It is the responsibility of spiritual leaders to keep the REAL focus of the church the MAIN THING. Jesus taught: "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits." Matthew 7:15-16 (NASB95)
Jesus also taught: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always , even to the end of the age." Matt 28:19-20
I was sad to hear recently of a large church that was experiencing some troubled times because giving was reduced a considerable amount "due to the economy". I beg to differ on that item, but let's move on. The pastor led out to cut the budget just as a business would do immediately, and took measures to release some staff members from the church. The issue was that the staff members were all part of the mission efforts the church was involved in. Church planting leaders, chaplains, youth missionary reaching inner city youth, etc. The pastor's reasoning came forth in months after this great staff reduction: he wanted the church to look at building a new sanctuary. Well, know that the budget had been cut, there was room to add more to the building fund, and he wanted to be the pastor to build a grand sanctuary.
I read in the Great Commission above the four verbs: GO, MAKE, BAPTIZE, TEACH!! Yes, a spiritual leader can come in and destroy a congregation as a "wolf in sheeps' clothing." Jesus says we will know them by their fruits. They lead the church to the WRONG FOCUS. These inwardly ravenous wolf gives a resume and dresses nice!! Take a look at their resume and see their background and ask the tough questions. I have heard of pastoral candidates refusing background checks, credit checks, and even saying, "I can't go there for that amount of money...you need to offer me more." Are they really called out and wanting to submit to God's will and lead God's people or do they just need a job? And churches are so desperate to have a spiritual leader, they call him to the church to find out in a few short months, they made a mistake.
GO, MAKE, BAPTIZE, and TEACH is the REAL focus of the Lord's church. Spiritual growth, NOT physical growth. I'm sorry to break this to you all: MAKING and TEACHING is a process of leading someone in spiritual growth....molding and shaping them into the disciple God wants them to be. That is what spiritual leaders are supposed to do: to lead people to God's agenda, not their own. I have to make sure I put this in front of the church constantly to keep the focus. It is like steering a large ship with this great wheel. Currents can take you in a different direction if you are not careful, obstacles will be in your way, and you will get tired of steering. But this Commission is important.....Jesus is calling us to do it...faithfully!!!!