Thursday, January 17, 2008

What Kind of Leader??

1 Thessalonians 2:9-12 says:
9For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11For you know how, like a father with his children, 12we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
Love, gentleness, care and concern was the attitude that Paul and his companions had toward the Thessalonian people. They were driven by a desire to please God himself.

When I remember that....these verses make lots of sense to me.
Because God was first and foremost in their brains the rest didn't really matter to them.
I DO know that Scripture says that worker is worth his toil and that those in leadership positions should be cared for. See for instance 1 Corinthians 9:
3This is my defense to those who would examine me. 4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

8Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?

BUT Paul knowing this, nevertheless, works for his own living. He doesn't allow any reason to be disparaged. He did not want to be a burden to them.

So yes, church leaders should be well-cared for, but if they approach ministry in the same attitude and concern that Paul did, I wonder if it would really matter to them?

I do find this a hard one to think about though, because I know that some churches do not care for their leadership as well as they might....where the demands are high but the financial care is low...and sometimes even the care and respect for the leader himself is very low. THIS SHOULD NOT BE! and congregations who expect too much and pay too little should be disciplined for such attitude.

And yet I also find, because I can see it in my own life, that even when pastors and their families are comfortable...perhaps not well-off, but able to make well-enough do, that it's easy to want people (the congregation) to help a wee bit more or to do things in a manner that appeals to them (the pastor and family) more. This attitude is not correct either.

A proper balance must be found.

We need as pastors to have the concern and desire from God first and the trust that God will provide, and the members of the congregation need to remember that their leader is given to them by God and should treat him in accordance to that.

Paul treated the folks like a father treats his own children, with the kind of concern that leads to better behaviour and thought patterns. He and his companions

exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory

From I learn give you the meaning of these words:


–verb (used with object) urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently.
–verb (used without object) give urgent advice, recommendations, or warnings.
–verb (used with object), -aged, -ag·ing. inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence: His coach encouraged him throughout the marathon race to keep on running. stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.: One of the chief duties of a teacher is to encourage students. promote, advance, or foster: Poverty often encourages crime.
Charge: (has oodles of meanings, I chose the most relevant) :) impute; ascribe the responsibility for: He charged the accident to his own carelessness. instruct authoritatively, as a judge does a jury. lay a command or injunction upon: He charged his secretary with the management of his correspondence.
32.a duty or responsibility laid upon or entrusted to one.
36.a command or injunction; exhortation.
Paul's strongest desire for these folks was that they walk in a manner worthy of God. That's the calling of a pastor, of the leaders in a can they help their "followers" to walk in a manner worthy of God? How can we hold them to a higher standard?

Oh that I be held to this higher standard as well. :)

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