Is Our Attitude Toward Our Pastors Correct? You – And Your Pastor -- By: Warren Vanhetloo
CenQ 2:2 (Summer 1959) p. 36
Is Our Attitude Toward Our Pastors Correct? You – And Your Pastor
Two passages in the Word are summarized in the words Know, Obey and Submit. In Hebrews 13:17, God commands, “Obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you.”
Admonishing the church at Thessalonica concerning Christian attitudes and responsibilities, Paul wrote: “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which 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” (I Thess. 5:12–13). These two verses above all others set forth the place, position, and responsibility of the pastor in the local church, and they both are directed to the congregation. It is not the truths as presented here for the pastor which are being stressed but the truths for the church members.
It has been my privilege and responsibility to serve a great many churches as the interim pastor: during the time after one pastor has left, and before the next one has arrived. Usually just before a new man comes I have endeavored to point out the truths set forth in these verses. They are important at any time, of course.
From these verses the Holy Spirit can strengthen our hearts as believers and establish us in that which the Word teaches in order that we might practice in our everyday relationships —particularly in the local church— those things which God has considered significant.
The truths involved in these verses are admirably set forth by a Baptist theologian of the past century, and page references in parenthesis indicate quotations from Body of Divinity by Dr. John Gill, now being reprinted by Baker Book House.
The command to know your pastor in I Thess. 5:12 implies enough to be a separate message by itself. What does it mean, to know your pastor? Primarily in the context it seems that we ought to know the office he fills, we ought to know his position and understand what God has called him to do in this world.
This verse sets forth three different aspects of that service that we ought to understand and appreciate.
A preacher is first of all a worker, a laborer. Some think that a preacher speaks half an hour on Sunday morning and this fulfills all the responsibility he has. But no pastor, even in a small pastorate, if conscientious
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