Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pastor's Circle - Mitchell Tolle

Mitchell Tolle is the senior pastor of Man Of War Church of God in Lexington, KY, as well as an artist, speaker, and author. He joined the Pastor's Circle to discuss service to and beyond the church. Below are the "CliffsNotes" of his interview.

Is there a certain power in bi-vocational pastors?
There's no question. First of all, we have very good company; the Apostle Paul was a tent-maker. We're out in the real world every day, not shut up in an office.

Also, I think it gives you a certain rapport with the people. We do not have a single full-time staff member at Man Of War. I think there is a strength in that.

All of the great revivals in history began in the marketplace, not inside the four walls of the church. Many times pastors don't even have friends who are not Christians, and I think that's a tragedy.
How imperative is it for believers to serve?
We cannot possibly begin to express the significance of that. The idea of stepping out from the crowd and getting into the game.

When David walked into the situation with Goliath, he was provoked by the question that confronts all of us: Is there not a cause? There is. The cause is that the world may know there is a God.

That need in all of us to serve God has come out in history by our serving idols, carving out of blocks of wood and stone. 
But David stepped from where he was, presented himself in service to the one true God, and God rewarded him with a great victory.

The reason we serve is that the world may know. There's an answer, there's an antidote, there's a Savior, there's a cross.
Spiritual gifts overlooked?
In the book of Romans, Paul actually lays out what some people might even think of as natural gifts. Leadership, encouragement, and so on.

We put more value on the gifts of tongues, or prophecy, or discernment. But all of the natural gifts are from God as well. 
Adam's gift wasn't to sing or preach; God simply wanted him to keep the garden.
Outside the church?
I don't think there is any such thing as a lone ranger. Even when you go outside the church, you're still operating as the body. 
So yes, all of those gifts are of use in the "marketplace" as well.

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