Ephesians 4:11-12 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”
One of the most heartbreaking situations I have had with church members since becoming a pastor is when they come into my office to inform me that they “feel” it is God’s will for them to do something different. Their statement almost always is like this, “Pastor, I feel it is God’s will for me to leave the church. I have prayed about it, and God told me that I need to go somewhere else.” The problem I have with this statement is that if God is in it, why would you not inform the one whom God has given to you to help perfect you in the ministry while you are praying about it? The answer to this question is simple, it is not about God’s will, but it is about your will. Avoiding and informing is your way of justifying your will by saying it is God’s will. Just because you say it is God’s will doesn't make it God’s will when it is your will.
In the verse above, God says that He gives us pastors and teachers for “the perfecting of the saints,” and “for the edifying of the body of Christ:” In other words, your pastor should be part of your counseling body that you go to about God’s will. If you have a godly pastor, and I’m sure most people do, you should trust that God gives him godly advice to help you to discern God’s will for your life. Let me point out several things about avoiding your leaders.
First, if what you are doing is right, there is nothing to be afraid of that should cause you to avoid. The majority of times, when people avoid their pastor, they avoid him because they want to justify their own desires and whims. My experience with most pastors is that they want the best for those they lead, and it should hurt them when you want to leave because God gave you to them so they can help build you. The fact that they are hurt by you leaving is proof that they love you.
Second, avoiding your pastor and his advice is avoiding the tool God uses to help perfect you. The verse above makes it clear that part of the tools that God uses to perfect the believer is the pastor and teachers in one’s life. I am not saying that the pastor should be the only counselor in your life, but he should always be one you go to get advice from about decisions that will make major changes in your life. I am not talking about going to your pastor about petty things that you know, but I am talking about going to your pastor when you are talking about making life changes. You cannot become what God wants you to be by avoiding your pastor, one of the tools God gives to perfect the believer.
Third, avoiding your pastor for the sake of doing what you want to do almost always leads to disastrous decisions. The disaster may not come immediately, but it does come. I could tell you numerous stories of people who avoided their pastor so they could do what they wanted to do only to find themselves outside of the will of God, their family going to the world, and often they themselves leave God’s will.
My friend, let me encourage you not to avoid your pastor. Let him be the pastor that God intended for him to be in your life. Most of the time, you will find that the pastor will sincerely pray about God’s will for your life. You cannot become what God wants you to be and avoid the help of your pastor.