Thursday, June 16, 2016

Absalom and Jezebel - Identifying the Orphan Spirit - Day 15

Day 15 - Spiritual Fathers and Mothers and a look at Absalom and Jezebel

Our pastors, elders and other church leaders are our spiritual fathers and mothers – yet they are not immune to the Orphan Spirit. The Orphan Spirit is one who desires status and notoriety, and for that reason our church leaders are ones who struggle to lead and serve for the proper reasons.

Pastors need to recognize that part of their calling is to lead the people in their churches, yet at the same time they are there to serve. Unfortunately, many have taken on the role of pastor in an effort to feed their ego. This is completely contradictory to the calling of a pastor. If a church leader looks at his flock as a people who can be used, manipulated and controlled for his own benefit, he has sorely misunderstood his function.

Men and women who have been called to lead the body of Christ must recognize the importance of leading like Jesus. He is the ultimate example in servant leadership.

Imagine a church with leaders who call out the potential in their congregation. Who recognize talents and abilities and provide opportunities to use that gifting. Pastors and leaders must always be aware of the tendency within the Orphan Spirit to compare, control and minimize others. This can make or break a ministry.


Consider the congregation whose pastor refuses to share the load of ministry with his or her flock. The deep-seated need to control has the pastor micro-managing every aspect of church life. If someone steps up with the ability to do something well, the pastor, Sunday School teacher, worship leader, elder… you fill in the blank, may find himself comparing his own ability to that person. If the Orphan Spirit mentality takes over, the lay member is refused the opportunity to use his gifting – or is sent in a different direction.

Done over and over again, the pastor (and other leaders) ends up exhausted, discouraged and lonely with a congregation full of frustrated, unfulfilled, disengaged people.

Christ’s example on earth teaches us as leaders the importance of laying down our lives for others. As parents, we are called to set aside our own wants and preferences time and again as we raise our children - and we do it out of a love and desire to see them succeed in life. In the same way, pastors and leaders must discover ways to open doors of opportunity for their congregation.

Less of me – more of you.

Our minds cannot even begin to imagine what all could happen in the Kingdom when all sons and daughters begin to celebrate and promote one another.

At the same time, lay members have a responsibility in being willing to be lead. Both sides have an obligation to serve.

If competition must exist, let’s create a culture of competition where sons and daughters attempt to out-serve, out-love and out-promote one another. Wouldn’t that be fun?

But prepare yourself – love like this tends to draw a crowd.

Ask yourself:

 How independent am I?

 Am I willing to accept guidance in my life?

 How much do I value and respect my Pastor?

 Am I willing to speak or listen to negativity about my church leadership?

 Do I promote division in my church?

 Do I pray for my Pastor?

(For Pastors and Leaders) Ask yourself:

 Do I lead as an Orphan Spirit?

 As a leader, am I motivated by love or by fear?

 What gives me the most joy in the role I carry?

 Am I a servant-leader? Am I willing to serve or are some jobs in the church “beneath” me?

 How am I promoting members of my congregation?

 Do I fear losing my position? How is this affecting my ability to lead?

 Do I control, manipulate or minimize those I lead?

 How can I be a better leader?

The stories of Absalom and Jezebel are intriguing and both the Absalom and Jezebel spirits or mindsets can be found in our modern day churches. Their stories provide insight into how the Enemy uses people within the Kingdom to destroy the Kingdom. Their target is leadership, but they divide and conquer all that they can along the way.

Take time to study their individual stories and discover how to watch for these divisive spirits inside the Kingdom.  Both the book and study guide offer more in-depth information.

No comments: