From what I have heard and read, it seems that somewhere between 1100 and 4000 ministers are quitting the ministry per month. The Lord has been speaking to me recently telling me that, "Saul's reign is coming to an end." Saul's reign is coming to an end and God is raising up His Davids as leaders over His people in order to establish Christ on the throne of David as Head of His church (Is. 16:5).
Saul reigned over God's people for about 40 years and those decades were a time of judgment upon God's people for rejecting God as their king. God said, "I gave you a king in My anger, And took him away in My wrath" (Hos. 13:11 NKJV). The same is true today in the church. To His church, God gave kingdom building pastors who would pursue their own ambitions, fight to preserve their little kingdoms, and persecute God's Davids. He gave us these pastors because of our rejection of Christ as our King and because of our desire to be like the other nations (the other organizations with a board of directors and CEO's) with "accountability" to a denomination rather than to Christ. God gave the church these kingdom building pastors in His anger, and in His anger He is taking them away.
Saul's reign is coming to an end, and the Davids that He has been preparing are about to take the leadership of God's people in order to establish Christ on the throne of David as head of His church. God has been preparing these leaders as they have loved and served Christ in obscurity tending their little flocks or as they have fought for Him while hidden away in a cave. These are the pastors God promised His people when He said, "I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding" (Jer. 3:15 KJV). There is a revolution taking place in the Kingdom of God. Saul's 40 year reign of judgment is coming to an end and the reign of David is beginning. Christ is about to take His rightful place as Head of His church, and He will establish that throne through the new leadership He is bringing to His people. God is literally replacing the ministry that He placed over His church because of judgment with the ministry that He will place over His church because of blessing.
There is taking place a great transfer of power from the house of Saul, to the house of David. "...David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker" (2 Sam. 3:1 KJV). Saul speaks of the reign of the flesh. These are the ministers that have excelled and succeeded primarily through natural giftings and talents. These are the ministers that have lead Christ's beautiful church through the strength of the flesh, and she was happy to follow him for he stood head and shoulders above the people. Saul failed God, as God knew he would. Saul feared the people, and disobeyed God in order to please the people and keep the people, for he felt His kingdom was established by the people. However, the Davids that will take the place of Saul are men after God's own heart: men that pursue the heart of God, and they seek to please Christ with the love that produces obedience. These are established by God and therefore seek only to please God. These, like the chief shepherd, are shepherds at heart that will lay down their lives for the sheep.
I believe there is a reason why so many today are claiming to be apostles and prophets when so many, in fact, are not. I believe there is a reason why so many today are willing to embrace these false apostles and prophets (not false brothers and sisters). I believe the main reason for this is that we have looked at the ministry of pastor for so long and have said to ourselves, "There's got to be something higher, something greater than that." The problem is not the ministry of pastor, but the fact that we've been looking at Saul. "For the shepherds have become dull-hearted, And have not sought the Lord; Therefore they shall not prosper, And all their flocks shall be scattered" (Jer. 10:21 NKJV). When His Davids take their places as shepherds or pastors of God's people we will begin to see these shepherds as the kings they are destined to be, and the ministry of pastor will no longer be looked upon with the disdain or indifference that leads us to seek greater or more impressive titles for ourselves or for others.
There is something much higher and much greater than what we have seen as "pastor", and it's not titles or positions, but the character of the man and the anointing of God and of Samuel (the true prophet) upon these men who will establish Christ as head of His church. "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it" (Ez. 34:23, 24 KJV).
One day, as I pondered these things, the Lord showed me that our attitude toward this change in leadership should be the attitude of grief over our brothers and friends that David felt when he wept over Saul and Jonathon crying, "How have the mighty fallen." These dear ministers that have failed God and God's people are our brothers and our friends. We have wept over them longing and praying to see them established over God's people as His true shepherds. These are the beauty of Israel that have clothed us in scarlet with ornaments of gold. These dear ministers are those who have established health and prosperity for the household of God. These are mighty warriors whose swords did not return empty, but won great battles for God's people, and their fall or failure should bring grief and tears to David's eyes.
