Called to be a spiritual leader

Recently I heard Bishop James Swanson say as clergy “you are called to be a spiritual leader, you are not called to change people”.

Being in ministry this is the hardest thing with which I deal. When people come to me and they often do, with problems of every kind. I go to scripture and show them what God’s Word says and they walk away because they don’t want to do it God’s way. For some reason it seems too difficult, for some reason the worlds way seem better, less painful, easier.

Often this can become such a heavy burden that it makes me want to throw up my hands and just quit trying and then Bishop Swanson reminded me that I am not called to fix people. Since the beginning of time people have decided to do things their way and not God’s way. God Himself has not forced people to change therefore when He limits Himself to working through the means that He does and not forcing change in people, even God has not convinced some people to change and do things His way.

In Mark Chapter 10 and verses 46-52 there is a story of a blind man.


46Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

51“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

52“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Why did Jesus ask the blind man, “what do you want me to do for you”?

Because some people don’t want to be well!

I am not called to change people, I am called to be a spiritual leader. Lord help me to remember that your Word will do the work, your Spirit will do the convincing and the convicting. I am only called to be obedient.


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