Applications, Questionnaires and Openness

When a pulpit committee offers a questionnaire to be filled out by a prospective candidate for the pastorate there are several things that should be considered.

  1. You are the one who presumes to have a calling from God
    1. You need to have been properly trained by a pastor
    2. You need to have been sent into the ministry
    3. You need to have a credible history of an authoritative ministry
  2. If you are an authentic man of God, You have a ministry to share
    1. The ministry is not a “job” to seek It is a service to offer
    2. The Lord is the one who places His men in His churches
    3. You must not become a hireling or you will not last in the ministry
  3. Be open and transparent with those who ask you questions if you want them to trust you
    1. They have a right to ask about your doctrine
    2. They have a right to ask about your family
    3. They have a right to ask about your morals
    4. They have a right to ask about your credit history
  4. Be prepared to ask the pulpit committee your own set of questions
    1. You are not a beggar looking for a handout
    2. What you believe and require is as important as what they believe and require
    3. This relationship is a commitment much like a marriage
  5. The pastor is to be the chairman of the Board
    1. He is to be chairman of the Trustees to have physical oversight
    2. He is to be chairman of the deacons to have spiritual oversight
    3. He is to “Take care of” the church of God
  6. Be willing to humble yourself in your service to the Lord
    1. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing
    2. There are many phonies moving from church to church with no longevity; no productivity, and no consistency
    3. Credibility is the one thing you need and you cannot have without a good record
  7. Let God open the doors He wants you to go through
    1. If He does not open a door, do not force it
    2. If He does open a door then go through it
    3. Your ability to manipulate people, facts, and agendas will probably get in the way
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Lewis Letter – May 2013


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A Missions Minded Church

A Missions Minded Church

I was in the office of a well known college president some years ago, after I had done some institute work overseas. He said to me, “I believe you could help me plant institutes all over the world, couldn’t you?” I said to him without any hesitation, “No, I could help you plant churches all over the world.” I never had another conversation with that man. The Biblical mandate of getting missionaries to the field must not take a back seat to other projects. These projects are not necessarily wrong, nor is it unbiblical to support them. What is wrong is to sacrifice the things we are commanded by God’s Word to do, in order to do the things that we want to do.  It is not difficult to do the things that make us feel good, give us prestige, and validate our own agendas. Many of those things are permitted within the scope of Bible teaching, but they may not all be commanded.  When it comes to missions we are commanded to conduct ourselves in such a way that souls will be won to Jesus Christ, and churches will be planted with those who have been won to Christ. Authentic churches are to train their workers and reproduce themselves wherever they are. The field is the world. Men often have a blurred vision when called upon to distinguish between Church building for the glory of the Lord and kingdom building for the glory of a man.  We do have a Biblical Mandate. Having a mission’s conference and supporting missionaries is not all there is to having an authentic mission’s minded church. Continue reading

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Who or What is Infallible?

By Robert Lewis

So much emphasis has been given to the Sovereignty of God and the issue of local church that some folks have gotten the wrong ideas about sovereignty and the local body. Actually the word sovereign is not in the Bible neither is the word “local.”  The Bible certainly does teach about a sovereign God and a local church. Using non biblical terms in these matters has led many people to accept a conclusion that is not really harmonious with what the Bible does teach concerning these two monumental truths. There could never be enough preaching and teaching on these two great doctrines. However, there is a subtle aberration that often accompanies these doctrines in churches that are unbalanced in their application. Continue reading

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3PS-Frankenstein Fellowship of Churches?

The Phenomenon of the Frankenstein Fellowship of Churches

Someone actually stated the other day that there was no Biblical precedent for a preacher to stay in one place for decades… As if like Congress they should have term limits.. Where does such Biblically deficient thinking come from? We have elevated the office of the pastor somehow to the point he is above the church and not actually a part of it. Continue reading

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3rd Party Solutions – Vol 01 – Issue 01

3ps 2013-02-06

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A Testimony from Judy

During my childhood years, my parents did not get along with each other. The memory of them fighting and yelling is still very vivid in my mind. I can remember my dad with a butcher knife in his hand, and my mom with a cast iron skillet in her hand protecting herself. Those were such tumultuous times for me as a child. I can’t remember carrying on one conversation with my father. I would often wonder what it would be like to have a Father who loved me and was concerned about me. Continue reading

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Churches are Autonomous – Pastors are Not



The Bible NEVER says that we Independent Fundamental Baptist pastors are autonomous.  We are INDEPENDENT of each other, but one hundred percent dependent on Jesus Christ and need to be doing what he says, not whatever we want to do, because we live in a carnal, “I can do whatever I want because I am independent and answer to no one” mentality. Terrible things have happened in IFB churches, and WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO, if we keep the attitude that we should never point out error in another church.  If men like those who have recently fallen were called out by other pastors YEARS ago, it is unlikely that the recent damage would even have happened.  Instead, we have sat by and let these cocooned “pastocrazies” build to cult-like status, and then wonder why the mainstream media starts saying such terrible, but irrefutable things about the Independent Baptist “movement.” It is NEVER scriptural to ignore and keep silent about evil or foolishness in our midst!  I openly challenge anyone to show me where the scriptures say it is!  Show me one scripture that says that the pastor of another church cannot point out, publicly, the error of a pastor in another church who is affecting so many!  Don’t wrest the scriptures!  Hiding behind the fact that it was apostles that pointed out error in preachers in the early days of the church and that they no longer exist is FOOLISHNESS!  There is nothing, anywhere, in the scriptures that say we are to ignore bad teaching and dangerous practices in another church.  Rather, remember that BOTH Paul and Peter were apostles, yet Paul rebuked Peter publicly for his error.  (Gal. 2:11 – 14 ). I am deeply saddened by the failings of pastors who were clearly walking in error for many years, yet the IFB “police” kept silent out of fear of ostracism.  Much damage could have been avoided in MANY places if pastors like us would listen to the message of those who would warn us, rather than shooting the messengers. What I have observed is NOT that IFB churches tend to shoot the wounded – far from it. Instead, we tend to shoot the messenger who tells us what we do not want to hear.

