[This post is meant to be juxtaposed with today’s other post, “Leaders’ Quad-fecta”.]
1st Corinthians 16:16
Because of the relationship a Christian Leader has with God (Jesus & the Spirit are right-in-there as well) those who are Shepherded are to submit, be submissive, and follow what Leaders say. To be appointed as a Leader, one has obtained a certain amount of knowledge, usually through Bible Schools and Seminaries, about God. Additional abilities are vital, such as: administration, counseling, para-church work, an aptitude in working with people of divergent values — political, ethnic, interpreting the Gospel, and how individuals and groups act upon said interpretation(s). . . It is quite a to do! (Quite possibly too much, but I will leave that issue for another day.)
This learning and experience should lead to what I will call a “heartfelt knowledge” of God; a place sheltered beneath God’s folded wing where the mind and heart of God can be known. (By the way, this place is not just for Leaders but all Christians as well).
Showing this reverence to Leaders goes a long way in causing a leader to feel loved. Humans have the need to be affirmed. All of us share this need. Pastors and other types of Church Leaders are no exception. Another scripture, 1 Timothy 5:17, takes this veneration to the level of “double honor”. And they are worthy of such. The second part of this clause is that grieving a leader is likened to holding back the cries of an ox as he turns the workings of the grist mill.
Leaders, especially Pastors are usually given an impossible job description — answering to, more or less, every member of the Congregation; giving constant attention to ideas and opinions of members, visitors, and non-members alike. They exercise “mindful care,” which I will define as “correcting errant theology among people do not want to change” (other aspects can be included). [Appeasing people should not be involved because God is to be leading us, not we ourselves.] Then, in addition to the usual preparations for Sunday mornings and committee meetings, finding time for personal counseling, hospital visits, answer the phone, plow through the mail, then throw in a wedding or a funeral. Many Pastors are left without enough time for their family (not unlike other professions in our society), a social value which counters the Church’s express sentiments on the importance of family life.
I know of an example where the pastors of a smaller town were so busy Tuesday through Sunday the Pastors’ Association had to meet on Mondays, their only day off. The meetings were important since they planned and coordinated the running the local food pantry.
These Pastors really needed
their one day off each week,
to use as a day off.
Consider spreading out the responsibilities and duties to those who are qualified (Acts 6: 1-7)? Or train a few to help out.
I believe in a process where all Christians are to live in relationship with each other and duly respect each other, as illustrated in Philippians 2: 3 and 4.
So I will say,
“Maranatha” (the Lord comes)
Extra credit: Titus 1: 6-9