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Pastors says ‘Moses men’ needed to lead the church

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–In order for the church to impact culture, energize the church and carry the gospel to the ends of the earth, more ministers must strive to be “Moses men,” Conrad “Buster” Brown told students Feb. 11 at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
With two years in Singapore as an international missionary and nearly 17 years experience as pastor of East Cooper Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Brown said he looked to the early history of the Hebrew people and the lives of Moses and Aaron as guides for becoming an effective minister.
Brown told students that even though Moses and Aaron displayed two opposing leadership styles, the two brothers are described as near equals in the Book of Exodus. Regarding the leadership of Moses and Aaron, Brown preached from Exodus 32 and said that effective ministry is not built on public-opinion polls and milquetoast messages.
With Moses gone and the people growing increasingly impatient, Aaron bent under the pressure of the crowds to worship another god. But the Lord desires purity, not popularity, Brown noted.
A ministry marked by “finger-in-the-wind” politics results in a popular, man-centered, “golden-calf” theology, Brown said, referring to the perilous nature of Aaron’s leadership in building the golden calf.
“Aaron-types will never impact cultures, energize the church or take the gospel to the ends of the earth because they are ‘half-way’ men,” Brown said of Aaron’s weakness for public favor.
A mob rules mentality fails to meet the needs of the Lord’s church. The relevant need of the church “is to seek first the kingdom of God,” Brown said, adding that unless the Lord is with the church, then all efforts will fail.
“Aaron-type men love the bandwagon (and) public opinion polls,” he said. “Moses men say, ‘I will walk before God with sincerity.’ … The greatest need I have is to walk with God,” Brown said. Like Moses, ministry requires traveling with God.
Brown said if he were not “pleading with a holy God to pour his life through me by the power of Jesus to the honor of his triune name, I am not the pastor I should be.” Having said that, Brown confessed, “I’m an Aaron man … and I plead to be a Moses man.”
Accepting blame and disgrace with integrity marks the life of a Moses, Brown said. “Half-way men” shirk responsibility for their failures. “Aarons” look to a third party for blame and worship the Lord without concern for his Word.
According to Brown, Moses-type ministers worship the Lord without fear of public criticism. In a day of syncretism between world religions and inclusivism within Christianity, ministers must stand opposed to “half-way worship,” Brown warned.
“‘I rather die a thousand deaths than for my Lord and Savior to be so dishonored,'” said Brown, quoting Henry Martin, a 19th-century missionary to India who was asked if he would accept a painting of Muhammad and Jesus bowing before Allah, the God of Islam.
“Moses-type men walk in the fear of God … and are consumed with zeal for the honor of God,” Brown said, noting they stand firm, fully committed to God’s glory in all things.
With great zeal for the glory and worship of God, a “Moses” man will leave a legacy of faithfulness, Brown said. The family and church will remember a “Moses man” as one who stood upright in the sight of God and man.
The crowds may rebel and cry out for an “Aaron man.” Families may leave the church, he said, but in the presence of God, believers will all confess: “Thanks be to God that we have a pastor who is a ‘Moses man.'”

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  • Mark M. Overstreet