How should GodŐs people treat their pastors?

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13


The tendency among men is either to treat GodŐs servants with contempt, as the Judaizers at Galatia did Paul (Galatians 4:16), or regard them with an adoring, worshipful reverence, as Cornelius did Peter (Acts 10:25). Both of these attitudes are wrong. The faithful gospel preacher is only a man; therefore he must not be placed on a pedestal to be worshipped and followed blindly. But he is GodŐs man, GodŐs messenger to men; therefore he must not be despised, ignored, and treated with contempt. Paul tells us plainly how the people of God should treat faithful preachers (pastors, evangelists, missionaries).


A faithful pastor is one who labors among GodŐs people. He is not a lazy sluggard, but a diligent laborer. His time, energy and attention are consumed by the ministry of the gospel. He studies, prays, and preaches, watching over the souls of GodŐs elect as one who must give account. He has little time for anything other than the work of the gospel. Such a man, a man who spends his life serving the interest of menŐs souls, should be highly honored by those for whom he labors (2 Thessalonians 3: 1, Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Corinthians 9:9-14).


ŇKnow them which labour among you.Ó — GodŐs people should make it their business to become personally, even intimately, acquainted with faithful gospel preachers, especially their own pastors. Get to know the man who ministers to you. Try to know what his personal needs are, so that you can supply those needs. Try to find ways to assist him and relieve him of unnecessary burdens, so that he may more fully give himself to the work of the gospel.


ŇEsteem them very highly in love for their workŐs sake — Every faithful gospel preacher deserves and should have the high esteem and sincere love of GodŐs people, because of the work which he performs. He is GodŐs spokesman and representative to you, and he should be treated as such. The Holy Spirit tells us that those faithful pastors who Ňlabor in the Word and doctrineÓ of God are to be Ňcounted worthy of double honorÓ (1 Timothy 5:17).


ŇAnd be at peace among yourselves — Find me a local church where men and women refuse to hear and follow their God given pastor, and I will show you a church in constant turmoil. Find me a church where men and women honor the Word of God, pray for and follow their pastor, and I will show you a church that enjoys peace in the sweet fellowship of the gospel. Debates about doctrine, strife over words and endless questions about things of no importance, while sounding pious and appear to be a desire to learn in the eyes of the ignorant, are only constant snares of Satan by which he seeks to divide GodŐs people. The only way a local church can enjoy and keep the blessed Ňunity of the Spirit in the bond of peaceÓ (Ephesians 4:3) so vital to our spiritual well-being and usefulness in this world is by giving heed to the Holy SpiritŐs instructions here in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13.







Don Fortner



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