Pray for PastorTchividjian
2Samuel 1:11-12 NASB – “11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so also did all the men who were with him. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan and for the people of the LORD and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.”
Ephesians 6:12 NASB – “12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Today is a day for mourning and fasting for we have heard that another of God’s leaders has fallen in the battle. Pastor Tchividjian of Coral Ridge Church has resigned due to “moral failure”.
We are in a spiritual battle. The devil has been waging war against the people of God since Eden. He is a very skilled enemy. Although limited and restrained by the victory of Messiah Jesus on the cross today, the dark lord still can poison our minds and hearts with the idea that we can win through sin.
I went to a promise keeper event many years ago that was for pastors only. There were 60,000 men of God who attended. It was a call for us to recognize the need to keep our own souls revived and renewed. It struck me that these 60,000 men represented the shepherds of tens of millions of believers around the country.
It reminded me of what Archie Parrish a leader in prayer said at a prayer conference at our church many years ago.
He talked about how the second lieutenants in the Vietnam conflict were targeted by the vietcong because it was known that if they were killed that the entire platoon would fall back. Many second lieutenants began putting black tap around the bar that reflected their rank in order to avoid becoming such a target.
He then told us of the “turtle formation” (Testudo) of the Roman legions in which the commander would come to the front of the battle and would be protected by an umbrella of shields that kept him safe from the arrows and spears of the enemy.
Dr Parrish’s exhortation to us was that believers need to form a “turtle formation” of prayer shields around each pastor because the devil is smart enough to know that if you strike down the shepherd that the sheep will scatter. If every believer in every church made it a significant prayer burden to pray for the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health of their pastors this could have a significant impact in protecting them from the attacks of the enemy. The body of Christ would be much better off if this became the standard practice for every congregation.
As I teach future pastors at Trinity International University in Davie, I stress to them that the first priority of every leader has to be the health of their own soul. We must put our own sanity, stability, and spirituality ahead of every other concern. If we lose our sanity, stability, and spirituality then we place the entire ministry at risk.
Indeed, the greatest danger to any church or ministry is the instability of the spiritual life of their leaders. So this must be the first priority for every leader. However, to actually do this is hard because the pressure of ministry life is so great and it is easy to deny that we are not in a good spiritual state because of all the ministry work we are doing.
So let us pray for the Pastor Tchividjian, his family, and Coral Ridge Church as they face this difficult time. May the Lord grant wisdom, repentance, strength, hope, and vision to them at this sad time. Lord have mercy on us all and allow those who are called to lead to be shielded from the attacks of the enemy and diligent in the guarding of their own souls from the assault of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Lord have mercy on your church. Lord have mercy. Amen