For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12
As the Apostle Paul describes the church in biological terms, I think it’s safe to delve into this idea a little further in order to prove my point; as goes the pastor, so goes the church. Im speaking of the local church here, for we know that nothing shall come against the universal church and prevail. Sadly though, we see, quite often, that churches suffer when their pastor suffers. Churches endure splits due to pastoral conflict. Still, others that I’ve witnessed have even closed their doors permanently due to the pastor who’s own spiritual life and character became wrecked. This is a sad, but too often case within the church.
I have devoted much of my time and energy in helping to coach pastors, to build up and strengthen them, both spiritually and physically because I view the role of pastor as something special in reference to the whole body. While some may play the part of an arm, or a leg, or an ear, I would classify the pastor as something more micro biological, yet vitally important. The mitochondria. The church, entirely made up of biology, some large and seen, others, small and behind the scenes. The church can function by missing many body parts, albeit handicapped. However, the pastor is God’s man, called to the task of leading the body. When he is compromised, the whole body is compromised.
The mitochondria is the power house of the cell. The whole body is made up up cells with specific DNA that tells those cells how to function. The mitochondria plays an important role is establishing energy and direction to each cell so that the entire body is healthy and functional. The pastor (mitochondria) receives fuel from the Holy Spirit (ATP production) and in return fuels the body. Yet, when that mitochondria is compromised, and ATP productions slows, it can be detrimental. Did you know the body cannot live with ATP for even one minute? That is how the poison cyanide works, by preventing ATP production. Imagine the breakdown of the body when the pastor’s source of life is quenched.
In the study of metabolic disorders in the body, science is finding that mitochondria compromise is responsible for a myriad of health problems seen today – Problems ranging from cellular toxicity, to mitochondrial damage that trigger hormone problems, sicknesses, and even cancer- The condition of the mitochondria is expressed throughout the entire body. My point is, we must pay closer attention to the molecular power house of the cell, the pastor. He must be strengthened, detoxed, renewed, and protected. This is an investment to the entire body. He must be paid close attention to when in comes to his spiritual health AND his physical health. Is he functioning at an optimal level?
Church attendance, programs, giving, polished sermons, these are not indicators of a healthy church. Very large, successful churches have had their world’s rocked at the surprisingly unnoticed announcement of a ruined pastoral ministry. We must give attention, or as the Apostle said, double honor, to those who preach the gospel.