Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some Things You Should NOT Do To Your Pastor

1. Don't love your pastor more than you love the Lord God.

2. Don't idolize or worship your pastor.  He is neither God nor Messiah.

3. Don't be a living contradiction to the name and person of Jesus Christ in you.
Don't be a hypocrite, trying to convince your pastor that you are "good" and wonderful believer when you are thinking and behaving like the devil.

4. Don't overwork your pastor.  
Don't rely too heavily upon him either.

5. Don't neglect the honor and respect, duty and obedience you owe the pastor in Christ that is concordant with God's Word.

6. Don't kill your pastor.
I could write a book, "1001 Easy Ways to Kill Off Your Pastor!"  Of course, I don't mean physically murdering the minister; though that has happened.  I mean to say, don't murder him by mouth through gossip or slander. Don't beat him into the ground with the innumerable ways people can verbally assault the minister.  It is also possible to over work the pastor or place too much stress upon him.

7. Don't allow your pastor or put your pastor in a situation that could tempt him or provoke him to immoral, unchaste thoughts, words, or deeds.

8. Don't steal from your pastor.
Don't rob him of his devotional time, study time, down time, family time, or vacation time.  Don't rob him of the double honor he is due.  Pay him well so that he may be free from material concerns. Don't forbid him to exercise his God-given talents and gifts. Too often ministers are pressured or commanded not to do the things they are talented, equipped or find pleasure in doing.

9. Don't injure the pastor's good name, and don't lie to him.

10. Don't covet another pastor when you have God's minister in your midst; and do not compare or contrast him with other pastors, especially high profile, popular ones.
Here is a quick way to discourage or defeat your pastor: compare him with another minister or leader.  It doesn't matter who.  It could be a previous pastor, a celebrity, or even a famous dead one.  Just don't compare!  It's demeaning and demoralizing when you communicate that your pastor isn't like Pastor X in preaching, or Pastor Y in serving, or Pastor Z in personality.  If you love that other minister so much that you have little room for the pastor the Lord has provided you and your church, then pack your bags and go where your hero is serving.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Some Things You Can Do for Your Pastor

1. Live with him in the love of Christ by loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and might.

2. Love him in the Lord.

3. Pray for him frequently.

4. Let him rest.
You know what this means? Give him opportunities for personal and familial rest. Be proactive to make sure he is getting spiritual, emotional, mental and physical rejuvenation.  Encourage him to take off for times of prayer, meditation and reflection.  Leave him alone during his day or days off, unless, of course, it is a serious emergency.  Maybe even raise some funds and send him on a cruise, special vacation or study leave.

5. Honor and esteem him (Phil. 2:29; 1 Thess. 5:12, 13 cp. Acts 28:9-10; 2 Cor. 7:15)
The esteem for a pastor about which is spoken in Philippians 2:19-29 is a highly valued respect.  It's the treatment one gives to something or someone of great and precious value.  How do you esteem your pastor?  Very highly, according to 1 Thessalonians 5:13.  Why esteem the pastor?  Because, the Bible says, he labors for you as a servant and Christ's undershepherd.
God reminds us that one of many reasons to esteem the pastor is because he teaches and admonishes in Christ.  You cannot properly receive the full benefit of teaching and admonishment if you do not have humility and if you do not respect or esteem God's pastor or elder. 
Another way to esteem your pastor, according to the Bible, is by respecting him, providing for his needs, and treating him with godly love.  The opposite would be to despise him, which is forbidden according to 1 Corinthians 16:10.
Finally, a third way to honor and esteem your pastor is to appreciate him.  This is the meaning of 1 Thessalonians 5:12.  It means giving him a deserved recognition that is based upon the office of pastor and because of his labors.
Granted, there men who aren't worthy of honor and esteem; but if that is the case, then the man ought not be in the position as pastor. However, often times people do not honor and esteem the pastor because they are rebelling against the Lord, but taking it out on the man.  And sometimes, they know that if they are successful in undermining God's delegated, pastoral authority, then they will be successful in achieving their own selfish and sinful agenda in the church.

6.  Do everything you can to pump life into his soul.
"Build him up, encourage him, and communicate to him in a variety of ways to show him how much his service means to you.  Lift him up, inspire him, and bless him in Christ.  You will reap the residual effects for it.  Be a conduit of grace, hope and love to build up your pastor.

7. Be loyal to him in Christ.
Trust him when he is trustworthy. Treat him kindly, for who he is and because of his office.

8. Give to him as he gives to you.
Give, not merely monetary support; but give service to him and his family.  Be imaginative and think of ways you can serve your pastor: provide genuine and valuable feedback; give him moral support; give him time, pray for him.  Above all, give him love and affection.

9. Speak the truth about him in love.
Do all you can to safeguard his name and reputation.  More than that, build up his name so that it becomes a name of honor.  Certainly, the pastor must maintain his own reputation and integrity in Christ.  This is not an admonition for you to pretend he is honorable, if indeed he has clearly sinned and defamed the name of Christ or Christ's church.  But if he has a character above reproach, then uphold it, maintain it, and promote it. 

10. Follow him in the way of Christ as he leads with his fellow shepherd-elders.