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November 11, 2013

Why Working Under the Local Church is Important?

In my first year of pastoring Victory Greenhills, I received what we can call a baptism of fire when a foreign woman who is a pastor of a church in the United States questioned how I run the church. She was not happy with the set up that I don’t pay our ministry team leader ( some churches call them elders), and how the local church I am involved in tries to control pastors like me by telling me what I could do and not do. (Yes, I was also shocked with her comments).

The issue stemmed from a move she made ordaining some people in our church to be pastors without my knowledge. I called her attention and said to her politely this is not how we do it here. The people she ordained as pastors ( though up until now I dont recognize them as pastors, because of the lack of merit like government issued certificates which is actually easy to get in the Philippines and also the zero covering/accountability from any local church), where not even qualified to be pastors. What struck me about the conversation we had was how she despises local church authority and accountability. I pointed to her if there is no local church accountability, people and “ordained” pastors could do what they want to do and preach whatever they want to preach without any safeguards and boundaries. I told her that she was actually doing the thing that I am afraid would happen if such actions were taken.

The role of a pastor is to shepherd the flock. It takes a certain level of faith, calling, spirituality, maturity, accountability and training to do so. To ordain people to move freely is actually very unbiblical and dangerous. Why? There is no accountability. You see in the New Testament church, when missionaries and elders were commissioned it always in the context of the local church. There was a governing body who empowers qualified men and women to minister.

Today, we see such things happening everywhere. There are certain people who move without any local church accountability. I am not saying they are bad people but there is a high degree of abusing whatever power they have since no one can call them out since they are not operating under any authority except their on their own.

We see also some who would isolate themselves from the local church and start their own group that has no accountability whatsoever from the local church they are involved in. As a pastor, I see a problem here. Why? Because they are using the local church to actually do something with out the knowledge and accountability of the local church. They get from local church membership and draw them out from local church.

With the last 12 years of ministry, I have seen independent prophets, pastors, evangelists, teachers, miracle workers come and go. Most of them leave a trail of betrayal, manipulation and division along the way. The negative outweighs the positive they bring to the local church. They work on the premise that I am under no one except God or the Holy Spirit and they fail to see that God gave the local church leaders and pastors as their overseer.

So if you are reading this and you see yourself moving in that direction I plead with you to humble yourself and work under a team of God- ordained pastors within the local church.

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