Ways to minister to our Pastors

JP: From Dr Warren Vanhetloo

  1. Choose to respect your pastors. We beseech you, brethren, consider highly those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you (1 Thess 5:12). Carefully avoid any thought, comment, or action which might be taken as disrespect, especially something in the form of a joke. Appreciate that they are sacrificially serving Christ and others. Recognize that God has placed them in a position of responsibility for which they must give account unto the Lord, leading the flock and encouraging your growth and activity in the Lord.
  2. Choose to love your pastors with an unconditional love. “Esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake” (1 Thess 5:13). Address them with love and respect for their office, using “Pastor” or another Scriptural form. Express to them your appreciation of their work for the Lord, of their dedication to His service, and of their sacrificial efforts to accomplish God’s work.
  3. Choose to follow your pastor’ leadership with a right attitude. Pattern your walk after that of those who “have the rule over you, who have spoken to you the Word of God, whose faith follow, considering the result of their manner of life” (Heb 13:7). Obey the instruction of them “that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account to God, that they may do it with joy and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you” (Heb 13:17). The authority of their “rule” is the Word of God. Recognize them as representing God, ministering for your good.
  4. Choose to obey the teaching of Scripture as your pastors teach and preach it, in such a fashion that their work is for them a joy and not a burden, “with joy and not with grief” (Heb 13:17). Endeavor to inculcate all that they proclaim as an evident characteristic of your life, not accepted just an ideal or a theory. Walk as Jesus walked, and as your pastor walks.
  5. Uphold your pastor in prayer. All pastors from their hearts would beseech: “Pray for us, for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly” (Heb 13:18). Continue faithfully in prayer and persist therein with thanksgiving, praying especially for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ, that we may clearly present it, as we ought to proclaim it (Col 4:2-4). Pray that your pastor’s personal witnessing and public proclamation might be clear and effective, used by the Holy Spirit.
  6. Generously meet your pastors’ needs. The financial compensation of any pastor should be approximately the average of those in the congregation. Special consideration is due those who minster commendably. “Let the pastors 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 the ox that treads out the corn, and, The laborer is worthy of his reward” (1 Tim 5:17-18).
  7. Don’t compare your pastor with others. Let no man glory in men, whether in Paul, or Apollos, or Peter; consider us ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (cf. 1 Cor 3:21 – 4:3). Where there is among you envying and strife and divisions, are you not carnal? One says, I am of Paul, another I am of Apollos — who then is Paul and who is Apollos but ministers by whom you believed? (1 Cor 3:3-9).
  8. Appreciate your pastor’s unique gifts from God. Paul was greatly used of God, but Paul did not have all gifts. Paul had an authority which God gave him for edification, but there were those who judged him, by his appearance and speech, to be weak (2 Cor 10:8-13). Look not for insignificant flaws, but observe special graces.
  9. Do not think that your pastor can perform your spiritual ministries. Each believer has a divinely appointed place in the local body. The body is not a single member, but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now God has set the members every one of them in the body as it pleased Him, and if they were all one member, where were the body? (1 Cor 12:4-27).
  10. Handle differences in a Biblical fashion. Always show proper respect to your pastor and mutual respect toward fellow believers. Where there has been an offense, go and first be reconciled to a brother (Matt 5:23-24). Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matt 7:12). Do not be the cause of an offense or misunderstanding.
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