Dr. Bill Hamon, an author and founder of Christian International Ministries, is one of the men God used to restore the Apostolic/ Prophetic ministry in the Church. His apostolic mantle covers over 600 churches, and he is an Apostolic Father to many men and women of God. In his book How Can These Things Be he writes about the “Ten M’s.” He states the following in Chapter 4 – “Maturing and Maintaining Ministry and For Discerning True and False Ministers”:
In discerning true and false ministers, it helps tremendously to examine the “Ten M’s for maintaining and maturing ministry.” These are ten areas of our personal lives and ministry that need examination and correction if we are to prove ourselves to be ministers of God.
The purpose of The Spiritual Ironman® Council of Pastors is to provide support, fellowship, encouragement, and restoration to pastors. I believe these “Ten M’s” as outlined by Dr. Hamon can bring us to a place of maturity, discernment and accountability. The first of the “Ten M’s” discussed by Dr. Hamon is Manhood or (Womanhood). Let’s define these words to get a better understanding before we proceed.
Manhood is defined as the state or time of being a man or adult male person. Womanhood also refers to an adult woman or womanly character. Therefore as pastors, we need to be mature people, because when pastoring, we are leading, influencing and shaping the lives of individuals, which leave us no room for immature behavior. Immature people tend to react emotionally and without reason; they conduct themselves like spoiled children when they cannot have their way. Their immediate reaction is to throw a tantrum and walk away without submitting to rebuke or instruction. These are not qualities any pastor should display. When we are immature pastors, we risk destroying the lives of those who look to us for guidance. Our immaturity will cause us to miss the moment of impartation of wisdom and illumination. “Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away, but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;” 1 Corinthians 2:6-7 (NASB)
We must remember that we are created in God’s likeness, and we have been given dominion over His creation. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27 (NASB) The word “rule” in the text means to have dominion. This word dominion means to have sovereignty and control over God’s creation. When pastors are immature, they spend most of their time defending themselves and protecting their perceived self-image and territories. Our immaturity will make it impossible for us to have dominion because we would spend too much time engaging, defending and protecting who we are.
As a pastor, how do I know if I am walking in my manhood or womanhood? How do I know I am walking in purpose? Here is one answer: If at any time one of your trusted pastoral friends who is walking in integrity tries to point out some error or behavior that is self-destructive or not biblical and you get defensive, chances are you are not as mature as you think you are. I thank God for the few men and women in my life, who can point out behaviors I am blinded to or not aware of. “Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.” Proverbs 11:14 (MSG)
If you don’t have someone who can speak into your life, hold you accountable, guide and counsel you, and finally, help to point out certain behaviors, I offer the covering of this council. If you are not led to join this council, find a spiritual leader and submit to their counsel and covering.