Increase your pastor’s effectiveness (2) - SATURDAY MARCH 4
‘Preach the Word…correct, rebuke and encourage.’ 2 Timothy 4:2 NIV (2011 Edition)
Let’s consider some other ways you can help your pastor be more effective:
1) Understand that it’s your pastor’s responsibility to enlighten you, not entertain you. Writing to Timothy, Paul says, ‘Preach the Word…correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction.’ Encouragement we enjoy; correction and rebuke we must learn to accept. ‘The Lord disciplines those he loves’ (Hebrews 12:6 NIV 1984 Edition). Your pastor is God’s instrument for your spiritual growth, not for your entertainment. When you don’t like the sermon, maybe it’s ‘scratching where the real itch is’. Don’t resent the messenger; instead review the message in light of God’s Word. Emulate the Berean Christians who ‘received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true’ (Acts 17:11 NIV 2011 Edition).
2) Talk to - not about - your pastor. If you’ve an issue, you’ve a scriptural obligation to talk first to the Lord, then personally to your pastor - and always with love and grace (see Matthew 18:15; Ephesians 4:15). Remember, pastors are cut from the same bolt of cloth as you. They forget things, have ‘off days’, make mistakes, and are occasionally insensitive. And a good pastor will receive the truth when it’s spoken in love. They’ll consider your concerns, admit when they’re wrong, and seek to grow by it. On the other hand, talking about your pastor creates strife in the church. Like yeast, it ‘leavens the whole lump of dough’ (1 Corinthians 5:6 NASB). Bottom line: ‘Don’t touch [God’s] chosen [ones]’ (1 Chronicles 16:22 CEV) by talking about them behind their back, and don’t give credence to those who do.