Ephesians 4:11-13 (NKJV)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
A Pastor is one of Christ’s five office gifts to the Church. Yes, pastoring is a gift… and a pastor happens to be a GIFT that God gives to a church. The term pastor comes from “shepherd,” one who guides and cares for a flock. The bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
Serving as a pastor is a remarkable and awesome blessing and privilege, but sometimes pastors can be the most misunderstood people in the church. Often their hours are long, the pay minimal, the criticism considerable and constant. Despite the joys of serving God, feelings of disappointment and discouragement can plague the best of them. However, there are ways God can use you to become a blessing in his life, which also enhance your ability to receive from his ministry.
Here are just a few ways to encourage your pastor:
1. Pray, Pray, Pray for Your Pastor – You know how much opposition that you receive yourself… from the world, the flesh, and the devil… and be assured, your pastor receives much more than you. Pray for him every day, and ask God to shower your pastor with an abundance of love, hope, joy, faith, peace, power, wisdom, and courage. As Paul wrote, “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.” (2 Thes 3:1-2)
2. Become a Part of the Team – Attend church faithfully and show that you’re eager to follow his leadership. This will bless your life and be a tremendous encouragement to your pastor. Look for opportunities to use your gifts and talents for the work of Christ. And become a soul winner. People all around us are lost in sin, dying and going to hell. Do all in your power to win them to Jesus Christ. Tell them what Christ has done for you and what He can do for them. “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20)
3. Submit to the Leadership of your Pastor – The Bible places special emphasis on submission to spiritual authorities. The writer of Hebrews says, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (Heb 13:17). We are also instructed to follow and imitate those spiritual leaders as they follow Christ. Follow the man of God who is following Jesus Christ as set forth in the Word of God.
4. Treat him with Proper Respect – Treat him with as much or more respect that you would anyone else in authority. Sometimes folks tend to think of him as an employee, instead of their spiritual leader. A pastor, however, is God’s appointed man, to help guide the soul of you and your family, and needs our love and respect. Express your respect to his authority by addressing him as “pastor” rather than by his first name, especially while on the church premises. “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake…” (1 Thes 5:12-13)
5. Don’t compare him to other pastors – Don’t expect your pastor to do everything the same way the last pastor did. Trust God to use your spiritual leader to bring about relevant and effective ministry to the present need… and don’t stereotype him either with the strengths or short-comings of other spiritual leaders you’ve known. Let your pastor be himself. Your pastor is an imperfect human being, and is unique with his own distinct personality, gifts and talents. Not all pastors are the same, so don’t put him in a box and expect him to be a duplicate of others you’ve known.
6. Support him financially – so he can keep his mind on the work of the ministry. If a man cannot properly care for his family, he will be distracted from the ministry. It costs your pastor just as much to live as it does you, and in some cases much more because of added expenses …such as books, transportation, etc. “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (1 Tim 5:17-18)
7. Actively Stop Behind-His-Back Criticism – Pastors, as well as virtually all public authority figures, are often the subject of incessant criticism. If there is a legitimate matter that concerns the leader, it should be addressed to him personally… but criticism behind one’s back certainly doesn’t help them, and when distributed about can cause a lot of harm to a leader’s reputation and credibility.
8. Silence Gossip and Bad Mouthing – Do not speak against or listen to gossip or slander about your pastor. If you hear negative comments, respond with a positive one. If misinformation is being spread, correct it with the accurate information. Or, if people are gossiping, just walk away. The Apostle Paul said, “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.” (1 Tim 5:19)
9. Commit to Stand with Him Through Tough Times – Be a REAL friend… not just a part-time buddy. A genuine friend is someone who remains steadfast with you regardless of what may come. He stands with you in the adverse circumstances of life, does not forsake you when others may abandon you, helps guard you when you are off guard, helps hold you accountable to your values, forgives and encourages you if or when you fail.
10. Stay focused on the big picture – The big picture is JESUS… to love, forgive and seek to bring souls into the Kingdom of God. Don’t get weighed down by church politics, nonsense, offenses or whatever else goes on, but keep your focus on Jesus and on what the church and the pastor are really all about!
In Today’s Devotional I want to bring an understanding to the sacrifice that comes with a pastoral position and the importance of supporting and encouraging the pastor of your church. The bigger the congregation, the bigger the sacrifice. Think about it… your pastor is there for you and your family; praying, fasting, counseling, supporting, encouraging…Often, his time is diverted from his own family to take care of you and yours. Pastors are sent by God to watch over our souls. It is a very important position and should be treated as such.
Scripture of the day: In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:14 NIV
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
TLWMI. Copyright Reserved, 2011.
(must be used with a written permission)
~SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG~
| IF YOU LOVE IT SHARE IT |