastor doesn’t “get it,” or that he is resisting the Spirit.  We create suspicion of the pastor and his motives, and fuel division in the church.  We build our own little faction of disgruntled people.  Unity flies out the window, but of course it is the pastor’s fault!  All of this is completely out of order.  Small wonder that many pastors do not trust intercessors.

Here are the rules of the road when dealing with your pastor:

1.)  If he welcomes revelatory feedback from his intercessors, by all means give it — but then leave it there.  Your job is done, once you have communicated your information.

2.)  The pastor has the right to discern your revelation and from there implement it or dismiss it, as he deems best.  God will not punish him if he does not do what you say.  Part of his discerning process will be listening to see if God places a witness of agreement in his own heart.  He may also discuss your word with other church leadership and pay attention to whether other intercessors not directly connected with you are telling him similar things.  He may put your word on a back burner, sensing that it is possibly valid, but the timing is not quite right for it yet.

3.)  The pastor is the one who hears the vision for the church.  This is his domain, not the intercessors’ or prophets’.  God may give you something that wonderfully confirms a portion of what your pastor is hearing about vision, but He does not give the church vision to someone other than the pastor.

I once knew a woman who repeatedly came to her pastor with the declaration that God had given her the vision for the church, and that the pastor’s vision was not correct.  She pestered him to alter course according to what she felt she had heard.  When her word was not received, she began to plant division in the hearts of other members of the congregation behind the scenes.  This behavior is ungodly — and unfortunately, it is not uncommon.  (Now that I think about it, I know several intercessors who have done this.)

Pastors, you can keep your relationship with your intercessors in good working order by letting them know they are an appreciated, important part of the Body, that you are eager to hear from them, and that you will seriously consider what they say.  Regularly communicating your needs to them, so that they know you value them and their prayers, goes a long way toward building a great relationship with your intercessor team.

Next time we will talk in detail about what the road rules I’ve listed here mean for intercessors.

Previous: What Well Are You Dipping From? (Part 6)
Next: Pastor and Intercessor (Part 8) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries