Timothy and Titus Training 101
Humble pastors are well thought of…and taken advantaged of in their kindness. I have actually heard these words come from church members, “He doesn’t do it for the money, so we can save a lot by not giving him a raise in pay.” “We are fortunate to have Pastor, he never asks for much.” “He seems to spend too much time studying, I think we need to have him clock his hours on task in writing.” Yep, we have heard these words as we work with churches and it makes us sad.
Yes, most pastors don’t do it for the money. We are called of God to serve in this way, knowing He will provide where He guides. But since God gives free will to His people, some think pastors can live on 50% less than what their own families thrive on. They see the struggle but do nothing about it, relying on God to take care of His servants. Sometimes it never occurs to the minds of church people that God uses THEM to take care of the pastor, giving church members the blessing of making sure all his needs and the needs of his family are met. A pastor who manages well and does not have to wonder if there will be more bills and less “month” to pay them is a pastor who can totally focus on what God has called him to be and do. Mm, now there’s a thought.
This also makes your pastor more focused on leading God’s church well, with wisdom, insight and understanding for the daily critics who will be there to remind him, “We pay you to do this, why aren’t you doing this for me?” “This person is not doing what he/she needs to be doing, go fix it….that’s what we pay you to do.” Yes, we have heard these words, too. But, if you don’t have to worry about your family’s needs as much, you are stronger and more equipped to handle these critics. Paul tells us plainly how to manage the whiners…don’t listen. Mm.
Paul gives wisdom to leaders for those who are dabbling in pure sin. Confront them, he says to Timothy. Pastors, again need focus and preparation to handle these challenges with wisdom, grace and much care. This is the time to KNOW YOURSELF and the depths of your own relationship with God before approaching the task of confronting. Make sure your are going with a heart’s motivation of wanting to do nothing but help, filled with the Holy Spirit’s unconditional love for that person, wanting him/her to return to the sheep with repentance and restoration.
One who leads must lead with those who have the same heart, mind and soul’s passion to help others know God more. Choose wisely, says Paul, to Timothy. We need to take this advice more seriously, too. I have also heard it said, “Let’s get him on the board, maybe even teach a Sunday School class, so he will come to church more often.” What?! Even as a young child, I thought this was a bad idea…and it was. This man was a scoundrel in business by day and a church deacon on the weekends! His reputation marred the integrity of the church in the community.
In a few words, in this passage, Paul says so much that our minds are reeling in thoughts and emotions of the awesome, challenging and great importance a pastor is called by God to be and do. You can not pay them enough for what they have willing accepted to be and do for God…in your midst. But God IS indeed with them and will provide for their needs…but you could be that person who is used by God to do the giving.
Humble pastors want, more than anything else, your prayer, your support, kind words, appreciation and affirmation. This is the stuff that makes your pastor stronger when they are weak, wiser when faced with another battle, and more loving and kind in return. Want a better pastor…PRAY for them!
Love God. Love Others like HE loves us. Revolutionary.
1 Timothy 5, The Message
17-18 Give a bonus to leaders who do a good job, especially the ones who work hard at preaching and teaching. Scripture tells us, “Don’t muzzle a working ox” and “A worker deserves his pay.”
19 Don’t listen to a complaint against a leader that isn’t backed up by two or three responsible witnesses.
20 If anyone falls into sin, call that person on the carpet. Those who are inclined that way will know right off they can’t get by with it.
21-23 God and Jesus and angels all back me up in these instructions. Carry them out without favoritism, without taking sides. Don’t appoint people to church leadership positions too hastily. If a person is involved in some serious sins, you don’t want to become an unwitting accomplice. In any event, keep a close check on yourself. And don’t worry too much about what the critics will say.
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for our pastor right now. Give him all he needs to face this day with Your strength, wisdom, insight and understanding. Help him to grow in Your love so he can help us grow, too. Thank you for all pastors who will step into the battle for Truth today as well as into Your pulpits on Saturday and Sunday. In Jesus Name, Amen