DON’T BE THE ALTERNATE ROUTE
Carmine Azzato︱Hitting The Pavement ︱May 14, 2022
Don’t be the alternate route, don’t be the backup plan, don’t be the fill in, and don’t be the replacement! I’m fully aware that these statements come across very strong and possibly abrupt. They’re not by any means meant to be that. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t serve others and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work with others either. What I’m saying is that we’re all Gods precious children, and we need to always remember that.
This reason I began this Blog with such direct statements is that people need to be aware. I’m speaking to you Pastor, and to you Evangelist, or whatever part you have been called to be. We’re losing more people that are called to full time ministry than ever before. It’s not because of the pandemic or the forced shutdown of so many churches. It’s because we haven’t done a great job of accepting and co-laboring with the other parts of the body of Christ. People the so called “remnant” have been shut up and shut down for some strange reason.
The real problem amongst ministers and believers is that we’ve not used the ultimate owner’s manual properly (the Bible). If we did use the Bible verbatim, there would be massive healing and reconciliation amongst ministers and believers alone. We’d also win more believers and ministers back to the fold than ever witnessed throughout Christianity. A good place to start is by coming down off the perches that some ministers have placed themselves on. It’s always better to voluntarily come down and humble yourselves than to be knocked off the perch by Jesus Himself.
Matthew 18:15-17 in the New Living Translation is titled (Correcting Another Believer). 15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
UNDERSTAND YOUR GOD GIVEN VALUE
It’s unfortunate that some people will use you and mistaken your kindness for weakness. They’ll even abuse your goodness, and some will do this to you in the name of the Lord. Know this, that pain and suffering that you’ve experienced is not from God! That becomes people’s poor excuse for treating you awfully. Some people will say that God was testing you for a season; I don’t think so! Some will even say you’re supposed to be the stronger and a more experienced Christian, you should understand; stop blaming Jesus for your failure to lead His ministry!
One time I was told, when you work in ministry, “you must be willing to clean toilets”. Meanwhile my Bible tells me otherwise, it tells me that I must be willing to serve others, willing to wash another’s feet, which I have. Jesus said to His followers, “when you serve and love others as I have done for you, then onlookers will know that you are with me”. When this washing the toilets was said to me, I knew that it was a power trip statement.
The fact of the matter is that if someone says you should be washing toilets, then that person should be willing to wash them for you! If you apply for a janitorial position, then yes, clean the toilets. No Christian based organization should ever say anything like this to anyone that’s in their church or ministry. The first thing that someone leading Jesus’s ministry should ask you is what has Jesus asked you to do as you become part of this ministry?
Anyone leading Jesus’s ministry should never talk down to you. If they do, then they simply believe that you’re beneath them. They’re also testing the waters to see how much they could get away with, when it concerns you. Jesus should always be the Chief Operating Officer of every Church and Ministry. If Jesus is not calling the shots and leading them, then problems will present themselves before you know it. One telltale sign of knowing anything about a ministry’s leadership is seeing how long their staff sticks around.
KNOWING AND UNDERSTANDING YOUR PART IS VITAL
Hitting The Pavement is all about being a bridge when we serve and minister in any community. Being a bridge simply means that the platform that Jesus has given us is not for our sake, it’s for His! When we serve in a community, we’re not just there to reach and win the lost. We’re there connecting the body of Christ to each other. There are millions of people across this country are out on the streets trying to do life on their own. When life gets too hard for them or too overwhelming, people begin to get sucked into a very dark mindset. That dark mindset is a very dangerous place to fall into. I know this because of my own personal experiences with darkness.
People begin to believe so many lies that Satan himself begins to conjure up in their minds. Lies such as, there’s no way out of this situation, and there’s no one that would fully understand. People that are going through hardships are more threatened by the church because their perception is that the church wouldn’t fully embraced them. Many people believe that all church just cares about their money and nothing else. People also believe that they won’t be accepted because they don’t look and sound like everyone else. Unfortunately for some churches this perception is true, but not for all the churches.
Remember that Satan is the father of lies. Satan is relentless when it comes to keeping people far from experiencing Gods unconditional love. Therefore, we at Hitting The Pavement are unconditional when it comes to loving people from all walks of life. Jesus met people right where they were in the condition that they were in. This never stopped Jesus, and this will never stop us. We do not see anything about a person except that they are a child of God. We need to seek and save those that are lost continuously and relentlessly.
There’s no greater joy than leading people to soul saving encounters with Jesus. Then the icing on the cake is connecting them to a loving and powerful church in their own community. The truth is, people need the churches, and the churches need the people. It’s supposed to be a two-way street, it was never meant to be one sided. Remember, the churches were set in place by God for the discipleship of His children.
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF
Matthew 22:37-39 New Living Translation 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. Here is the perfect explanation of why the people and the church need each other. The church must be the example to the people as to what the unconditional love of God looks like.
It’s unfortunate that both the churches and the people have been hurt by each other for thousands of years. I can’t begin to tell you all the horrific stories that I’ve heard and witnessed in almost 20 years that I’ve been in ministry. We who have been called by God as ministers of the Gospel need to do our part in every community. We need to be a solution to the problem. We need to stand in the gap and reconcile both the people and the churches. Let’s stop coming against each other and turn the tables against Satan.
It’s a known fact that communities thrive when the local church is active, present, and leading society. So, when Hitting The Pavement goes and does our part in any community, we become a servant and a bridge. We serve the community, and we bridge the people to powerful, loving local churches and to local outreach ministries as well. When we come together and show the people what the perfect love of God looks like, then the people will follow our example.
A person can’t love their neighbor when they don’t love themselves. They need us all to show them what loving God with all their hearts looks like. We need to show them what loving God what all their soul looks like. Then they will be transformed because they’ll experience the renewing of their minds. And that’s when they will be able to finally love their neighbor as themselves. You cannot know and love who you are until you first love and know whose you are!
Thank you for reading this Blog, I hope it blessed you and helped you to do your part.