Restoring a minister — restoring anyone, really — isn’t always as easy as it seems in Galatians 6:10, when Paul writes, “Brethren, if a man is, overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
Remember, the definition of restore in this context is to put into, an appropriate condition; to set up; to equip to arrange; to prepare; to mend, and to establish. For our purposes, our goal and aim are to equip, to mend, and to establish.
- When we equip someone, we’re giving someone the tools needed, so the person doesn’t have to cross that bridge again.
- When we mend someone, we’re addressing the hurt that the person feels.
- When we establish someone, we’re helping him, or her to develop a solid basis in life.
Sounds great, right? But really, restoring a minister or brother or sister in the Lord is tricky. Keep these three things in mind:
- You can’t let the person tell you when he or she is established.
If the person you’re restoring had any understanding and awareness, he or she wouldn’t have been in that situation. People who need restoration aren’t always seeing things realistically. They don’t have a clear picture of their situations.
Keep in mind: You’ll have to be the voice of reason.
Think of a child who sees a hot burner. It’s glowing. It’s red. It’s beautiful. It looks like it would fun to touch. The child can’t figure out why you keep saying, “No, you can’t touch the shiny burner.”
You can explain all you want, and the child can come back with every reason in the book, but the answer is always no. That’s true when you’re trying to restore someone, too.
- You have to prepare to be hated.
Your presence and guidance represent someone having to look in the mirror at what he or she has done. The person who needs restoration isn’t going to be happy with you about having to look at the choices and decisions he or she made.
Keep in mind: You have to temper your response.
We’re restoring, not punishing the person. I can’t emphasize that enough. God doesn’t punish, and neither do we. Even in the last days and He is judging, He is just implementing the results of the choices people made. He didn’t make a choice. God’s choice isn’t to punish people.
- You’re not at fault for everyone’s decisions.
You should be available to meet with individuals. In the beginning, you’ll have to meet with them more often and be open to phone calls when the pressure is on. However, there will be times you’re not available, and you may have someone try to tell you it’s your fault if he or she did something stupid.
Keep in mind: You need to keep a clear head.
If someone tells me that, I’m not going to let it roost in my head; I’m not going to think back, wishing I could have helped, so they didn’t make that choice. At some point, people will have to stand on their own two feet. If they’re trying to put it on you, something else is still wrong.
We want to get people to address the cause of their problems, not just the results. The ultimate goal for restoration, of equipping, mending, and establishing, is to help people get to a point where their desire to do the will of God is greater than their desire to commit a sinful action.
Watch below to learn even more!