Thoughts on How to Pastor People and Grow Them in the Faith by Mark Horan
1 Thessalonians 2:11-17 … as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost. But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
All authority is given to make disciples. When someone grows in faith, it is because someone helped them. There are three major ways to help a person grow in faith, to learn the word of God, gain experience in living with the help of the Holy Spirit from day to day, and caring.
The three things are 1) Exhortation 2) Encouragement and 3) Comfort.
1 Corinthians 14:1-3 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
If we don’t pursue love, and speak edification, exhortation, and comfort to people we will end up beating other people up.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Encourage people by letting them realize that God has something greater ahead for them. Don’t speak empty words, but encourage them as they face their challenges. Be patient and give them time to get over their stuff. Even though their lives may seem pretty challenging at the time, remind them that God has a great plan for their lives. Remember, how you say what you say impacts the hearer. You can say it lovingly, with exasperation, in anger, or other ways. We want to make sure that the people receive what we are saying the way we intend them to receive it.
Remember, our job is to catch the fish, not clean them. If we are not careful we can end up hurting people in the church. The best one to clean the fish is the Holy Spirit. Give people the grace, give them time.
Isaiah 63:3-4 I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come.
Remind them that there is a great future ahead of them, for the year of the redeemed has come. Exhort people, give them encouragement to continue. Remind them that God loves them. Let them sit in church flapping around, and after a while the Word of God will clean them up.
Luke 24:32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
Our hearts will burn in us when we are filled with the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit.
People get beat up all week in the world, they don’t need to come to church and receive it there as well.
Acts 21:25 But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.
The judiaizers wanted to force the Gentiles to follow the Law and traditions of the Jews, but Paul believed that was placing an undo burden on the Gentiles, so they came up with the basic rules listed above, that the Gentiles should follow. Salvation was not about works, but relationship. The Gentiles needed to know how to worship and how to live in a way that would not be burdensome but at the same time allow interaction with Jewish believers.
People have trouble seeing beyond the bend in the road. God works all things together to help pull a person toward God, but discouragement pushes them away.
Paul wrote his epistles to encourage the believers.
People want to give up when they don’t see immediate results.
The father with the demon possessed son prayed, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” The man believed but was discouraged.
Remember, all people need encouragement. With God all things are possible. Your words have the power to lift people when you speak them forth.
Hallelujah brother, can be an encouragement to someone. Let people see how the Holy Spirit fills you with joy.
When the angel came to Mary, she believed but was puzzled about how she could get pregnant without knowing a man.
Share your testimony about how you got your miracle, health, finances. We need to be encouraged to remember that with God all things are possible.
Speak faith. Know you are in the faith.
People want to beat themselves up.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
The Father can deal with our challenges.
You can exhort and encourage and comfort each other. Help each other get on that railroad with God without missing the train.
Psalm 71:21 You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.
John 14 speaks of the Holy Spirit as our Comforter.
Pastor Don then spoke about the keys of readiness The first key to readiness is expectation, and expectation helps you to fix on faith.
I pray this blesses you,
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