How To Relate With Your Pastor (Valuing The Man Who Is God's Gift To You)
He is God's Gift to You!
Ephesians 4:8 says, "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men." Then in verse 11 we read, "and He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teacher."
Too often we think that the gifts are the ability for these men to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor/teachers. But friend, I have news for you - the gifts aren't these people's abilities, it's the people themselves!
These men and women were given to you by God Himself. They are your gifts! Verse 12 tells us why they were given, "for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."
They were given so that they could equip you so that you could do the work of the ministry!
So, if these people are God's gift to you - it's reasonable to think that there's a right way and a wrong way to treat them. How do you feel when your kids don't treat your presents to them very well? Don't you think God wants you to take care of His gifts too?
1. Submit To Their Teaching
Hebrews 13:17 says, "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account."
You see, God expects believers to listen to and obey their spiritual leaders. The catch is, spiritual leaders cannot dominate the people in their congregation. The responsibility is on the people to submit - because the leaders can't force them to obey.
This isn't forced slavery, it's volunteered submission.
2. Don't Slander Or Spread Gossip About Them
We know that God hates gossip period, no matter who it's about. But if you want to speed up the damage done by gossip, start gossiping about your pastor!
In Numbers 12:1, Aaron and Miriam began to talk about Moses. They complained that he married an Ethiopian instead of a Hebrew. The result was a lot of people thinking, "What's so special about Moses? Why should He be in charge?"
What Aaron and Miriam were saying may have been true - but God hates gossip, true or not!
The outcome was, Miriam broke out in leprosy for a week and had to leave the camp. God defended the man that He placed in authority!
And He still does. God gave that man in the pulpit to you to perfect you. He will not stand by and let His gift be treated like this! So, my advice to you is, support your pastor by what you're saying!
Have you ever heard someone bad-mouth your pastor?
4. Be Faithful To Serve In His Ministry
Luke 16:12 says, "And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?" I like to add, "Because God sure won't!"
I can confidently say from experience, God rewards faithfulness! Preacher, don't spend so much time trying to promote your own ministry. Instead, be faithful to serve the ministry you're sitting under. Be faithful in another man's ministry, and God will give you your own! Let me tell you, ministry that God gives you beats any that you could build yourself.
Take a lesson from Elisha. Even though he was called to be a prophet, he served Elijah for twenty years! People knew him as "that guy who washes Elijah's hands." They thought of Elisha as Elijah's servant. Three times we see people call Elijah his master! But when Elisha called him "my father." After 20 years of service, Elisha stepped into his own ministry and did far more than Elijah ever did!
If there was anything young ministers should know, it's this - be faithful to the ministry God put you in! In God's eyes, someone who cleans the church bathrooms for ten years is more qualified to step into ministry than a Bible school graduate! Be faithful!
#3. Don't Maneuver To Take His Authority
Younger ministers are famous for this. They come to a church fresh out of Bible school and serve under a senior pastor - usually as a youth pastor. Within a short period of time, they have a disagreement. The young minister has big ideas about how to do things, the older minister is set on doing things his way. The young minister is offended and begins to work against the senior pastor. Does this sound familiar to you? Let me fill you in...God always sides with the authority, never with a rebel!
David could have made himself king at Saul's expense. He had the hearts of the people. He had the daughter of the current king as his wife. He had Jonathan, Saul's son, siding with him. He even had the "right" to take over - Saul tried to kill him! But not once did David ever maneuver to overthrow Saul. Even when he was running for his life, David didn't so much as badmouth the current king.
And God blessed him for it.
If you're a young minister who is butting heads with your senior pastor, keep this in mind - God will NOT bless a rebel. If your ministry is born in rebellion, conniving, and division...it will die the same way!