My theory is that the Church had done a really good job of creating retail consumers of the Word and a really poor job of creating wholesale distributors of that Word.
For example, I had a conversation with a friend earlier this week who had shared with an associate pastor of a church in another state how to have a quiet time, a personal devotional. This pastor began to meet with men in his church and share that process with them. It has revolutionized that church and that pastor’s ministry.
On the one hand I am greatly encouraged that a simple thing like how to have a quiet time had such an impact. On the other hand I am incensed that it took someone who was not going to that church to show the pastor the skill, I am further angered that the senior pastor sees that movement in his church as a threat.
Ephesians 4:11 – 16 is pretty clear. It is not the role of the pastor and teacher to do the work of service, to teach and preach exclusively, to visit the sick, to do whatever the congregation wants him to do. Ultimately, he does not serve the congregation, based on Colossians 3:17, 23, he is accountable to the Lord not the congregation. For what is he accountable? Equipping the saints for the work of service is the clear charge.
Equipping is not standing behind a pulpit in a sanctuary or a lectern in a class room and speaking for 20 minutes to an hour. Equipping is doing what Jesus, Paul, Timothy, and the others did. Being with people sharing not only life, but how to practically walk with God in that life.
Having a quiet time is part of that. If I were leading a group of people and found out they did not know how to meet with the Lord devotionally, frankly, I would be ashamed. I would consider that an epic fail.
But rather than harp on that. I chose to do these workshops. I have done a bunch of them. The purpose is to equip men to get into the Word for themselves. Not all men respond. That is between them and the Lord. All I am responsible for is to set the table.