DUTIES OF CHRISTIANS TO THEIR PASTOR (2 Timothy – 25)
We have looked at the duties of shepherds to their sheep, let’s talk about the responsibilities of Christians to their pastors. Sheep can make a shepherd’s work easier or harder, depending on how they respond to his leadership. That is true of God’s sheep as well. Christians are commanded to honor their leaders (1 Timothy 5:17-25). They can do this by recognizing them for their faithful service and showing them respect (1 Thessalonians 5:12). It is important to show them love, for leaders need it as much as anyone else (1 Thessalonians 5:13). People need to help their pastors any way they can. They must pray for them daily.
Never gossip or criticize a leader (1 Corinthians 4:3-4). If there are biblical concerns pray for the person. If it continues, go to an appropriate leader to express your concerns about this person and let them handle it. If it does not resolve and God leads you to leave the church, do so quietly without gossip or criticism (Proverbs 16:28; 11:9,13; 10:18; Psalm 15:2-3; Ephesians 4:29).
Christians must encourage their leaders by thanking them for their service, assisting them when facing difficulties and helping in any way they can. Regular attendance at church services encourages a pastor as well.
Believers are to pray regularly, specifically and lovingly for their leaders. The church I pastored for 35 years was excellent in their support of me and prayers for me. I know the difference their prayers made, but I could not have pastored without them.
Paul commanded early churches to have regular offerings (1 Corinthians 16:2). God told the Jews in the Old Testament to give 10% of their wealth to God’s work (Genesis 14:20; 28:22) and Jesus approved of tithing (Luke 11:42). We are no longer under God’s Old Testament Law, so those commands do not apply to us. Still, that can give us a guideline as to how much to give. Paul said we are to give as God has prospered us (1 Corinthians 16:2), which for most of us will be beyond 10%. Paul devotes two chapters, 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, to writing about the importance of financial giving.
Some of the money given to the church should go to providing a pastor with an adequate salary, for the workman is worthy of his pay (Deuteronomy 24:15). The picture in Deuteronomy 24:15 is of an ox working to produce food for the owner by pulling weights to thresh the grain. It’s only right he be allowed to benefit from his work so he has energy to keep working. Paying a pastor enables him to have time to keep studying and pastoring.
If people don’t have money to give, they can provide food or something useful for the pastor’s family. When the church I pastored didn’t have money to pay me, individuals in the church gave us food. It was greatly needed and much appreciated.
Paul states that a pastor is worthy of “double honor” (1 Timothy 5:17-18). Not only should he be respected and honored as God’s representative, but he should receive financial support to help him have time to minister. Too many Christians and churches do not pay a pastor enough for him to support his family. A pastor doesn’t need to make more money than the average person in his church, but he shouldn’t make less, either.
The Bible forbids Christians to go into debt and a church should do it’s very best to stay out of debt of any kind (Romans 13:8; Proverbs 22:7; Psalm 37:21; Luke 14:28; Hebrews 13:5). It may be necessary to buy a building, but cost should be as low as possible and paid off as quickly as possible.
Being a pastor is a difficult job. Do all you can to make it as easy as possible. (July 17, 2023 Doylestown, PA)
PAUL’S ADVICE: Show honor and respect for your pastor, help him and financially support him.
Jeremiah 3:15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
Do your people treat you with respect? Are you treating them with respect to set a good example?
Do you teach them about the importance of being good stewards and supporting the church financially?
Do you teach your people the importance of supporting you the best they can?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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