Primary Function: What the Father, Son, and Spirit are on about.

Recently our church family began serving a newly-opened retirement community and we  are just getting to know some of the residents there. So far we are conducting a worship service that the residents are free to attend (or not attend), collecting large print books for their library, and I am visiting to eat lunch once a week.

So yesterday I was eating lunch with Rick (not his real name). He’s a retired father of 4 with fascinating stories to tell about the dozen or so states he’s lived in while he was a career man.

I noticed Rick sitting alone and decided to introduce myself. “I’m Billscrabble-included.”, I said. “May I join you for lunch?” He looked at me quizzically and replied, “Suit yourself. I’m not much of a conversationalist.” I sat down. I ordered a salad and the broccoli soup. The soup never came but the salad was amazing and huge so I didn’t miss the soup anyway.

During our conversation Rick asked me a question that vexed me so powerfully that I sidelined my prepared blog for today and am writing this now. Rick, I think, was having trouble believing that I was there without an agenda -other than to just love on and serve the fine folks in that community. Then he asked me the question. I might, in fact, describe his query as the throwing of a dart. His question caught me off guard and penetrated my heart.

He asked, “What would you say your primary function as a Pastor is?”

I was stunned. I gave him an adequate answer I hope, but last night lying awake at 2 AM I thought of a better answer. Isn’t that just the way it often happens?

My ministry as a Christian and as a Christ-centered Pastor is simply to participate in what the Father, Son, and Spirit are on about.

The Blessed Trinity has, as I see it, one primary goal and that is to see to it that the entire human race comes to know the Father with the Son in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. In the finished work of Jesus Christ humanity has been brought into eternal objective Union with God. The primary function of the Church is now to educate the human race, to declare their identity in Christ, and to work alongside the Holy Spirit to break the chains of brokenness and bondage.

So when Rick (again, not his real name) asked, “What would you say your primary responsibility as a Pastor is?”- a better answer would have been, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives…” Isaiah 61

~Bill Winn

6 comments so far

  1. Tony Marra on

    Right on Pastor Bill…

    • billwinn on

      Thank you Tony.

  2. Frank Ancona on

    Brother Bill,

    Your description of the role of the Church, “to educate the human race, to declare their identity in Christ, and to work alongside the Holy Spirit to break the chains of brokenness and bondage,” is the same as the role of the Pastor. The only thing I might change is “educate” as I see education differently.

    The role of the pastor is to guide people into an ongoing, real-time relationship with Jesus Christ. This isn’t fact or theology driven. It is relationship driven. It is coming to the realization that Jesus is real in the believer’s life and not something that comes out of a book, not even the Bible. There is a reason why Jesus is the actual “Word of God.” His words brought us into existence. His words live and move and give us being. The role of the pastor is to be the revealer by the power of the Holy Spirit. If believers only respond because of a cognitive response to your sermon or a passage without the realization that a REAL Jesus is speaking to them personally, directly by the Holy Spirit, then any church and its members runs the risk of experiencing the upheaval that WCG did when all those things were “taken away.”

    Real-time relationships have to happen OUTSIDE of the church service, OUTSIDE of the presence of the pastor and other members. It happens in our daily struggles and successes. It happens in our shopping, working, lawn mowing, child raising lives as we surrender these things to Jesus in the midst of our participation. While it can be enhanced by participation in the corporate body, it is not predicated on it.

    As you said, it is an objective salvation that can only be lived out in our subjective lives. Subjective in the sense that everyone’s response to the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit is unique and a part of the individual walk we have with God. It is in the realization that God is not absent in our failures and pains while with us in our successes. He is with us in all things and it is coming to that realization that is what our growth is all about.

    Great blog, brother!

    • billwinn on

      Thanks Frank. I can’t agree more the face to face relationships outside of organized meetings is where the rubber meets the road.

  3. kuhlmancraig on

    Well said, Bill. I like to put it this way: The Father, Son, and Spirit have fallen in love with humanity. We exist to help humanity fall in love with God, with no fear, no shame, no guilt, and no doubt.

    • billwinn on

      Sweet, I like that… consider it stolen!!


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