Written by Pastor Dave Cottrell of  Sunshine Community Baptist Church, British Columbia.  – Edited and quoted here by permission.

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Wrong Ways to Call a New Pastor

Any pastor who has been in the ministry very long has been asked to recommend someone to an empty pulpit. Actually this is a good thing if handled with a sense of Biblical responsibility. It is the case that this information sometimes finds its way into the hands of men with little or no purpose in mind. The purpose that this kind of a man will have is self-serving and not driven by a clear conscience or spiritual motives.  I have listed here some of the wrong ways men talk about filling a vacant pulpit. Some of the information is humorous, but the matter is a very serious one that needs to be dealt with carefully and not flippantly. Churches, lives and pastors are at stake. It is perhaps one of the most serious matters we have to pray about in our generation.

The Knee Jerk – Often when a pulpit is vacant there is a knee-jerk reaction by leaders in the church to secure a new one. This is done with little or no prayer, consultation with Godly advisors, or forethought. The pulpit is vacant; it must be filled. The sense of urgency which grips the leaders in charge during a time like this can lead to mistakes that will be detrimental to the church for years. Sometimes permanent harm is done to the testimony of the church in the community. Yes the pulpit must be filled, but this is only half of the equation. It is God who must fill it, lest it be occupied by a carnal man, a tyrant, or an otherwise unfit person. God cannot fill the pulpit if those who are physically in charge of it are not listening to Him.

My Friend is Looking – When the news that the pulpit is vacant begins to spread there will be attempts by well meaning individuals to fill it with their friends. There are many, many preachers available. I believe there are more un-attached preachers than there are vacant pulpits. Not all of them are fit for long-term pastorates. This is evident by the fact that some of them move many times in their ministry as if they are climbing some kind of ladder which hopefully leads them to a better position each step of the journey. These men who are constantly looking for a position will not be a blessing to the church in question or your friendship in the long term. They are hirelings looking for a better job. Most of them will be looking again in two to three years.   If a man has moved three times. . . or more, in ten years or less, it should trigger a certain amount of caution, if not alarm, concerning his commitment to the pastorate.

I have a Relative that Can do this Job – It has been my experience to notice that when relatives get intertwined in the leadership of the church, the church suffers. It seems that clear vision, objective evaluation of facts, and honorable goals, seem to disappear when families dominate the work of God.  Again, only token prayer is offered to get the desired results of promoting a family member to the pastorate. When a dominant family tips the scales of control in a church, they own the church; they control the money; they approve the activities; they choose the missionaries. The church that is dominated by one family in such a fashion prevents that church from having a Biblical form of government. The teaching of the Bible is that the church is to have a Pastor (Shepherd; Bishop) who is an “elder.” He is to be helped in his ministry by “deacons” (servants), who are to be chosen by the church and appointed to their work by the Shepherd. This is not a theocracy as in the Old Testament, but is to be led by a man who is considered to be a “man of God.” Promoting relatives, especially those with little or no experience can lead to woeful and regrettable circumstances. Family allegiance, loyalties, and favor, often taints the good judgment of men who need to lead and feed God’s flock.

This Guy is Gifted – It is true that God gives gifts to men according to His own will and purpose. It is also true that “ a man’s gift make room for him” (Proverbs 18:16). People seek them. They seem to flourish and rise to the top of their peer group.  Unfortunately,  for the unsuspecting church,  many gifted men are full of themselves rather than the Spirit of God. They know they are gifted and they are not humble about it. Their gift is their problem. They somehow think they deserve God’s blessings and that other men should stand aside for them. Not all gifted men are like this, but a sharp eye should be kept towards any indication of pride in those who are said to be “gifted.” Pride is the original sin. It affects all of us to some degree. A man that is allowed of God to occupy the sacred position of “pastor” must not be full of himself. If he is, he will build a following of people who like his brand of carnality. They will follow him with little consideration of following the Savior. Rather than studying to show themselves “approved unto God” they will usually default to the teaching of their “gifted” leader without searching the Scriptures themselves, when they have questions. If they do this, they will not be able to hold him accountable for his teaching, practices, or conduct in any regard. They have forfeited their right to hold him accountable because he is “gifted”. His gift will become their curse. His ministry will be more like a cult than a New Testament Church.

Mt 9:37-38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly [is] plenteous, but the labourers [are] few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

  • It is the Lord’s harvest.
  • It is a plenteous harvest.
  • It is His command for us to pray for laborers and fruit for their labor.
  • It is His promise to provide laborers for His harvest.

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Lewis Letter January 2013

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