Those who are anointed to replace Saul should count Saul's enemies as their own (2 Sam. 1:13, 14). We are to be a lasting friend to these dear pastors and should seek that they be established and succeed, never touching the lord's anointed. We should teach the "daughters of Israel" to weep over "Saul" (2 Sam. 1:24), and we should weep when these ministers fail God, for we have invested our tears to see them established through God.
David sang, "Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph" (2 Sam. 1:20). In other words: woe unto the secular media if they publish these ministers' failures, and woe unto the Christian that breaks the story.
In 2 Samuel 2:5, David blessed the men of Jabesh Gilead for the kindness they showed to Saul in taking his body from off the wall and burying him, and Jesus will bless those who cover (not cover up) the failures of these ministers. Love covers a multitude of sins. The world would seek to fasten their corpses to the wall for all to see. Jesus will strengthen their hands and make valiant warriors of those who defend the reputations of and pray for these brothers and sisters.
As we grieve over our brothers' failure, and as we pray for and defend them, yet we look forward to the new order that is coming to God's house. David is about to take the throne, and when he does, he will shepherd God's people and will feed them with knowledge and understanding; the true knowledge of God and of His ways. God's people will lack nothing, and through David's reign, the tabernacle of David will be rebuilt. The church as Christ intended her from the beginning will be restored, and Christ will sit as King within His church, a place in which He has been unwelcome for so long.
One of the earmarks of this new order of ministry will be the restoration of the presence of God to His people. David pitched a tabernacle on Mount Zion, and he returned the ark of God, the presence of God to God's people by bringing the ark back from Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem and David's tent became the habitation for the Glory and presence of God. David said, "And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul" (1 Chron. 13:2 KJV). Saul had many concerns as leader of God's people, but his priority was never returning the ark to God's people. The ministry that has by and large been in charge of the church in recent decades has been motivated to pursue many purposes and programs, but the presence of God has never been their priority. When Saul (the flesh) is reigning, there's no desire for the ark (the presence of God), but when David (the reign of the Spirit) gets on the throne, the ark will be restored to God's house.
Because Saul never sought the Lord or desired His presence, the Lord said of this ministry, "Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD" (Jer. 23:1 KJV). These pastors and teachers built great thriving churches but after decades of their ministry, God's people are in great spiritual poverty and are spiritually sick and slaves to sin and in love with the world. These shepherds did not profit God's people by enriching them with the true treasures of the Kingdom. "The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit" (Jer. 2:8 KJV). These shepherds never brought God to the people nor did they truly bring the people to God.
Another earmark of this David ministry will be a love affair with Jesus. They will love Jesus and His people, and they will turn the hearts of the people to their beloved.
I recently listened to a minister who has a powerful prophetic gifting. This man says, and I believe him, that he can lay hands on and prophecy personal prophecies accurately to 150 people in one service. Yet, the entire time this brother spoke, I heard nothing to which I could relate, nor did I hear anything that I desired or that stirred my heart in any way. It was very strange, and I didn't understand it at all. "Coincidentally", the very next day, I heard a woman preach a message about how God uses the desert experience in our lives, and how she came to know her beloved through that experience. Many in the congregation were weeping, as was I, and I felt my heart reaching out to Christ in love. When I went to prayer I was still puzzling over this when I read the following scripture: "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love" (Song 2:4 KJV). The Lord spoke to me that, "In His great army there are many mighty warriors that fight under many banners and not all of these banners are love." However, this David ministry that is coming forth will fight under the banner of "love". They will be in love with Jesus, and will desire to see His people fall in love with Jesus. David was a fighter and a lover!
There will be many mighty warriors and leaders that will equip God's people in many ways. However, David will be singing those love songs that move God's heart and that stir the hearts of those that love Jesus with all their heart.
"And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love" (Eph 4:11-16 NASB).
Jesus is giving us pastors (and not just pastors, but ministers of all kinds) after His own heart and these pastors will profit God's people greatly. They will be a mighty part of God's five-fold ministry that will build the body of Christ, bringing her into the full knowledge of God, to a mature man, even to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. This ministry will be a key part of the restoration that Christ will bring to His church - the restoration of the tabernacle of David (Acts 15:16) and even the restoration of all things (Acts. 3:19-21).