October 11, 2021, begins a new season of ministry for me. With Michael Roux becoming the Lead Pastor of the MCA Live congregation, my emphasis will adjust to the MCA Network of Global Congregations. For the first time, I will be leading lead pastors and not one local congregation. By God’s grace, I have enjoyed leading both globally and locally, however, the Lord has called us to adjust by placing my focus on our global ministry and Pastor Michael on the Anchorage ministry of the MCA Live congregation.
In the days ahead, you will notice a significant shift in my communications, significantly due to me no longer leading a local congregation. Let me explain.
In my view, the local church pastor is the primary voice through whom God speaks for the congregation’s understanding of and obedience to biblical morality. This is a significant responsibility with eternal consequences. Awaiting the pastor/teacher on judgment day is a more strict judgment.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.James 3:1
The Bible reveals that those who watch over your soul should be obeyed, precisely because they are watching over your soul as one who must give account to God for your soul. Our lead pastors (42 in Burkina Faso and 6 in Alaska), Senior Pastors (4 globally), and special assignment pastors (youth, children, pastoral care, women’s ministry, men’s ministry, finances, missions, and many others) will be called before God’s judgment bench to give an account for how they watched over your soul.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.Hebrews 13:17
For pastors/teachers, the Judge of all the Earth expects a more strict perspective, practice, and proclamation. The pastor/teacher will experience adjudication with greater strictness and will be held to account for their ministry to you. Consider the expansive weightiness of Ezekiel 3:16-18.
16 And at the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
As a pastor/teacher, it seems to me that God’s word is revealing to us the serious urgency and gravity of speaking the word of the Lord. To not say what God is saying is catastrophic for the pastor/teacher and for the hearers.
From this perspective, I have always thought it wisest to proclaim the “straight way and narrow gate.” Key to my perspective is the “What if I am Wrong?” test. If I teach that God’s grace makes the way curvy and wide and it turns out I am wrong, many who followed my teaching will perish. That is far too high a price. For example, an Anchorage pastor I have met teaches that same-sex marriages are a welcome blessing to the Body of Christ and an example of God’s shalom on the earth. The cost of being wrong is unimaginable for his hearers and far more so for him because their eternal loss is also applied to his account. If this pastor is correct, nothing is gained. If he is wrong, eternal life is lost for many.
Another example is my teaching the straight way and narrow gate of Galatians 5:19-24.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy,[d] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do[e] such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
I teach and attempt to live by a narrow perspective of this passage. To my understanding, this passage is a warning to all who would practice sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. The warning? That those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Maybe, and MANY of my friends believe so, “will not inherit the kingdom of God,” actually means will inherit the kingdom of God. From my straight is the way and narrow is the gate perspective, it is wisest to teach will not actually means will not. I prefer to preach and live narrow because I believe our souls are safest in a straight way and narrow gate teaching ministry.
One of my closest theologian friends said to me, “I know you want me to say what I believe. So I will. If David died in the middle of the adulterous act with Bathseba, he would enter the kingdom of God. As God’s elect, NO sin, of any kind, impacts your eternal destiny.” Ok. I understand. However, if my friend is wrong, he holds a significant measure of culpability for the thousands of adulterous people who have heard his message over the years and who subsequently do not enter the kingdom of God. If I am wrong, nothing changes, whoever God selects to be saved is saved and whoever God selects to condemn to hell is lost. It is always the curvy way and wide gate that holds the greatest danger.
On Sunday, October 10, 2021, MCA Anchorage Live will have an additional and primary voice proclaiming biblical morality to this generation. Pray for Pastor Michael as he embarks into his calling as a mouthpiece for God and His word. Pray for clarity of thought, wisdom, knowledge, anointing. Pray for boldness, bravery, and courage. Pray for strength to carry the immense pastor/teacher calling and assignment.
As Global Senior Pastor of the MCA Network of Congregations, my public communications targeted audience will shift. I apologize for the church vernacular at this point, but, the intended audience for my public communications will shift from “sheep” to “shepherds.” MCA Live will be hearing from Pastor Michael. MCA Island Revival will continue hearing from Pastor Moe. MCA Bristol Bay will continue to hear from Pastor Mark. MCA Strong Tower’s lead voice will be Pastor Edgardo. MCA Greatest Hits will continue to hear from Pastor Blaine. MCA Multi-language will continue to hear from Pastor David. The collection of churches in Burkina Faso will continue to hear from Pastor Philippe. My influence, the Lord willing, will be through the 68 lead shepherds of the MCA Network of Congregations.
The narratives of MCA Live will morph while the essential message will remain constant. For example, I alone, of all 68 lead pastors in the MCA Network of Congregations, was asked by Dr. Dan Pecota, in 1983, to pledge my full devotion to the cause of ending the use of human children in research. He prophesied to me, “Kent, in your generation a clear and convincing voice will be necessary to challenge churched people to avoid complicity with the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” Being a biblical moral compass related to fetal stem cell research is my gig and I take it very seriously. It’s not Michael’s or Moe’s or Mark’s or Max’s or David’s or Edgardo’s or Philippe’s or our Board of Director’s calling. To my knowledge, God didn’t call them to carry a banner for the ending of the use of children in research. He called me.
I am fairly certain that you will never again hear the pastor/teachers of the MCA Network of Congregations and Ministries address fetal cell research and forced vaccines. There are reasons you have never heard Joel Osteen, Robert Morris, Steven Furtick, or Tim Keller publicly address this issue. They each have one slice of the Christian message assigned by God for their proclamation. I’m no Joel, Robert, Steven, or Tim. I’m just Kent, a small-time Alaskan pastor with a different slice of the Christian message to proclaim.
MCA shepherds, I bless you as you find the slice of Christianity that God has for you in applying His profitiable word. Paula and I are praying for you as you proclaim the Bible and teach, reprove, rebuke, and train your congregations in righteousness.