Red Letter Pastor = Jesus Man

Being a Jesus Man

Becoming a Red Letter Pastor is really about becoming a Jesus Man. As I am writing this book I am ever more and more convicted. To be a Red Letter Pastor means that you are first a disciple of Christ yourself. It means that your private life, that life that no one knows about, that life that you keep hidden from your family, your friends and your church needs to measure up to the standard that Jesus gave us. Ouch. Yeah I know that for some pastors out there, this statement is not painful all, you’ve got it all together, but I don’t. I want to be all that God has for me to be and I need to learn to embrace the journey and accept the discipline of Christ.

In my last post I mentioned a pastor that made national news in his abuse of a broken 16-17 year old girl. I have read the things this man wrote and listened to portions of his sermons. The warning signs were all there. This guy, this pastor, assumed a role that his pastor had set up for him. In his church he was king. Above reproach and question. This was how it was established. Something about “absolute power” and corruption would be apropos here. However, I mention this situation because this is not how this man began in ministry. I have it on good authority from someone who knew him that he started out with a genuine desire to serve and follow Jesus. So what happened? One thing I would say is, Pastor, stop reading your own press and believing that you are something you are not. This poor wretch was set up for failure. He was taught that the “man of god” was “special”, was “untouchable”. He went from sincerely desiring to give his life for Christ to something that I am sure he despised when he first started out and even now, as he sits in a cell somewhere, still despises.

time with GodTo be a Red Letter Pastor is to understand that you and I need to spend more time with Jesus, without worrying about our next sermon or paycheck. It means that we really have to be concerned with what He knows about us and it means that we need to become like Him in our down times. IT MEANS THAT WE NEED TO INVITE MEN INTO OUR LIVES TO CALL US OUT IF WE ARE WRONG. IT MEANS THAT WE NEED TO HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY. REAL LIFE, GRITTY, I SCREWED UP ACCOUNTABILITY. IT MEANS DOING THE WORK OF DISCIPLESHIP IN YOUR OWN LIFE. I recently read somewhere that an incredibly small percentage of pastors actually tithe. OUCH. I wonder how many pray daily, or read the Word daily.

Not long ago I read a little book by Ronnie Floyd entitled Ten Things Every Minister Needs to Know. It seems so small and insignificant and obvious, but he used an entire chapter to develop the idea of the power of one hour. In his book if I may simplify and summarize, he postulated that the minister, the pastor, all of what he preaches and teaches and how he acts and the decisions that he makes flow out of his personal relationship with Jesus, of that hour that he has set aside to meet with and worship his savior. Ronnie stressed that this hour needed to be exclusive, that it needed to be free from sermon prep, that it needed to be simply time with God and for God and that it shouldn’t be legalistic, but should contain your personal way of relating to God. Revolutionary? Perhaps not, but for the many pastors that seem to have the wrong idea of pastoring, of being a dictator, of being a boss, of being an above the law ‘man of god’, above rebuke, full of self and pride; it all must start here. IF WE WANT TO BE USED IN A BIG WAY FOR GOD WE NEED TO BE SMALL BEFORE HIM AND RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE ALWAYS BEFORE HIM. Yes pastor, you have a special call. Yes, this position is special. Yes, we ought to honor it. But friend, YOU need to honor it before you call on others to do so. How do you honor your position? You become the man the position demands.

Yes, becoming a Red Letter Pastor, a Jesus man, is more than just being a nice guy. It’s being real, being authentic, it’s being accessible and even willing to be questioned. It’s walking with Jesus in the dark and allowing Him to be a part of the smallest you.